Nigerians return home with a warning to others: Don't go to Libya

Nigerians return home with a warning to others: Don't go to Libya. Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)They seemed like any other young couple in love, proudly sho...

Nigerians return home with a warning to others: Don't go to Libya
A mother and child return home to Lagos along with 150 other migrants from Libya, on December 5, 2017.

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)They seemed like any other young couple in love, proudly showing off their baby.But theirs is no ordinary love story.


Love has blossomed in the most unusual but uplifting circumstances for Nigerian migrants Mabel Emmanuel, 27, and Henry Stevens, 28, who met after she was kidnapped in Libya during an attempt to enter Europe.


Emmanuel was unable to pay a ransom to her kidnappers, so Stevens stepped in to pay the money and bought her freedom.


They became inseparable and now have a three-month-old son called David.

"They kidnapped me in a place called Sabha, that's when I met my husband. He bailed me out, it was last year and we fell in love," Emmanuel said.

"I found out I was pregnant in March this year and I gave birth to my baby in August. I gave birth to my baby in prison, with tears. Even though I was pregnant, they were still beating and maltreating me. But I give God the praise that I'm still alive today and I have my baby and my husband now."

Outcry over people sales

Their story is a rare silver lining amid the tales of horror recounted by newly-returned Nigerian migrants from Libya.

Nigeria says it has been working with the International Organization for Migration to bring its citizens home since January of this year.

But the pace of the repatriation has picked up following a public outcry since CNN's exclusive investigation revealed that migrants were being sold in slave auctions, an aide to the government said.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a senior special assistant to the Nigerian president, said: "With the outcry, they are going at a faster pace. As the week goes by, the number of planes will increase."

"There are stranded African migrants in detention centers outside Tripoli because those prisons are manned by rebels, we can't get there. It's important that the African Union and European Union instructs them to open up all detention centers so every African there can come back home," she added.

The United Nations-backed Libyan Government of National Accord, or GNA, said it's keen to address violations against illegal immigrants but called upon regional and global partners to provide assistance.

Libyan officials have also denounced the migrant slave auctions exposed by CNN, but claim more support is required from the global community to tackle the issue.

Source : CNN.com

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