Situation along Libya-Tunisia border at crisis point

Humanitarian agencies are scaling up their relief efforts to assist tens of thousands of migrant workers stranded along the Libyan border with Egypt and Tunisia in what is now being described as a humanitarian crisis.

civilians fleeing Libya

civilians fleeing Libya

Over 14 thousand migrants are reported to have crossed the border on Monday and more are gathering at the border on Tuesday.

 

The migrants are fleeing the North African country as pro-democracy activists intensify their efforts to remove the Libyan leader, Muammar Qadhafi, from power.

 

Melissa Fleming from the UN Refugee agency UNHCR says the authorities are being asked to ensure that the borders remain open to all nationals wishing to leave Libya.

“Thousands of people are waiting on the Libyan side of the border to enter, some for as long as three days. We are very concerned that a large number of sub Saharan Africans are not being allowed into Tunisia at this point. Racism could be a factor and we are very concerned that all borders - land, air and sea - be open in a non-discriminatory manner. Everyone who wants to flee should be able to flee. I think what we are seeing is a situation [where] perhaps certain elements who are making decisions that may not be the view of the Tunisian Government.”

UNHCR is putting up 1,000 tents to provide temporary accommodation to at least 12,000 people along the Libya-Tunisia border.

duration:  42″

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