ON BOARD OCEAN VIKING (AFP)
On the white T-shirt distributed by MSF, he traced in the felt "SOS Think You, Ocian Viakin". Raised aboard the Ocean Viking of SOS-Mediterranean, Djibril expresses his gratitude: after four failed attempts to flee Libya, the 5th was the good one.
The 24-year-old Chadian was rescued Friday with 84 companions from misfortune off the Libyan waters, the first rescue operated from this humanitarian ship. They drifted aboard their gray canoes under a blazing sun, the men taking turns to ventilate the babies on the deflated logs.
Since then, the Ocean Viking has rescued more than 350 uprooted.
"I came to work, hoping to go to Europe, it took me five years to get out of it." While enjoying his tea on the bridge, Djibril tells the many vicissitudes that he lived.
Elder of a family without parents, Djibril worked for a year in a garage on the Chadian border. In summer 2016, with the money saved, he arrives in Tripoli and contacts the smuggler who allowed his brother to win Malta, discovering the sea for the first time.
- Deflated boat -
On July 27, 2016, they are 116 to embark on a 12-meter canoe. At 4:00 in the morning, the wooden bottom breaks, the boat deflates, the water starts to come in ... "We paid for lifejackets but we never saw them ...".
The rear collapses, thirty people fall into the water. "Nobody knew how to swim".
The smuggler left a phone and emergency numbers. When the Libyan coastguard arrives, all rush to the ship's ladder ... "At least 50 people wanted to climb at the same time The ladder broke ... At the finish, we were no longer than 53 ".
Fueled by fuel, Djibril is taken to the hospital, where the soldiers pick him up. "We were four with my friends, they kept us a week working for them, and we ran away."
The next nine months, he is every day in Tripoli.
In March 2017, he found a new smuggler for 2,000 dinars (200,000 FCFA, about 320 euros): 86 people board the rubber boat. Less than five hours later, the Libyan coastguards, charged by Europe to block the road to the illegal immigrants, intercept them.
Head to the Tajoura detention center on the outskirts of Tripoli - he says "prison" - known for his ill-treatment. "I am discouraged".
A soldier takes him out of Tajoura to use him for free. Again, Djibril flees, is arrested, runs away ... "I contact the same smuggler, who promises me that I will pay only half of the passage, 1,000 dinars 300 people are waiting for departure + campo +", a wood two hours walk from the beach where smugglers hide their customers. We are in October 2017, we must do quickly before the winter.
- Police raid -
It is a police raid on the "campo" that makes his departure leave. The smuggler fled to Tunisia. Djibril and his comrades, Chadians and Sudanese, rent together a room in town.
"In March 2018, I remember the smuggler who promises me a free passage if I bring him ten customers". He embarks in April with 90 people. "A Sudanese volunteered as a pilot, so he did not pay anything".
Quickly, the man demonstrates his incompetence. "Five hours to go around in circles, we decided to go back and on the beach, the coast guards were waiting for us". Back in prison.
"We were so shocked (...) the guards, their leaders (...) we suffered too much," finally released Djibril who has this aspect of his Libyan stay until then.
He tries to escape, three of his comrades are killed by the shots of the guards, a fourth wounded. Here he is transferred to Zaouia, out of the Libyan capital, guarded by armed men who ask him 200,000 dinars to go out. Djibril solicits his family who pays.
From October 2018 to April 2019, he worked in a career, thinking of returning home. The war catches Tripoli. His first smuggler calls him: "What are you dead?", He exclaims.
"He offered me a pass for 2,500 dinars, I joined him at + campo + Tuesday night, I did not expect it, he told me: go, you embark! The least prepared trip that has brought me here! "
© 2019 AFP