Harrowing tales of migrants desperate to reach Europe from Libya

  • Video report by ITV News International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar, with interviews by Jana Andert

"We almost died," recounts one Nigeria-born woman, trapped in a Libyan migrant camp after a failed attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.

The north African nation is effectively a failed state, the product of a brutal civil war between rival factions - with so-called Islamic State taking a role in the conflict.

But it's also a stopping point for people hoping for a better life in prosperous Europe.

Thousands of people call the camp home.

The conditions at the Al Nasr camp, in southern Tripoli, have been condemned - as have the Libyan forces in charge of it.

In video seen by ITV News, a guard can be seen in a violent altercation with one of the people living at a separate camp, Abu Salim.

He leaves the room, only to return armed with a weapon - and proceeds to make threatening gestures at the migrant.

Video seen by ITV News shows migrants being threatened with violence. Credit: ITV News

The threat posed by guards is not the only issue for those living here - so-called Islamic State pick migrants as easy targets to fight in front line conflict.

Speaking to ITV News, one man who calls the camp home said: "If the war is starting, they will come and use you.

"If you left, they would kill you.

"This is not a safe place."

Another migrant told ITV News he had not heard from his family in two years. Credit: ITV News

Another migrant, told ITV News he has not heard of the fate of his wife and children since leaving Eritrea more than two years ago.

He said: "We are survivors, we are the victims of war. We are also used as political pawns. The world will not be silent. We have to be evacuated for Europe or for the other countries, for safe countries."

But as the migrants look toward the continent, it in turn looks away. Europe is becoming increasingly divided over how to deal with migrants - and for many in these camps a resolution cannot come soon enough.