News / Africa

Migrants Rescued from Libyan City of Misrata

An evacuee reaches out for his luggage at the Libyan Red Crescent camp in Benghazi Apr 16 2011
An evacuee reaches out for his luggage at the Libyan Red Crescent camp in Benghazi Apr 16 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

The International Organization for Migration reports 650 of the rescued migrants are Ghanaians. Other nationalities include Filipinos and Ukrainians. IOM says there are 100 Libyans among those rescued, 23 of whom are war-wounded, including a child shot in the face and an amputee.

Rebel-held Misrata has been under siege by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi for nearly two months. IOM spokeswoman, Jemini Pandya says the situation is deteriorating hour by hour, with shelling going on almost continuously. She says the rescue mission was carried out under extremely risky circumstances.  

"Our staff on board the boat report that while we were boarding the migrants, the shelling and the fighting subsided for a bit and there was this almost eerie silence while they would kind of wait until we had got the people on board and that we would leave," said Pandya.

"It meant that the time that we had at the dock was short and that we could really only get 971 people out," Pandya added. "We would have much preferred to have taken out with us many more people, but we took out as many people as we possibly could in the time that we had."  

Pandya says it is becoming increasingly difficult to carry out further rescue missions. She says IOM is very worried about the 4,000 migrants who are stuck at Misrata's port. She says time is running out for them.  

She says IOM would like to charter a ship large enough to transport all the migrants out of Misrata at one time. But that takes money, which, she says IOM does not have. She says the agency is running a shortfall of $100 million.

In the meantime, she says the migrants are living in deplorable conditions at the port waiting to be rescued.

"They have been camping out in the port vicinity or in containers or wherever they could find some kind of nominal, very nominal shelter. Some of them are out in the open," said Pandya. "Clearly that means that they have no access to clean water or washing facilities or anything like that. And, they have no means of getting food. So much depends of what they can get from other people, which is not very much."  

This is the second rescue mission. Last Friday, an IOM-chartered ship took nearly 1,200 rescued migrants from Misrata to Benghazi. Nearly all of them were later taken by road to the Libyan-Egyptian border at Salum.

Pandya says this action will be repeated with this second group of migrants. In the coming days, she says those who are able to travel will be taken by road to Salum. From there, she says, they will be assisted to return to their home countries.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid