GENEVA / LIBYA UPDATE

14-May-2019 00:02:06
UN aid agencies expressed their concern over the dramatically deteriorating humanitarian situation in Tripoli and stressed that more needed to be done to protect all non-combatants caught up in the battle for the Libyan capital, as victim numbers rise and thousands flee their homes. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / LIBYA UPDATE
TRT: 2:06
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 MAY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior

14 MAY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press room
3. Med shot, journalists
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Safa Msehli, Spokesperson, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Libya:
“As it stands the clashes are definitely intensifying, and we have not noticed a lot of differences since the beginning of armed conflict on 4 April.”
5. Med shot, TV camera operators
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, Spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“From 5 April until 9 May, 454 dead and 2,154 wounded.”
7. Wide shot, reporters, spokespersons
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Charlie Yaxley, Spokesperson, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Our staff report seeing thousands of civilians moving on a daily basis to safer locations in cities along the coast and towards the Nafusa Mountains.”
9. Med shot, journalists
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Charlie Yaxley, Spokesperson, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“UNHCR is in a race against time to evacuate people out of these detention centres as quickly as possible, and we urge the international community to come forward with offers of evacuation, humanitarian corridors, or whatever it takes to get people out of harm’s way.”
11. Close up, journalists
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Safa Msehli, Spokesperson, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Libya:
“The total number of people who have been returned since the clashes to a Libyan port is 871. IOM Libya and IOM does not consider Libya as a safe port. And there is a much-needed increase in search and rescue capacity in the Mediterranean as events of Friday show.”
13. Med shot, dais
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Charlie Yaxley, Spokesperson, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“UNHCR has repeatedly called at this time, nobody should be returned to Libya; there are no safe ports there. And we cannot consider this to be a rescue if people are being returned to dire conditions inside Tripoli detention centres.”
15. Various shots, journalists
STORYLINE
UN aid agencies expressed their concern over the dramatically deteriorating humanitarian situation in Tripoli and stressed that more needed to be done to protect all non-combatants caught up in the battle for the Libyan capital, as victim numbers rise and thousands flee their homes.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (14 May), Safa Msehli, spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration Libya (IOM) said, “As it stands the clashes are definitely intensifying and we have not noticed a lot of differences since the beginning of armed conflict on 4 April.”

In an update to journalists in Geneva, Christian Lindmeier from the World Health Organization (WHO), said that from 5 April until 9 May, the UN agency had reported “454 dead and 2,154 wounded.”

Clashes remain deadlocked around the same frontlines, according to WHO, while amid ongoing clashes between the internationally recognized Government and eastern forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar, IOM believes that there more than 66,000 individuals, approximately 13,310 families, have left affected areas in Tripoli since the onset of the conflict last month.

Echoing that concern, and with no humanitarian ceasefire in place, UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Charlie Yaxley noted that staff reported seeing “thousands of civilians moving on a daily basis to safer locations in cities along the coast and towards the Nafusa Mountains.”

The situation is especially alarming for over 3,300 migrant detainees, among them children and pregnant women, who are receiving help in 11 detention centres from the UN and its partners.

Yaxley said, “UNHCR is in a race against time to evacuate people out of these detention centres as quickly as possible, and we urge the international community to come forward with offers of evacuation, humanitarian corridors, or whatever it takes to get people out of harm’s way.”

In addition to safety concerns linked to the fighting, IOM and UNHCR also strongly condemned the ongoing practice of returning migrants and refugees to detention centres in Libya, after their rescue from unsafe vessels on the Mediterranean Sea.

Those comments follow reports that 59 migrants, mainly Bangladeshi, nationals died trying to reach Europe on an overcrowded vessel that set sail from Zara, Libya, late last week.

Tunisian fishermen rescued another 69 migrants from a second craft over the weekend. The survivors included Moroccans, Eritreans, Somalis, a Bangladeshi and an Egyptian. Among them, were four women and at least 25 minors, including children aged three to seven years, IOM said in a statement.

According to UNHCR, one person in every three dies on the perilous journey from the North African coastline, which is often organized by human traffickers. It says that more than 940 people have sailed from Libya in the last week alone.

SOUNDBITE (English) Safa Msehli, Spokesperson, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Libya:
“The total number of people who have been returned since the clashes to a Libyan port is 871. IOM Libya and IOM does not consider Libya as a safe port. And there is a much-needed increase in search and rescue capacity in the Mediterranean as events of Friday show.”

Highlighting the key role voluntary rescue boats have in saving vulnerable migrants on the Mediterranean Sea, UNHCR’s Charlie Yaxley reiterated the agency’s call for safe and legal passage for migrants and refugees to Europe and every effort to be made to prevent people being returned to Libya.

He said, “UNHCR has repeatedly called at this time, nobody should be returned to Libya; there are no safe ports there. And we cannot consider this to be a rescue if people are being returned to dire conditions inside Tripoli detention centres.”
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