Reports say a Niger national who was expelled from Israel has been stuck at the international airport in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, since November 2018 after his home country refused to take him back.
“I have been staying here at the airport under very bad conditions because there’s nothing, nothing at all,” 24-year-old Eissa Muhamad told the BBC.
Reports say Mr Muhamad’s series of misfortunes began last April when he was arrested for being in Israel illegally.
He had been living in the Middle Eastern state since 2011, having left Niger’s north-western Tilaberi region as a 16-year-old in search of a better life.
He said he paid traffickers to take him across Libya and Egypt before he entered Israel by foot.
Once in Tel Aviv, Mr Muhamad survived by doing odd jobs in hostels and in a sweet factory until April 2018 when he was arrested for being in Israel without proper documents.
After several months in detention, Israel issued him an emergency travel document and put him on an Ethiopian Airlines plane, via Addis Ababa, to Niger in November.
On arrival in Niamey, Niger’s capital, he was refused entry by Niger’s authorities who alleged his travel document was false.
“They didn’t want me in Niger. They didn’t accept me,” Mr Muhamad said.
After more than a week of being detained in Niger he was deported back to Israel. But Israel refused to accept him and detained him again for several weeks.
“They tied my hands and legs and forced me into a plane back to Niger which refused to accept me again,” he said.
Then the travel document issued by Israel expired when he was stuck in transit at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport after Niger refused to accept him for a second time.
That was at the end of November, and he has been stranded there ever since.