EU support helps UNHCR to reunite Tahani and her daughter after 15 months of dire separation.
Amina* and Tahani regained hope and enjoy safety at the ETM centre, in Rwanda. © UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana
Tahani recalls her heart was filled with fear and anxiety as she boarded a flight to Rwanda, leaving behind her only daughter. Separated in Libya and unsure of her whereabouts, the 36-year-old single mother was forced to make the tough decision to leave her daughter behind.
Throughout the journey, she would occasionally glance at her 17-year-old daughter’s photo.
“I’d look at her photo and think, ‘God, why did I leave in the first place?’ And if we were to die, I should have just stayed there,” said Tahani. The Sudanese mother and her two young sons were among the first group of 66 vulnerable refugees – including 22 children separated from their parents – who were evacuated from Libya.
Despite her fears, Tahani felt a sense of relief as the plane touched down at Kigali International Airport.
With Tahani’s daughter [Amina*] onboard, the humanitarian flight landed with 129 refugees and asylum seekers evacuated from Libya in the night of December 30, 2020.
“I have faced some problems and challenges, I had to adapt because I was alone, I had no one with me,” said Amina.
“In Rwanda, I feel relieved, I feel safe. I no longer carry the burden. All the problems are behind me.”
With thanks to the support from the European Union and EU member states, refugees like Tahani and her family regain hope and safety in Rwanda. © UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana
Tahani recalls her heart was filled with fear and anxiety as she boarded a flight to Rwanda. © UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana
Amina and his brother are living happily in ETM centre in Rwanda./ © UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana
“In Rwanda, I feel relieved, I feel safe. I no longer carry the burden. All the problems are behind me.” Amina* © UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana
The 19-year-old is one of thousands of African refugees and asylum seekers who embark on perilous journeys in search of safety, often to become the captives of brutal human traffickers in Libya.
Many are kept in Libya for months in deplorable circumstances and are subjected to violence and cruelty that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
With thanks to the support from the European Union and EU member states, refugees like Amina and Tahani regain hope and safety at the Emergency Transit Mechanism centre, in Rwanda.
“Rwanda is safe, we live a normal life here,” said Tahani. “But whenever I remembered my daughter, I couldn’t sleep because I worried that something had happened to her.”
Established to provide protection to refugees and asylum seekers currently held in detention centres in Libya, ETM centre has been home to 515 refugees and asylum seekers evacuated from Libya with five flights. As of now, at least 260 people have been resettled to third countries.
* names have been changed for protection reasons.