African lives hang in the balance in Libya


Libya detention centres

from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) MORE than 2 000 African asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Libya are in dire need of shelter, food and medical treatment.

They have been camping in precarious conditions in front of a shuttered United Nations (UN) facility since early October.

This after armed groups linked to the Interior Ministry conducted widespread raids and makeshift shelter demolitions in Tripoli’s Hai al-Andalous municipality.

They were purportedly targeting criminal networks but the operation left thousands homeless.

One person was killed and at least 15 others wounded.

The groups arrested at least 5 000 people, including women and children and UNHCR-registered asylum seekers and refugees before transferring them to migrant detention centres.

The 2 000 in need of shelter, food and medical treatment are gathered around the Community Day Centre (CDC).

The UN refugee agency previously provided medical assistance and other services.

“By demolishing migrants’ and asylum seekers’ makeshift shelters, Libyan authorities manufactured a humanitarian crisis, leaving thousands of people fending for themselves in the streets,” said Hanan Salah, Libya director at Human Rights Watch.

The organisation has appealed to Libya and European states to respond urgently to the rapidly deteriorating situation.

Libya is the gateway to Europe for Africans seeking greener pastures but scores remain in detention following failed overseas moves.

There are about 10 000 men, women and children trapped in grim conditions in official detention facilities in the North African country.

Humanitarian evacuations have been suspended since August.

– CAJ News

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