Three Kenyan women who were lured to Libya by the Islamic State two years ago have returned to the country after they were arrested in Egypt.
Firthoza Ali Ahmed, 29, Ms Aisha Mafudh Ashur, 24, and Ms Tawfiqa Dahir Adan, 24, were arrested by Egyptian authorities in Cairo on August 24.
According to a security report, they were arrested on grounds of being in Egypt illegally and without travel documents.
“They were also asking for directions to the Kenyan embassy,” the reports reads.
The women were detained for two days before they were surrendered to the Kenyan embassy.
The three told investigators that they had escaped from Libya where an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) operative had held them captive.
Before they left Kenya, a woman identified as Ms Umm Mariam and whom they only knew through chats on social media, had promised to help them secure passports and facilitate their journey to Europe, where they would get good-paying jobs.
“They left Kenya separately by bus through Busia, then Kampala, Uganda, and finally Juba, in South Sudan,” the report seen by Daily Nation indicates.
In Juba, they were under instructions to call a Mr Suleiman, who picked them up from a bus stop and hosted them for a week.
“They found other people who were on the same mission. Suleiman confiscated their travel documents, laptops, phones and other electronic devices. He ordered them not to try to communicate with anyone back at home,” says the report.
“Later, they were flown to Awail in South Sudan, where they were put in a house with 30 Somalis awaiting to be trafficked to Libya.
They spent two weeks in Awail, after which they were smuggled through bumpy roads in remote areas and hidden in different houses until they reached Sudan.”
In Sudan, another man identified as Asad, hosted them for a month before they were bundled into a pick-up truck and smuggled through dusty desert routes.
In the desert, the Magafe network, a smuggling syndicate that works closely with Isis, took over.
In Libya, the women said the Magafe operatives handed them over to two men, Umm Hajiri and Abu Hajir, who are linked to terror operations in Isis strongholds.
“They were ordered into a lorry and driven to a makeshift camp where they put up for several months. Here, the women and other young men were subjected to extreme inhuman conditions. The girls were repeatedly raped and beaten. Sometimes they would stay for days without food and water.”
The three were designated housemaids for two months at the homes of the two men. According to the report, they were helped to escape by a neighbour who learnt about their ordeal.
The report consists of debriefings conducted on the women by Kenyan state agencies.
The three have been put under a government programme designed to rehabilitate terror suspects who have surrendered.
In January 2017, they ended up in Benghazi, where they worked at an apartment for Sh10,000 per month. They had paid Sh40,000 to the Taharib network, which smuggled them into Egypt.