From Genocide to Slavery: Refugees Flee Darfur Violence Only to Face ‘Nightmare’ of Smugglers, Militias in Libya

Photo Credit: Elvis Santana

(The Times of Israel) My story begins with the destruction of my village Taweelah in North Darfur. Like so many villages in Darfur, it was destroyed by the Janjaweed, a group of militants armed up by the Sudanese government and known for riding into a village, killing the men and raping the women, and then burning the village to the ground.

My family and I escaped to an IDP (internally displaced persons) camp in Al Fashir where years passed and the situation went from bad to worse. Men were killed in front of our eyes and women were raped as we bore witness. I was forced to flee again to save my life – this time, to the border with Chad.

It was there that I first learned from locals that there were people being smuggled to neighboring countries such as Libya to try and find a safe place to settle. I decided to take my chances and join them.

By the time I reached Libya in 2015 local fighting was already intensifying. The smugglers were under immense pressure from the government at that time, so they put us into goods containers to conceal our presence. We reached the city of Sabratha in June 2016 where I hoped I would be able to start a new life.

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