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Detained refugees in Libya moved to safety in second UNHCR relocationAPO Group - Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa

Published by APO Africa Newsroom on Wed, 17 Apr 2019


Download logoUNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today relocated another 150 refugees who were detained in the Abu Selim detention centre in south Tripoli to UNHCRs Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in the centre of Libyas capital, safe from hostilities.The Abu Selim detention centre is one of several in Libya that has been impacted by hostilities since clashes erupted in the capital almost a fortnight ago.Refugees at the centre told UNHCR that they were petrified and traumatised by the fighting, fearing for their lives.UNHCR staff who were present and organizing the relocation today reported that clashes were around 10 kilometres away from the centre and were clearly audible.While UNHCR intended to relocate more refugees, due to a rapid escalation of fighting in the area this was not possible. UNHCR hopes to resume this life-saving effort as soon as conditions on the ground allow.It is a race against time to move people out of harms way. Conflict and deteriorating security conditions hamper how much we can do, said UNHCRs Assistant Chief of Mission in Libya, Lucie Gagne.We urgently need solutions for people trapped in Libya, including humanitarian evacuations to transfer those most vulnerable out of the country.Refugees who were relocated today were among those most vulnerable and in need and included women and children. The relocation was conducted with the support of UNHCRs partner, International Medical Corps and the Libyan Ministry of Interior.This relocation is the second UNHCR-organized transfer since the recent escalation of the conflict in Libya.Last week UNHCR relocated more than 150 refugees from the Ain Zara detention centre also in south Tripoli to the GDF, bringing the total number of refugees currently hosted at the GDF to more than 400.After todays relocation, there remain more than 2,700 refugees and migrants detained and trapped in areas where clashes are ongoing. In addition to those remaining at Abu Selim, other detention centres impacted and in proximity to hostilities include the Qasr Bin Ghasheer, Al Sabaa and Tajoura centres.Current conditions in the country continue to underscore the fact that Libya is a dangerous place for refugees and migrants, and that those rescued and intercepted at sea should not be returned there. UNHCR has repeatedly called for an end to detention for refugees and migrants.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
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