News / Africa

Libya Expels Growing Number of Chadian Migrants

Lisa Schlein
The International Organization for Migration is expressing concern about the growing number of Chadian migrants being expelled from Libya.  The Geneva-based IOM reports more than 1,000 vulnerable Chadian migrants have arrived at the northern Chadian town of Faya since January.    

The IOM says the majority have traveled for up to two weeks across the desert without enough food, water or protection from the blazing sun during the day and freezing temperatures at night.

IOM spokesman Jumbe Omare Jumbe says a recent group of 180 migrants arrived at the IOM transit center in Faya in an extremely dehydrated condition.  He says one migrant died upon arrival and two others had died on the road.

He says Libyan authorities have told the migrants they had to leave the country because they lacked the right documents to live and work there.  But Jumbe says many of the migrants believe there are other reasons behind their expulsion. 

"The migrants tell us that the Libyans suspect them of being mercenaries," he said.  "This has been corroborated so many times since the beginning of the war in Libya.  The opposition, who is now the new government in Libya, was saying it in the media that the Africans, sub-Saharan Africans, are helping the previous government of Colonel Gadhafi." 

There were an estimated 300,000 Chadian migrants living in Libya when the war to topple Gadhafi began two years ago.  The Chadian government reports about half of those migrants have returned home.  IOM says it believes at least 100,000 Chadians remain in Libya.

Jumbe says Chadians targeted for deportation are put in detention centers, where they can remain anywhere from one month to one year.  He says IOM sources report about 80 percent of these detention centers are run by militias with no official links with Libya's central government.

He says many of the migrants, including the most recent arrivals, have complained of being ill treated in these detention centers.

"Members of this group told us about beatings, many beatings, bad mouthing, being told that they are sub-humans, monkeys and things like that, and being denied food, water and medicine, particularly medicines," he said. "They told us that some of their colleagues actually died inside the detention centers." 

The International Organization for Migration says it expects the expulsions to continue, following an apparent policy change by the Libyan authorities toward undocumented migrants.  IOM is appealing to Libya to treat the migrants humanely.

The cash-strapped organization also is appealing for an initial $500,000 to help it provide life-saving assistance to the vulnerable Chadian migrants.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Adamant from: London
March 27, 2013 4:40 PM
It's always the case when illegal immigrants make such claims when they are caught and expelled. It's either racism against them or political point-scoring or revenge. Libya already has at least 100,000 Chadians as claimed by IOM in this article so why weren't they all suspected of being mercenaries. There are also 100,000s of other Africans in Libya - black and white. Why weren't they kicked out. The reality is that this is now a new country trying to reverse a policy guided by the deposed regime of allowing everyone in, with no visas and mostly to direct them to smugglers who extort them and take them to Europe on deadly boats. Who in their right mind allows the whole African continent and all Arabs without restrictions!This was done to pressure the Europeans at all levels by Qaddafi and to maintain a crazy policy of keeping high unemployment rates for Libyans, among many other reasons. This was confirmed by former officials of the regime. To explain this further, higher rates of unemployment meant that Libyans were kept poor enough not to advance themselves by acquiring high skills or educate themselves further and attain knowledge which would expose the regime as rotten to the core in every way. The policy was always to give them hope and keep them busy running after fruitless opportunities. A distraction policy from the reality of their situation.Libya has a population of 6 million with about 2.3 million persons of voting and working age who need work. They deserve to create a safe, secure and democratic country that can create order from 42 years of chaotic rule that treated Libyans as illegals in their own country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs