For refugees, Libya proves perilous stepping stone to new life in Europe (+video)

March 5, 2015 1:32 AM

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Lampedusa, Italy — For Merhawi Tesfatsion, the shores of Libya represented the stepping stone to a new life in Europe. But the haunted look in the 15-year-old's eyes attest to the horrors he experienced to reach them, traveling without any family from his home in Eritrea, then across the Sahara, and finally north to the Mediterranean.

From his home in Asmara, the Eritrean capital, he crossed into Ethiopia. After a short detention from which he escaped, he entered Sudan. “We went through the desert by truck, but also by walking,” he says.

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