A child, who was aboard the Aquarius rescue ship, receives flip-flops upon her arrival on August 16, 2017 at the port of Pozzallo in Italy. AFP / Angelos Tzortzinis
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From the increasingly fraught trek through the Sahara to violence in Libya, asylum seekers rescued this week in the Mediterranean say the obstacles to reaching Europe are getting bigger.There are the janjaweed [pro-government militia accused of genocidal killings and atrocities], and the Sudanese government does not let you pass," 27-year old Abdel-Hameed said.He and Ghanim, 20, had to make a several-week detour through Chad, while Jouma, 39, went through Egypt.The traffickers locked the men up with another 300 to 400 migrants.Since early August, Italian navy ships have been active in Libyan waters, helping the local coast guard intercept migrant boats.During the night of Monday-Tuesday, the smugglers came to get the men and drove them to the beach.A privately funded Maltese rescue boat, the Phoenix, saved the 112 people onboard, including seven young children.
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