Migrants continue to be vulnerable in Libyan conflict - IOM.
said on Tuesday that migrants continue to be vulnerable in Libyan conflict.
The ongoing conflict and political stalemate in Libya has left migrants in
a situation of continued vulnerability, with large groups stranded across the
"During an assessment of the humanitarian needs in various parts of Libya,
IOM staff reported on the plight of a large community of mostly African and
Filipino migrant workers sheltering in two sites in the capital, Tripoli,"
said IOM Spokeswoman Jemini Pandya in a press briefing.
IOM staff said "some of the migrants have been without jobs since the
beginning of the crisis as their employers had left the country. Feeling they
have nothing to return to, they stay on in Libya in the vain hope that they
may receive back pay from their employers or find another job. Others have
been left to take care of employers' properties but have not been paid since
The majority, from Ghana, Togo, Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon and other African
countries, are unskilled and undocumented workers.
Like the others, they are dependent on whatever food and shelter people of
goodwill from within and outside their community can provide, with some basic
food prices having increased by up to three times since the start of the
Although the numbers of migrants managing to flee Libya on a daily basis
have slowed down in recent weeks, migrants continue to be stranded in towns
and cities around the country.
The Malian Ambassador to Tripoli estimates between 8,000-10,000 of his
compatriots remain in western Libya, mostly in Sabha, Gadames, Ubari and
Murzuk, while the vulnerability of Sub-Saharan Africans in the eastern part of
the country has led to Malians there fleeing into Egypt.
Thousands of Egyptian migrants are also believed to be still in the
country, according to the Egyptian Ambassador in Tripoli. While most are
thought to be in the south in cities such as Gatroun and Sabha, others are in
places like Sirt and in need of evacuation.
As these reports emerge, IOM is continuing its efforts to access Gatroun,
where many Chadians are reported to be stranded. IOM interviews with Chadians
who are returning home by truck reveal that many migrants have stayed as long
as they could in Libya in the hope of being given months of unpaid wages. Lack
of food and water was forcing them to finally leave.
Meanwhile, an eighth IOM mission to evacuate another group of migrants by
sea from the port city of Misrata concluded late last week.
Thirty-six war-wounded casualties were evacuated to Benghazi with the
migrants, bringing the number of people rescued from Misrata to about 7,200.
The IOM-chartered ship also delivered hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid
and provided the logistics for the deployment of an IOM-led interagency
assessment team to Misrata to assess humanitarian needs there after months of
So far, IOM has provided evacuation assistance to about 31,000 people from
inside Libya, including the Misrata operations. More than 9,000 migrants,
including Sub-Saharan Africans have been transported by road from Tripoli to
the Tunisian border and nearly 15,000 from Benghazi in the east to the
Since late February, IOM has helped nearly 144,000 migrants in Algeria,
Egypt, Tunisia, Chad and Niger, with evacuation assistance back to their home
As the crisis drags on, the numbers of people fleeing across Libya borders
continue to mount steadily. More than 952,000 people have so far crossed into
its six neighboring countries or arrived in Italy and Malta.
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