Speaking in a telephone interview yesterday, a native of Kiang, Musa Jawara, explained: “It is very difficult for us here at the moment because as we speak flyers have been dropped instructing residents of the Gregarass area to evacuate including migrants. Going out of Tripoli in the current situation is impossible and going forward by crossing to Italy is a great difficulty. I was in an overcrowded ‘connection house’ for almost a month subsisting only on biscuits and water in a bid to cross without success. We are deliberately put on biscuits by the traffickers to lose weight so that they can overcrowd the boats with more people.
“I saw people from Nigeria and Syria get sick and die. You cannot talk because once you paid your money to the ‘connection men’ you are handed to the Libyan traffickers who are armed and brook no complaints from us for better conditions. To do that is to suffer the fate of being shot, beaten or detained in unbearable conditions. I am praying for peace because these people have heavy weapons whose sounds put fear even in the bravest of men.”
Lamin Koita who said he has been in Tripoli for a year said: “It is extremely difficult for African migrants to move around now because they are seen as mercenaries for Gaddafi. I am not even thinking of leaving Tripoli because it is not safe. Other nationals like Tunisians and people of Arab descent are leaving but having difficulty getting out and that shows it is going to be harder for us. I am trying to go to the ‘connection house’ so that I can move to Libya. However, I am not afraid of death because where we will all die has already been predestined by Allah.”]]>