Posted by: africanpressorganization | 12 July 2011

Migrants Evacuated from Misrata as On-Going Conflict Continues to Take Toll



Migrants Evacuated from Misrata as On-Going Conflict Continues to Take Toll


GENEVA, Switzerland, July 12, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — More than 230 migrants and over 40 wounded people were evacuated by IOM from the Libyan port of Misrata on Monday 11 July as on-going conflict in the North African country continues to take its toll on civilians.


The evacuees, due to arrive in Benghazi later today, are mainly migrants from Niger with others of Chadian, Ghanaian, Nigerian, Nepalese, Bangladeshi and Yemeni nationality.


The 232 migrants, mostly young single males, have been living in a Libyan Red Crescent camp where increasing numbers of migrants have gathered. Congestion and rising tensions at the camp necessitated the evacuation of the men during this 11th IOM rescue mission to Misrata.


The 12th mission, due to evacuate migrants and severe medical cases on 14th July, will prioritize families, particularly women and children.


A rapid IOM assessment of the camp in Misrata during the evacuation operation revealed an urgent need for additional tents and hygiene supplies as well as improved cooking facilities. IOM is approaching non-governmental organizations to work closely with the Libyan Red Crescent and IOM in order to address these problems quickly.


IOM staff heading this latest rescue operation say that upon the departure of the IOM-chartered boat from Misrata port, the pier area began to be bombarded but that the boat successfully managed to leave.


They also report on the lack of sufficient medical facilities in Misrata and Benghazi itself to cope with the numbers of severely wounded. The IOM-boat’s departure was delayed by several hours as a steady stream of severely wounded patients was being transferred to the pier for evacuation.


Nearly 7,900 people including migrants and wounded have now been evacuated by IOM from Misrata to Benghazi since this operation began in mid April.


IOM is also continuing its other evacuation operations from inside Libya where migrants are being taken by road from Tripoli to Ras Adjir on the Tunisian-Libyan border and from Benghazi to Salloum on the Egyptian-Libyan border for eventual return to their home countries.


Since last week, IOM has also evacuated close to 530 migrants, mainly Chadians, by air from the southern Libyan city of Sebha to Chad. Many hundreds more will be evacuated from Sebha and Gatroun in the coming days and weeks.


Nearly 620,000 migrants have now fled the conflict in Libya.



International Office of Migration (IOM)


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