Fighting in Tripoli halts evacuation of migrant workers.

migrants fleeing Libya

migrants fleeing Libya

Plans to evacuate hundreds of migrant workers trapped in Libya's have been put off after heavy fighting for the control of the capital Tripoli prevented a boat chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) from docking at the Tripoli port.

IOM says the permission to dock given to the boat captain yesterday by the opposition Transitional National Council which controls the port in Tripoli has since been withdrawn.

IOM had hoped to evacuate at least 300 migrant workers stranded in the city by the violence.

Jean Philippe Chauzy from IOM says the boat will remain off the Tripoli coast until security conditions have improved and the safety of staff and migrants can be guaranteed.

“IOM does not have the capacity to go in the various areas of Tripoli to extract people from those areas. Obviously there will be some logistical challenges, but we are working with the embassies to make that once the clearance is given for the ship to dock in the harbor then we can with our counterparts in the embassies take those evacuees to the port areas. Obviously we realize there are some constraints here because we know that there are many sub Saharan Africans who themselves are migrants in the periphery of Tripoli,  we know that it’s been very difficult for those migrants and third country nationals to go to the embassies.  Some of the embassies do not have staff at the moment so that's an additional challenge.”  (Duration: 39″)

IOM says there was a possibility to charter two more additional boats with a capacity to evacuate at least 2,000 people from Tripoli as soon as security improves.

Duration 39"

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