“I left because I wanted to change my life and my family’s – as the first born, they all rely on me. I used to work as a mechanic,but I couldn’t survive on my salary alone. My dream was to open a garage shop one day, but in Liberia, if you don’t spend money, you can’t make money. I gave the 800 dollars I had saved up to a guy I knew and he organized my trip. He put me and some other people in a car at midnight and drove off.
Liberia fought a lot of wars so I knew what the situation in Libya was like. I never wanted to step foot in that country. I was aiming for Algeria, but I didn’t know the road. Somewhere in the middle of the desert, I understood that we were actually in Libya. I knew what happens there so I knew my life was in danger. Libya is not easy right now - they kidnap and kill people every day. They have guns and knives so there is nothing you can do. If your life is important to you, their wish is your command. They were all armed and dangerous so I jumped out of the car as it was speeding.
They kidnapped me and other people I was with, put us in jail and asked us for 300 dollars each. They executed most of the people I had arrived with. When I called my dad to ask for money, he was so happy to hear my voice. He just asked me to stay alive and thankfully, sent me the money so they released me. He told me my mom was sick so I didn’t want to stay in Libya a minute longer. I have lost a lot of things and people in my life so I needed to make sure she stayed alive.
It’s hard to talk about what happened to me in Libya, but the truth will set me free. It was above my limit. I could easily lose my mind if I think about it too much. Every time someone used to ask me about Libya, I refused to talk about it, but then I realized it may not be important to me, but it is important for others to hear it. If I ever see someone that wants to go that way, I feel like it’s my duty to inform them about what happens there.
The most painful thing is that it’s our own African brothers that betray us. I trusted my friend with my life and my money thinking I was going to go to Algeria. However, I take responsibility for everything I experienced - it was my decision to leave. That being said, I will never travel to another Arab country in my life. Some people take this road so many times and experience all sorts of things on the way. Life is too precious for that. I have nothing now but faith God will turn my life around. I will not dwell on the past.”
Copyright © 2017.International Organization for Migration Niger.