26 April 2019

Nigeria: MSF Urges Immediate Evacuation of Refugees, Migrants Out of Libya

Refugees and migrants in and around Tripoli should be evacuated out of the country, Doctors without Borders (MSF) said on Friday, after several were shot at and injured at a detention centre this week.

The organisation said the injuries took place on Tuesday at Southern Tripoli's Qasr Bin Gashir detention centre, where 700 people were kept.

The incident prompted aid agencies to speed up the transfer of some of those at the centre, which is close to the conflict between rival forces seeking to seize Tripoli.

Karline Kleijer, MSF's head of emergencies, said that MSF moved 30 people, including 12 children, to the Zawiya detention centre.

"The international community can only be blamed for its complete and utter inaction.

"Today MSF is again pleading for their urgent and immediate evacuation out of the country.

"Until then, they remain at risk of another attack or being caught in crossfire," Kleijer added.

MSF said some people at the centre reported being "brutally and indiscriminately attacked with the use of fire arms.

Earlier this week, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said 12 refugees "endured physical attacks that required hospital treatment" after gunshots were fired in the air as people were protesting the detention conditions, although none had bullet wounds.

Following the incident, UNHCR and the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) evacuated some 325 refugees from Qasr Bin Gashir detention centre.

The U.S.-based Refugees International on Thursday called on European Union member states to urgently evacuate from Libya refugees and migrants in detention centres.

Earlier this month, strongman Khalifa Haftar ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) to seize Tripoli from the UN-backed rival Government of National Accord (GNA).

Libya has no less than two competing administrations: the Tripoli-based GNA led by Fayez Serraj and backed by the UN, and the other in the Eastern city of Tobruk, which is allied with Haftar.

NAN

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