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

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

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
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