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Relief Official Tackles ‘Tragic Situation’ of Migrants in Libya

Relief Official Tackles ‘Tragic Situation’ of Migrants in Libya

Tuesday, 21 January, 2020 - 08:45
Illegal migrants arrive by boat at a naval base after they were rescued by Libyan coastguard in the coastal city of Tripoli, Libya, May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
Cairo – Jamal Johar

Worsening conditions in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, imposed a tragic reality on illegal migrants locked up in facilities run by the Government of National Accord (GNA).

Most of them face food shortages and poor health services at a time the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned that these refugees have become easy prey for raging battles in the city suburbs.

Head of the International Organization for Cooperation and Emergency Aid (IOCEA) Jamal Mabrook, said there are many shelters in Libya suffering from bad conditions and grave violations, especially those that are located in cities under the control of armed militias.

Migrants detained are still subjected to ill-treatment and harassment and sometimes are forced to fight in ongoing clashes, Mabrook added.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Mabrook noted that he visited a number of shelters in the western Libya city of Sabratha, and that he discovered that migrants there are suffering dire conditions.

In Sabratha, refugee shelters had broken WCs and ragged roofs. Mabrook noted that the facility he visited dates back to the 1930s and was used by mobs to traffic humans.

He added that after the militia was expelled from Sabratha, the building was used to hold migrants by the GNA immigration agency.

According to Mabrook, the IOCEA provided refugees with blankets and medical aid and it is also coordinating with international immigration authorities to assist with the situation.

He noted that there were cases present that need immediate medical care.

The Sabratha facility housed 26 migrants that were recently rescued from the sea. They include eight women and three children that are in desperate need of food assistance and medical care.

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