Undercover Journey from Nigeria to Libya as a Migrant

27 Feb 2018

A smuggler’s chilling warning – CNN, 2018/02/27

Edo State is Nigeria’s trafficking hub and one of Africa’s largest departure points. Each year, tens of thousands of migrants are illegally smuggled from here. They’re refugees fleeing conflict or economic migrants in search of better opportunities in Europe, most having sold everything they own to finance the journey.
But as CNN revealed in an exclusive report last year, they often never get beyond Libya.

When they arrive, they’re told by smugglers they will need to pay thousands of dollars more to continue their journey across the Mediterranean.
When the migrants fail to pay, they are held in grim living conditions, deprived of food, abused by their captors, and sold as laborers in slave auctions.
Footage obtained of a slave auction in Libya — in which young men were sold by smugglers for as little as $400 each — caused international outrage.

Three months later we wanted to see whether that outrage had translated into action. CNN producer Leposo and I went undercover as two wealthy women paying for the “VIP” travel package from Nigeria to Europe, which includes a smuggler who will meet us in the northern city of Kano and escort us across the border into Libya.

Read the rest to find out the outcome. According to a report, half of the 122 interviewed women and children had been sexually abused.


Over a Foot of Snow Falls in the Desert

9 Jan 2018

Sahara Desert covered in 15 inches of SNOW as freak weather blankets sand dunes – UK Daily Express, 2018/01/09

More than 15 inches (40cm) has blanketed sand dunes across the small town of Ain Sefra, Algeria.

It is the second time snow has hit in nearly 40 years, with a dusting also recorded in December 2016.

Over a foot of snow in the desert… wow. Pictures at the link.

Libya Rescues, Detains 300 Heading For Europe

1 Nov 2017

2017/11/01 – Libya coastguard rescues nearly 300 people at sea trying to reach Europe – The New Arab

Libya’s coastguard rescued nearly 300 people including dozens of women and children from unseaworthy boats as they tried to reach Europe, a navy official said on Wednesday.

They were of different African nationalities and were plucked from two rubber dinghies without engines and brought back to the Tripoli naval base, he said.

Since the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, chaos-hit Libya has become a key point of departure for people heading to Europe.

Last month forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed unity government ousted a militia controlling the trafficking from the western city of Sabratha.

This is how many refugees have been getting to Europe. One of the things Gaddafi did while in power was patrol these waters and hinder the refugee traffic.  But since Qadafi was ousted, those who were in control were facilitating refugees heading to Europe.

Italy now has an agreement with Italy to block refugee traffic. Their refugee numbers have declined. Spain’s intake has tripled according to the article.

Egypt Attacks Libyan Site in Retaliation to Bus Attack

27 May 2017

2017/05/27 – Egypt’s army says intensive air strikes carried out on terrorist elements in Libya after attack on Egyptian Copts – Ahram Online

Egypt’s armed forces carried out intensive air strikes by night and day targeting terrorist elements in Libya following a Friday attack in Egypt’s Minya that left 29 Coptic Christians dead, an army spokesman statement read.

The army statement said it carried the attack upon the directions of the president and after “coordination and full examination of the information.”

Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 92 million.

Coptic Christians Attacked in Egypt – Dozens Dead

26 May 2017

2017/05/26 – Dozens dead as gunmen attack bus of Coptic Christians in Egypt – The Telegraph

At least 28 people, including many children, were massacred in Egypt on Friday when gunmen ambushed groups of Egyptian Christians traveling along a desert road towards a remote monastery.

The masked gunmen sprayed bullets into a minibus carrying children from a church group, killing at least six of them, according to Egyptian media. Christian activists said the attackers also boarded a bus and killed the men before robbing the women of their jewelry and phones and leaving Islamist leaflets among the bodies.

Somali Plane Bomb – Airpor Workers Aided in Plot

8 Feb 2016

Video Seems To Show Somali Airport Workers Had Role In Plane Bombing

After an airplane passenger set off a bomb last week, the pilot managed to land the plane safely in Mogadishu, Somalia. Now CCTV footage released by the Somali government indicates airport workers may have been in on the attack.

The camera footage released by Somali officials shows two airport workers handing a leather suitcase to a passenger after he went through security at the international airport in Mogadishu.

Previous post: Explosion Sucks Man Out Of Plane in Mid-Air… Plane Lands Safely

Explosion Sucks Man Out Of Plane in Mid-Air… Plane Lands Safely

3 Feb 2016

Burning man ‘sucked out of plane’ over Mogadishu after explosion on board

A burning man was reportedly sucked out of a hole in a plane apparently caused by a bomb, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing in Mogadishu on Tuesday.

An explosion and fire blew a gaping hole in the commercial airliner, with the pilot later saying he thought it was a bomb.

An aviation expert who looked at photographs of the hole in the fuselage said the damage was consistent with an explosive device.

Somali aviation official, Ali Mohamoud, said only two people were slightly injured as 74 passengers and crew of the plane were evacuated after the plane made a safe landing. Local radio reported the plane was on fire when it landed.

Awale Kullane, Somalia’s deputy ambassador to the UN who was on board the flight, said on Facebook that he “heard a loud noise and couldn’t see anything but smoke for a few seconds.” When visibility returned they realised “quite a chunk” of the plane was missing, he wrote.

Those people should be thanking God that they survived that. I don’t ever recall a bomb NOT taking down an entire plane. It seems like the bomb only killed the perpetrator. We will see what the investigation brings forth, but it looks like the ideal ending.