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Nigerians return home with a warning to others: do not go to Libya

But yours is not a common love story.

Love has flourished in the most unusual but edifying 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 unable to pay a ransom to his kidnappers, Stevens intervened to pay the money and bought his freedom.

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

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

"I got pregnant in March of this year, and I gave birth to my baby in August, I stopped my baby in prison with tears, even though I was pregnant, they were still hitting me and mistreating me, but I give God Praise because I'm still alive and I have my baby and my husband now. "

Protest for the sales of people

His story is a ray of hope in the middle of the horror stories told by the Nigerian newcomers from Libya. [19659002] 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 repatriation has increased after a public outcry since CNN's exclusive investigation revealed that immigrants were being sold in slave auctions, a government adviser said.

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

"There are African migrants stranded in detention centers outside of Tripoli because those prisons are occupied by rebels, we can not get in. It is important that the African Union and the European Union give them instructions to open all detention centers so that all Africans can return to their homes, "she added.

The Libyan government backed by the United Nations, or GNA, said it is interested in addressing violations against illegal immigrants but urged regional and global partners to provide assistance.

Libyan officials also denounced the slave auctions exposed by CNN, but claim more support from the world community to address the problem.

Refugees return home

On Tuesday night, the last batch of 143 arrivals, mostly from the Edo state of Nigeria, stepped on the runway of the airport's cargo terminal Lagos, tired and tired, not knowing what the future will bring in the country they were so desperate to flee.

Even so, regardless of the uncertainty they face, their relief at being back in their homeland was palpable.

There were shouts of joy, prayers of gratitude and joy when they left the plane.

Several of the newcomers were women with very young babies. One of them, Abeuwa Igwe, had her 10-month-old daughter Favor tied tightly behind her back.

  Abeuwa Igwe with her baby in the back. In prison for 10 months, Igwe had little access to adequate food or care for her baby.

She told CNN that she left Nigeria in June of last year to travel to Italy after one of her neighbors in the state of Edo promised her her job as a domestic worker.

Abeuwa said that she was willing to make the dangerous boat trip even though she was aware that many had died during the crossing.

"I was afraid, but I decided to pray to God to help me cross the river, many people die, but many survive," he said.

However, her plans to reach Europe did not happen as she was trapped in Libya.

Her situation became more complicated when she discovered that she was pregnant.

  The UN urges Libya to take & # 39; urgent measures & # 39; on human slavery

"I did not know I was pregnant before going to Libya, I found out at five months," he said.

"They forced me to give birth in the back of a condemned vehicle, there is no hospital, nothing, it was God who helped me."

"He was completely alone. I had nothing, nothing, "he said, recalling the birth of his son.

" I spent a year and four months in Libya. All my time there was horror and terrible. I had many beatings, "he said, stopping at times to sigh deeply before regaining his composure.

" People die every day, without food, without water, "he said." I was in jail for 10 months with my baby. . It was a horror We only ate two slices of bread in the morning with a little chai (local tea).

"It's hard for babies to get clothes or food." They were not nice to babies.

"The worst I saw was a pregnant woman who was beaten and raped."

the other newcomers, Abeuwa sounds a warning note for other Nigerians who plan a similar trip.

"In my life, I would never go to Libya. I advise Nigerians not to travel to Libya. "

& # 39; If you go there, you are ready to die & # 39;

Osunde Benjamin is also from the state of Edo. of seeking a job without success for several years after his graduation in 2002, Benjamin made the decision to travel to Europe via Libya in June last year.

  Osunde Benjamin, who was also trying to flee to Europe via Libya.

"My intention was to cross into Europe," he says. "There are different connecting men there, some of them are from Nigeria, Ghana, they are working with the Libyans. . They took us to Zawiya. We spent some time there waiting for us to push them (boats to go to Italy) "

During the wait, the police raided them and took them to a prison outside of Tripoli, where he spent two months before being transferred to another camp in Mistrata, where he would spend another eight months, said Osunde.

  How one of the richest men in Africa tries to stop the migration crisis

"The conditions are terrible and miserable" They throw you food, you're like dogs, sometimes even there is no food, some people died by my side

"Libya is a terrible place. They kill people anyway. They sell people anyway. I saw people killed. They cut their heads

"I will never go back to Libya, if you go there, you are ready to die."

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