IOM Increasingly Concerned Over Lack of Access to Most Vulnerable Migrants in Tripoli as It Carries out Third Evacuation

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– IOM is increasingly concerned over the fate of many vulnerable migrants still in the city who cannot get out as a third IOM chartered boat left Tripoli with migrants on board.
Despite continued efforts to organize the safe evacuation of groups of Sub-Saharan and other particularly vulnerable migrants who want to leave the country, IOM has not been able to reach many of them. The lack of diplomatic representation for many African nationalities is making it much harder to negotiate access in order to help them.

Although migrants are scattered around the city, with Sub-Saharan African predominantly living on the outskirts of Tripoli, the Organization is aware of groups of migrants camped out along a stretch of the coast and on farms inland and in need of help.

In addition to not having food, water, shelter and medical care, the migrants have reportedly expressed significant fear of harassment and targeting.

However, repeated efforts by IOM to negotiate a safe passage to the port for their eventual evacuation have not proved successful. The Organization has repeatedly called for all parties to ensure all migrants who want to leave are given a safe passage to the port.

IOM staff in Tripoli had been working especially hard to help those camped along the coast and on farms in time for the third IOM boat evacuation of migrants from the Libyan capital on Wednesday.

“It’s deeply frustrating and worrying that we couldn’t get these especially vulnerable groups out on this evacuation,” says Pasquale Lupoli, IOM Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“IOM will nevertheless continue working on finding ways to reach and assist them as soon as possible.”

More than 390 people were evacuated from Tripoli and a further 58 migrants from Misrata, where the IOM chartered boat made a short stop-over during the night. The boat is due to arrive in Benghazi later today. In total, the Organization has assisted nearly 1,600 people on three boat evacuations.

Only a handful of Sub-Saharan Africans have numbered among the evacuees from Tripoli.

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