For more than a year, Aminata Ly saw a drama. Her two daughters were abducted by their father who lives in the USA. Its tragedy, its shattering history, she tells it all in an Open Letter sent to Africa Connection and delivered by XSanslimitesn.com
HERE IS THE OPEN LETTER OF AMINATA LY
“Hello, my name is Aminata Ly.
The father of my children and I married in the USA in 2002. We had two daughters: the eldest in 2004 and the second in 2005. Our marriage was sick of my ex-husband’s permanent infidelities, torture Morality, of suffering.
In 2007, I decided to leave it (it was already the 4th time) as well as everything we had built together and to go back to Africa, with the children of course.
Supposedly he had changed, he came back to me, begged for forgiveness and we recovered together in 2008. But of course it only lasted a few months and finally our separation was sealed in great violence . He left home in early 2009 and I asked for the divorce.
Our divorce was pronounced in 2012. The terms give me exclusive custody of the children until their majority. Decision confirmed on 7 April by the Court of Appeal of Abidjan.
The guardianship court also granted me paternal power. The father has a broad right to visit and is asked to pay me 100,000 CFA francs a month as housing assistance (which he hardly does when he likes it and always with blackmail). In short, he lives in the United States and we in Abidjan. He gives news when he wants, comes from time to time ….
I never stopped my ex-husband from seeing the children, NEVER. But he spends his time proclaiming it loud and clear.
I never stopped my ex-husband from seeing the children, NEVER. But he spends his time proclaiming it loud and clear. He forgets that he saw them and / or took them home for several days, whenever he wanted … December 2012 (his first return to Abidjan since 2009), December 2013, February 2014, their birthdays In 2014 (at home), February 2016, etc … ..
The only time he could not see them was because he found that they had already gone on vacation, and that was because he did not communicate …. It would cost him what to send just a mail to say, this year I come to get the girls.
In July 2016, he arrived in Abidjan with the intention of coming for the girls to take them on holiday to his home. The only way he has communicated with me for several years is through a bailiff. So he sent his usher on a Friday night to inform me that he was in Abidjan and that he would pick up the girls the next morning.
I used to schedule the girls’ holidays well in advance and having no news of him, I had already organized their trip and they were in Cotonou at my grand-sister’s.
It must be said that they are on holiday since early June for one and mid-June for the other. That’s what I said to the bailiff.
The commissioner who receives me makes me understand that I must give him the children and that I will incur a sentence of 3 years in prison if I do not submit to this requirement. In spite of myself defending myself from slanderous lies, denouncing false accusations and shameful schemes, nothing was done, the commissary heard nothing.
On July 15, 2016, my ex-husband summoned me to the criminal police, sub-directorate of the fight against child trafficking and juvenile delinquency, after lodging a complaint with the office of the public prosecutor.
I replied to the summons and there, it was amazement: I learned that he accused me of preventing him from enjoying his right as a father and especially, having sent my daughters to Mauritania to have them excised … .
A shameful lie since excision does not exist in my family and he knows it better than anyone since I was his wife … ..
The commissioner who receives us makes me understand that I have to give him the children and that I incur a sentence of 3 years in prison if I do not submit to this requirement.
In spite of myself defending myself from slanderous lies, denouncing false accusations and shameful schemes, nothing was done, the commissary heard nothing.
I especially yelled my fear that he would not bring the children back if he took them, I told the commissioner in front of my ex-husband … “If he takes them, he will not bring them back.” The same commissioner orders me to calm down and assure me that he will not dare. He said, and I quote: “We are still in a country of right! “.
Having no choice, I sign him the parental authorizations so that he can travel with the girls. I bring them back from their holidays in Cotonou. I give him the children’s American passports. He is supposed to bring them back on August 24, 2016. Meanwhile, before the commissioner, he gave us a false address in the United States; But we will not know until after …
Unfortunately, we knew afterwards that the prosecutor had asked for an in-depth investigation but that the commissioner botched this work, neither report nor PV … Nothing.
So he leaves with the children in early August. The journey begins with Paris, then New York, then Atlanta …. I am happy for my daughters but the ball in the belly does not leave me.
A week before their scheduled return, he enrolled them in an English institute …. Supposedly to see how they are doing. Meanwhile, the girls, a little lost, still give me some clues …. ” Mom we are not in Chattanooga (address that the father had given me), we are in Atlanta. Our school is called “Cobb “.
The doubts do not leave me, a mother feels this kind of things; But I persuade myself that he will not dare, even if not …
Unfortunately, on 20 August 2016, he calls me to tell me that my daughters will not come back ….
His arguments: ” children do not speak English “, ” children have no level “.
I want to say that my daughters have always been enrolled in the best private schools in Cote d’Ivoire. They are studious and applied pupils. At the end of her 6th year, the eldest was one of the best students of her class with the Congratulations of all her teachers and at the end of her CM2, the second had the Tableau d’Honneur.
I went to the US Embassy. They put me in touch with the US Department of State but unfortunately they very cordially explain to me that they can not do anything because Côte d’Ivoire is not a signatory to the Hague agreements.
They have nevertheless put me in contact with the NGO “National Center for Missing and Abducted Children” in the USA, with whom I am still in contact. But at this level, there is no major change.
They explain to me that I have to enforce my right of custody (exequatur procedure) with a judge in the USA, in the state in which the children are …. But I asked for the visa, which was refused me.
HE CUT THEM OFF FROM EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE (…) TODAY THEY ARE COMPLETELY ISOLATED
I also filed a complaint with the public prosecutor for kidnapping but nothing has changed at this level either.
I am completely destitute …. I do not know what to do.
It’s been nearly a year since my daughters are detained in the United States and their father has absolutely no intention of bringing them back. The lies continue. He lies to his children, he lies to the authorities, he lies to everybody. I know for sure that he has absolutely no intention of bringing the children back.
At the latest news, they are still in Atlanta Georgia …. I speak to them when he decides, barely once in passing, barely 5 minutes … ..
When they had their phones, they spoke at least twice a day morning and evening. But he took their phones away from them, supposedly I’m raising their heads.
He cut them off from everything and everyone. The girls have always been very much surrounded, my family, hers, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, friends … .. Today they are completely isolated … ..
These are my daughters, they are GIRLS … They are 12 and 13 years old. “