It’s Time To Protect The Refugees In Tripoli – OpEd


More than 400 people, who came to the Tripoli gathering and departure facility in October from Abu Salim detention center in the south of the country, without food for weeks.

The UN has been accused of trying to starve out refugees who are sheltering for protection inside a center run by the UN refugee agency in Tripoli.
According to a recent assessment by the International Organization for Migration said, in the camp there are 100 minors, they are “currently starving” apart from some food that other refugees manage to sneak out of another part of the center. The refugees said they received food assistance for a couple of weeks ago.

Most of the refugees tried to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean but were returned to Libya by the EU-backed Libyan coastguard.

As stated by the UNHCR is planning to withdraw food from 600 other refugees and migrants in the center – who include survivors of bombings, torture. This is will gain more violence.

After the war in 2011 an estimated 1.3 million people need humanitarian assistance in Libya.  They are living in unsafe conditions with little or no access to health care, essential medicines, food, safe drinking water, shelter or education.

The Guardian got documentation circulated among UN staff on Tuesday, the agency said it would “phase out” food catering from 31 December. The document said the information should not be made public before mid-December, when 230 more refugees have been evacuated to other countries, in order to prevent disruption. After that, the facility will no longer be used as a transit center, the document said, until the remaining refugees and migrants “vacate voluntarily”.

Also, the UNHCR said that it would continue to finance cleaning in the center after the withdrawal of food, partly to “prevent the reputational risk of having deficient/broken toilets and showers”. In addition, they will make a healthcare clinic on the site would continue to operate.

UNHCR will make food withdrawal include 400 survivors they are booked on 3 July Tajoura detention center bombing, in which at least 53 refugees and migrants were killed after an airstrike hit the hall in which they were being held.

On the other hand, if they are forced to leave and fend for themselves in Tripoli “it will be a very dangerous scenario”. Refugees are frightened of forced recruitment by militias, being caught up in the ongoing civil war, or being kidnapped anew by traffickers. also, they will die from the war that kills thousands of citizens every day.

Though there are other possible scenarios these include that Libya’s department for combating illegal migration (DCIM) “moves in and forcibly removes all the migrants/asylum-seekers to detention centers”, or that it turns the facility into a detention center run by its own guards.

The aims of the UN-run it offers immediate protection and safety for vulnerable refugees in need of urgent evacuation, and is an alternative to detention for hundreds of refugees currently trapped in Libya so that its time to save refugees in Libya.

*Miral AlAshry, Associate Professor at Future University (FUE), Political Mass Media Department

Prof. Miral Sabry AlAshry

Prof. Miral Sabry AlAshry is Co-lead for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at the Centre for Freedom of the Media, the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield.