UNHCR Update Libya (7 April 2019) [EN/AR]


UNHCR is on the ground in Tripoli and extremely concerned about the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country. UNHCR calls for respect of obligations under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law to ensure the safety of all civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to allow full, safe, unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access to the affected areas.

UNHCR is also concerned about the safety of thousands of refugees and migrants who remain arbitrarily detained in detention centers in areas where active conflict is taking place and who are caught in cross-fire. We call on all parties to ensure their safety and protection.

UNHCR Response

UNHCR has prepositioned core-relief items for 500 families in South of Tripoli and in Misrata with a view to respond to the needs of internally displaced persons. UNHCR is coordinating the response through its partner LibAid and other first-line responders.

For the urban refugee response, UNHCR Community Day Centres in Tripoli remain operational with the support of partners International Medical Corps and CESVI. UNHCR hotlines remain operational to respond to queries from persons trapped in areas of active clashes.

UNHCR is working to guarantee the safety of refugees who are detained in areas of ongoing clashes, including advocating with the authorities to allow the relocation of vulnerable individuals to the Gathering and Departure Centre (GDF). This is complicated by the severely restricted access given the security situation.

During the past two weeks, UNHCR up-scaled registration activities for refugees living in urban settings. In 2019, UNHCR has registered 2,426 individuals.

Population movements

Internal displacement has been recorded, with more than 2,800 persons estimated to have been displaced from conflict-affected neighborhoods.

The majority of displaced families have relocated with relatives living in safer areas, while some are being hosted in a shelter in Tajoura. It has also been reported that around 35 returnee families in Tawergha have left the town toward Bani Walid, Tarhuna and Tripoli.

As of 7 April, 996 refugees and migrants were rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG). The number of refugees and migrants disembarked in Libya significantly decreased in January, February and March 2019 when compared to data collected during the same period in 2018 (3,794 individuals) and 2017 (3,387 individuals). Recently, boats have departed from areas west of Tripoli, near Sabratha and east of Tripoli near Garabulli. In 2019, the top nationalities of those rescued/intercepted at sea by the LCG include individuals from Ivory Coast (14%), Sudan (13%), Mali (12%), and Somalia (10%). In 2018, 9 bodies were recovered from the sea while 143 persons were declared missing.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees