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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs