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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.