Hundreds of migrants remain in Libya:IOM

Misrata migrants

Misrata migrants

It's estimated that three quarters of a million people, many of them migrant workers, have fled Libya since the conflict in the country began earlier this year.

The Libyan Government has been fighting with dissenting anti-government protesters who are calling for Libyan President Muammar Qhadafi to step down.

The UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya with the help of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to protect Libyan civilians.

 The International Organization for Migration, which works with the United Nations, has been assisting those who want to leave.

Gerry Adams reports.

Earlier this month, hundreds of people were rescued from the port of Misrata. The IOM-chartered boat carrying the evacuees came under heavy shelling but was eventually able to safely reach its destination, Benghazi.

Now, following the seventh IOM mission to evacuate stranded migrants from Misrata, the IOM's Jemini Pandya says while hundreds have left, hundreds more remain.
“There are still several hundreds of migrants still in Misrata.  These figures are changing on an almost daily basis.”

Ms. Pandya explained that passenger manifests had been updated.


“The total number of migrants evacuated was 726, 588 of whom were Nigerian and 54 war casualties. “

Although there was a lack of verifiable information, it was thought that hundreds of mainly African migrants were trapped inside Libya and had fallen victim to robbery, imprisonment and in some cases, murder.

Now the situation is more fluid, or relaxed says Ms. Pandya, as Misrata has become calmer. Migrants now feel it’s safer to venture out. 

“Not everyone, however, wants to be evacuated.  There are some who still want to do a wait and see.  But those who are wanting to be evacuated, we are doing that.  Those who are without shelter are no longer living in and around the port area. They are being looked after or sheltered in two different sites in the city.  And we will be looking at how else we can continue to provide assistance to get those who s till want to go out to get out.”



 Jemini Pandya of the International Organization for Migration.  Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Elswhere in Libya, IOM continues to assist in the evacuation by road of thousands of stranded Sudanese, Egyptian and Nigerien migrants from the capital, Tripoli, to the Tunisian border.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.


  duration:  1’55″

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