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“I came to find a better future in Europe”- says ‘back way’ migrant
Home » News  »  “I came to find a better future in Europe”- says ‘back way’ migrant
“I came to find a better future in Europe”- says ‘back way’ migrant

Omar, a Gambian migrant, has said that he left the country to find a better future in Europe. He was among eleven migrants that spoke to the London-based Guardian Newspaper about their terrifying journey across the Mediterranean.

The 30-year-old disclosed: “I come from a very extended family. My father is not alive, there are 17 of us, and they all rely on me. I’m a mobile technician – I repair phones. Out of the little money I was earning, three-quarters went to the family. It was not enough to satisfy me, let alone them. I heard you could make a lot of money in Libya. All my friends in the Gambia left to go there.”

According to Omar, his brother who later joined him in Libya was killed in a work-related incident. There was no hospital to take him to.

He explained that Libya is a dangerous country for migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa. They sometimes kidnap them demanding heavy ransoms ranging from D84, 000 to D140, 000.

Omar said: “They kidnap you in the street, but it’s better to be taken by the bandits than the police; at least the kidnappers want to keep you alive to get the money from your family.”

He revealed that he was once put in prison, and given very little food.

“My family didn’t have any money to pay. Once I was out, I started working, but didn’t get paid. Then I was offered a chance to come to Italy.”

The former mobile technician is among hundreds of young Gambians who are currently languishing in Italian refugee camps. He is hoping to be offered a residential permit to legally stay in Italy.

Portrait by Gideon Mendel


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