Young African Migrants Caught in Trafficking Machine

ZAWIYAH, Libya — The no-money-down offer was too tempting for the children to resist. Smugglers had offered the boys and girls transportation out of the refugee camps along the Eritrean border, across the African deserts and

ZAWIYAH, Libya — The no-money-down offer was too tempting for the children to resist.
Smugglers had offered the boys and girls transportation out of the refugee camps along the Eritrean border, across the African deserts and the Mediterranean Sea, to a new life in Europe. There, they could quickly win asylum and bring along their parents, the smugglers assured them. Payment could come later.
By the time the smugglers had conveyed the boys and girls to Libya, however, the offer had become an ultimatum. The children, some as young as 8, called their parents to relay a demand from the smugglers for more than $3,200. For parents, failure to send the money meant abandoning their sons and daughters to the chaos of Libya.
Zackarias Hilo, 19, the oldest of about 40 Eritrean boys held by the authorities here at the time of a recent visit, said his father had initially exclaimed that he was too poor to pay. “Then I am dead!” Zackarias replied.

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8 COMMENTS
  • Kiflom May 6, 2015

    Most Eritreans don’t believe that Eritrea has become a failed state like Somalia given that the Isaias regime, whatever its faults, has at least managed to keep the nation geographically intact. The tendency of many Eritreans to equate Eritrea only with the land underpins this assumption.

    Since the border war the regime has refused to terminate, or even to curtail, its massive mobilization; it realizes that, without it, it would lose its totalitarian grip over the population. But at the same time the continuous mass exodus of the youth has denied it the stability it needs for its mobilization to succeed.

  • AHMED SALEH !!! May 6, 2015

    Let’s be frank to ourselves to recognize the source of these issues
    where and how it went on sophisticated illegal enterprise .
    Imagine their “no money down ” offer for underage children in refugee camps means and who are the smugglers raise eye brow .
    It started long time ago at Eritrea -Sudan border to advance into
    organized criminal activity which consist of Eritreans , Ethiopians and Sudanese nationals in our region . They discover the selfish
    advantage to exploit on fragile and disorderly society which is
    the saddest true of our present reality .

  • Anti-Higdef May 6, 2015

    “Since the border war the regime has refused to terminate, or even to curtail, its massive mobilization; it realizes that, without it, it would lose its totalitarian grip over the population. But at the same time the continuous mass exodus of the youth has denied it the stability it needs for its mobilization to succeed.”

    Kiflom

    The Eritrean regime first creates enemies out of the blue, for no apparent reason, and then insists on military solutions to problems that can be solved easily through diplomacy. Excessive militarization is Higdef’s way of keeping the country of continuous war footing. They cannot live without political crisis and social tensions that follow them, they love it. They have problem with normality, they fear it, because they know well that under normal circumstances they would face justice for crimes committed against humanity.

    • AHMED SALEH !!! May 7, 2015

      For some people an excuse is easier than face difficulties for
      achievement . Sadly to say WEYANE became an excuse as
      an obstacle to hold the primary interest of our people .

  • lemlem May 7, 2015

    It is crystal clear that the regime using a systematic eradication of Eritrean youth.Now children as young as 14 fleeing the country.But one thing that concerned me. It is okay to see these kids in Sudan or Ethiopia.However,there should be some one financing them to reach Libya.One couldn’t reach there unless prepaid the trip to the smugglers.Therefore the regime in Asmara isn’t the only one exacerbating the situation, Parents relatives who financing the death or life adventure are also to be blamed. After all it’s shame to encourage young innocent kids to suffer in desert.

  • Masawa May 7, 2015

    what a sad and shameful spectacle has the Ghedli story become, read this the NY Times quote again:

    ” … The children, some as young as 8, called their parents to relay a demand from the smugglers for more than $3,200. For parents, failure to send the money meant abandoning their sons and daughters to the chaos of Libya.

    … Zackarias Hilo, 19, the oldest of about 40 Eritrean boys held by the authorities here at the time of a recent visit, said his father had initially exclaimed that he was too poor to pay. “Then I am dead!” Zackarias replied.”

    Is this the end of Ghedli story? We hope so.

  • Teclay May 7, 2015

    It is very difficult to comment on this shame news.

    A failed state with all parameters:

    ዐለም ብዓለማ ገሪምዋ፣
    ንዒቓትና ዓኽ ጡፍ ኢላትልና፣

    እንተ ንሕና ዓርቢ ስቕለት የብሉ ጾም ኣርብዓ፣
    ኩሉ ኣካላትና ብጓይላ ሰኺርና፣

    ነዛ ይቕሬታ ምሕታት እኳ ትብዓት ተሳኢና፣
    እዚ ዲክታቶር ክንብል ሓጊና ከሪምና፣

    As you see them in the photo,these poor,very poor kids are not mature enough to be sent to the corner shop, let alone to the Libyan desert.But unfortunately after this absurd Ghedli,the word shame or ነውሪ doesn’t exist in our society.
    Those stupid so called liberators (colonizers ) are busy sending their fathers and grand fathers to training camps,the poor infants to any direction and any country in the world only not to stay inside the,50 years old, self created hell.

    እቲ ከም ብሂል ጥራይ እንፈልጦ ዝነበርና ምጾታት እዩ ብኹሉ መለኪዕኡ ።

  • rezen May 7, 2015

    “Young African Migrants Caught in Trafficking Machine By assenna on May 6, 2015”

    So, Eritrea is accelerating to its demise! By the time Issayas had enough of revenge on Eritrea and heading toward his old-age tranquil Life in some exotic place(thanks to Swiss Bank), the name of “Eritrea” would be relegated to the library of archaic history. And the old “Eritrean” people, fragmented into pieces will have modern names wherever they may be, but with their undying nostalgia of the good old sweet bellisima Asmarina [meaning Eritrea] — always with the immortal words of a Taxi Driver(*) “Ah! the old time was good”. For this, over three-hundred-thousand (300,000) Eritreans sacrificed their Life in the course of thirty-year war. That was not enough for Issayas. A war against the neighbouring country Ethiopia had to be waged, just to be sure that Eritrea would NEVER rise to a meaningful right-up position. Whether we like it or not, he succeeded. He has his revenge. After all, (let us at least be honourable people) everything was done with our eyes and ears wide open and believing in Issayas Afewerki Abraha like earthly God! We got what we wished for!!!

    (*) It was a sentiment expressed by a Taxi Driver to a well known British/Italian journalist visiting Asmara.

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