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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid