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Dozens of Eritrean and Nigerian former Islamic State captives freed in Libya

Reuters Libyan authorities released on Wednesday 28 Eritreans and seven Nigerians who were captured and enslaved by Islamic State in Sirte and had been held in detention since the jihadist group lost the city in December. The


Libyan authorities released on Wednesday 28 Eritreans and seven Nigerians who were captured and enslaved by Islamic State in Sirte and had been held in detention since the jihadist group lost the city in December.

The group, all but two of whom are women and children, escaped from Sirte, a former Islamic State stronghold in central Libya, while forces from the nearby city of Misrata battled to oust the militants late last year.

Some of the women were on their way to Europe when Islamic State fighters kidnapped and held them as sex slaves.

After they escaped from Sirte, they were investigated for possible ties to the group and held for several months in a Misrata prison.

Reuters has documented how Islamic State used enslaved refugee women to reward its fighters in Libya. In stories published last year, the women recounted how the group forced them to convert to Islam and sold them as sex slaves.

In November, a Reuters reporter visited some of the captives at a military post in Misrata. Their new captors, the women said then, starved and humiliated them. At least one woman, a 16-year-old, was pregnant and in need of urgent care.

The Libyan attorney-general’s office announced that it had cleared the women of any wrongdoing in mid-February, but their release was delayed for several more weeks, with no explanation.

On Wednesday, they were received by staff from the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) and the Libyan Red Crescent, before being taken to a shelter for medical checks.

“I’m very happy, I can’t describe how I feel, but I am very happy, I can start a new life and see my family again,” one 14-year-old Eritrean girl told Reuters before leaving the prison with the rest of the group on a Red Crescent bus.

A UNHCR official said the entire group had scabies, but otherwise appeared to be in reasonable physical condition.

The agency expects to resettle the Eritreans as refugees.

“We will send them to a safe house where they can be treated if they need medical treatment, and receive assistance from us, and be protected,” said Samer Haddadin, head of the UNHCR’s Libya mission.

“At the same time we will be processing them for refugee status determination … and we are doing this to make sure we can find a resettlement country for those who meet the resettlement criteria.”

The Nigerians, five women and two children, will be able to apply for asylum or be offered repatriation.

Dozens of women and children who escaped from Sirte or were picked up there by Libyan forces are still being held in Misrata. They include Libyans, Tunisians, and nationals from several sub-Saharan African countries. A group of Filipino nurses were freed in February.

Islamic State took control of Sirte in early 2015, turning the coastal city into its most important base outside Syria and Iraq and stationing hundreds of foreign fighters there. It took Misrata-led forces almost seven months to recapture the city.

(Reporting by Ayman al-Sahli in Misrata and Aidan Lewis in Tunis; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Review overview
  • Daniel April 6, 2017

    For the poor and unfortunate women it is like a double humiliation and death to be pregnant by unknown savage brutal moslems. Why do we have to share our beautiful and peaceful earth with these savage moslem beasts from evil hell? Let’s pray that after all their ordeals and sufferings at the hands of the savage beast Arab moslems that they get full justice and safe refuge in the civilized and advanced Western world really soon. God bless you all.

    • k.tewolde April 6, 2017

      Can anyone see what is grossly visible in Daniels comment? if every Eritrean with christian faith shares that kind of view,we are doomed. According the report, the Libyan forces predominantly of moslem faith are the ones who freed the captives not the EDF,and continues to bless the refugees to trek to the civilized western world instead head home to the ‘peaceful christian’ nation.This scrambled view is what is keeping the quest for justice in a rut.

      • almazina April 7, 2017

        It is scrambled view but also an indicator of confusion. He needs zoloft ( a happy pill) may be for his lifetime. So ignore such hopeless individuals. This type of behavour or disease is common among blind supporters and agazis.

      • Daniel April 7, 2017

        K.Tewolde, still the same old diKhala the whore mouth of criminal, barbaric and savage Islamic ELF?? Since you’ve been crippled and chased away (with your diKhala tails behind your hyena legs) by the brave fighters of EPLF and TPLF your hyena hearing and vision has been deteriorating rapidly too.
        Once a diKhala crock, criminal and savage bandit then always the same old diKhala crock, criminal and savage bandit for life.
        How much do you get paid by your criminal barbarian savage Arab pay masters to defend their brutal moslem terrorists? You’ll soon rot in their evil moslem HELL.

  • Teclay April 7, 2017

    ፍረ ጠንባር ገድሊ
    ሕ-ሰብ ኣብ ክልተ ንኽፈሎ ፤ ሀ,, ሓፋሽ … ለ,, ላዕለዋይ ጽፍሒ ወይ (elite ) ።እቲ ካብ 5% ዘይበዝሕ ላዕለዋይ ጽፍሒ ንጥፍኣት ይኹን ንልምዐት ወሳኒ ተራ ይጻወት ።ስለዝኾነ እዞም ከይበሰሉ ዝሓረሩ ፣ካብ ኣፍጭኦም ንንየው ኣርሒቖም ክርእዩ ዘይክሉ ዕዉራት ተማህሮ 60ታት 70ታት መጻኢና ተውሲኑ ፣ እእነናልኩ ኣብዛ ናይ ሕፍረትን ውርደትን ባሕሪ ንሕንብስ።

    • PH April 7, 2017

      ናትካ ቅሓርስ ንበይና ኢያ።

      • Daniel April 7, 2017

        How is your Islamic ELF destructive evil missions then?
        Don’t you have any shame and guilty conscience for your Pan-Arabism crimes and destruction that you caused against our innocent Christian peasants and our nation? What was your reward by your barbarian savage Arab sponsors for being a loyal foot soldier and mercenary? And what the hell is your problem with the brilliant men Mr Teclay and also Tesfazion of Christian Agazi? Just follow your savage Jihadists.

        • PH April 8, 2017

          ተጋዳላይ ኢምበር ዓስከር ጠበቅ ኮይነ ኣይፈልጥን።ጠበቅ ኢንታይ ከም ዝምገብ ትፈልጥ’ዶ? ትፋእ! ባዕለይ ክምልሰልካ።

    • Ghesu April 7, 2017

      Ato Teclay
      Excellent observation and comment from you brother.
      You always seem to make some senses and hammer on the whole truths.
      But with no success to the majority of tsemam hade derfom gedli fanatics and romantizers.
      The most sad part of it all is when the so-called elites preach about the fake “hadinetina” shit.
      You can’t have a fake hadinetina or solidarity imposed on you (on the victim people) by force and by few opportunists. Empty bragging and narrow nationalism has to be destroyed first.

      • almazina April 7, 2017

        We are not gedli romantics please stop ur nonsense. But we will never assume ur agazi identity either. There is no agazi history or country or tribe. It exist in the minds of few confused identity crises stricken individuals like u, iseyas and kisha. We are very proud eritreans. Our identity is our diverse culture, language and religion. Our identity is not defined by shaebia or jebha or weyane agents or individuals with crisis like u.

      • Sol April 8, 2017

        You polluted poor asmarino by your sick racist and sectarian comments by using different names even replying to your own comments like Ghesu, Teclay and Daniel on this forum but as always I will remind you will not succeed to turn assenna a platform of insults for vulgar and sell outs of the mafia regime like you.

    • almazina April 8, 2017

      Emo edilka eseyas zeykones baelka kitwisin dea entay tigebir aleka. Kabta nay hifret bahri wexika zeytikales.

    • almazina April 8, 2017

      No need to cry. The ghedlis are now old frail and are dying fast. In the next five years non of them will survive to influence the future of the country. U will be happy if u are free from agazi syndrome a disease characterized by life time unhappiness and depression.

  • hidat April 7, 2017


    • Daniel April 7, 2017

      Mama Hidatina bella,
      What is the KUNETAT WEYANE then? Unlike your savage brutal PFDJs the Weyane KUNETAT looks very stable, progressive/developing and greatly peaceful.
      Let’s hope and pray that out of frustration, desperation and jealousy of WEYANE KUNETAT “massive achievements and developments” that you don’t hang yourself in higdef’s bushes!!
      The super gentleman/honorable TECLAY is always the same beautiful Teclay whether AB ASSENNA or AB ASMARINO. Just out of curiosity mama Hidatina, are you FATIMA AB AWATE, and HALIMA AB JEBERTI.COM???? Please Hidat, BIAKLITSIBET HATEFTEF AYTEBZIHI!!!!

      • AHMED SALEH !!! April 9, 2017

        You do not speak Eritrean and you don’t walk like
        Eritrean . That is why you are disconnected from
        forum participants . It looks clear that Hidat is HGDF supporter and you are Weyane stooge . No wonder
        you keep change your identity .

  • Yohana April 7, 2017

    I always hear some retard servants chant none-stop that “Eritrea is an Arabic nation …. We are Arabs !”
    Is this how the savage Jihadi Arab Muslims treat poor and innocent Christian Eritrean “Arabic” refugees?
    May God protect us from the abuse, slavery of the savage Arabs.

  • almazina April 7, 2017

    Higdefites are very unhappy that these young eritreans who refused to the slave of their master iseyas are freed from enslavement by isis.

  • AHMED SALEH !!! April 9, 2017

    Pure Eritrean express their share of frustration to our people’s sufferings
    but some some idiots arrogantly entertain on political arguments at the
    expense of the unfortunate brothers and sisters fate .
    Only Evil people speak evil regardless their background because once
    we detach ourselves from moral obligation , we become unhuman worst
    than vicious animal .

  • rishan April 12, 2017

    The Misrata group took custody of the women in December 2015. Reuters interviewed the women in November 2016 and they found 16 years habesha girl pregnant. So who raped and impregnated the young girl please do the sums and ladies please help us count the pregnancy term is it 11 month? Remember the women complained that the misrata group who took them into custody were abusing and humiliating them and no different than the jihadist. They can say they are good muslims but they will never forget how to behave like a muslim that is killing, raping, converting so allah can bless them.This days also simply because you parents are Christians it does not mean you are Christian.90% of kebesa habesha of Christian parents do not believe in Christianity, they became directionless, lost not to be rehabilitated, ready to convert into anything if the price is right this is the product of evil GEDLI (SEWRA) protracted destruction upon our religion and culture Which some people instead of distancing and repenting themselves from it they are cherishing and advertising it. The silent majority is prevailing.

  • almazina April 12, 2017

    U hate gedli so much yet u are so confused that u do not know who ur enemy is. Yemane monkey is jumping from city to city and country to country in europe and u confused souls stub ur girl friends or girls for not letting u sleep with them instead of stubbing ur enemy the monkey. U are just confused souls.