News / Africa

Thousands of Trapped Migrants Desperate to Leave Tripoli

Migrant workers from Niger are transported into Misrata port to be evacuated by the IOM (International Organization for Migration) to Benghazi (File)
Migrant workers from Niger are transported into Misrata port to be evacuated by the IOM (International Organization for Migration) to Benghazi (File)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports it is working to evacuate a growing number of migrants in need of help in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.  IOM says people, trapped in Tripoli because of fighting on the Western fronts, are desperate to leave the city. 

The International Organization for Migration says it is receiving requests for help from foreign migrants stranded in Tripoli.  The agency says it does not know how many migrant workers are in the capital, but it believes the numbers are huge.  

IOM spokeswoman, Jemini Pandya, says large numbers of Egyptian migrants and nationals from other African countries remain in Tripoli and in the western part of Libya.  She says many are feeling extremely vulnerable and are seeking help to go home.

“There are already thousands of Egyptians who are ready for evacuation now and what we are hearing from the ground is that every day there are more and more requests coming from them actually, from the Egyptian community in Tripoli wanting to be evacuated," said Pandya.  "We also have requests from a large group of journalists who are also stranded inside Tripoli and they represent many different organizations.”

Libyan rebels fighting to overthrow the regime of Leader Moammar Gadhafi, claim to have captured two strategic coastal cities, Zlitan and Zawiya, which are not far from Tripoli.  As the rebels close in on Tripoli, the window of opportunity for evacuating foreign migrants is narrowing.   

Since the start of the crisis in late February, IOM has evacuated more than 10,000 migrants by road from Tripoli to the Tunisian border point at Ras Adjir.  But, IOM’s Jemini Pandya tells VOA people cannot leave the beleaguered city by road because of the fighting on the Western fronts.  She says that option is closed for now.

“It is much too dangerous to go out of Libya using any other road option, any other routes," she said.  "Unless you are amongst the group of migrants who are getting on the boats to Lampedusa in that extremely dangerous fashion, you have very limited if actually no option, no alternative. There is no way for you to get out because you cannot get out by air and the sea route is also extremely dangerous.  So, those are the reasons predominantly why people cannot get out themselves.”  

About 600,000 migrants have left Libya since the conflict broke out in February.  Many have been transported home by IOM.  The agency is continuing to evacuate migrants wherever it is feasible.

On Friday, an IOM-chartered ship left the eastern Libyan town of Benghazi for Misrata.  This was the 15th mission to evacuate migrants, mainly from northern Africa.  Pandya says another boatload of migrants will leave Benghazi for Misrata next week.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs