Evacuation from Southern Libya
An IOM-sponsored convoy of 13 trucks carrying more than 840 African migrants has crossed into Chad after travelling from the southern Libyan town of Sebha.
The migrants, the vast majority Chadians but also including some Nigerians, have reached the remote Chadian border town of Zouarké where IOM staff have met them with fresh supplies and assistance.
The group, which consists of men women and children, is part of a large number of African migrants in need of evacuation assistance from Sebha. Many of them are at the IOM centre in Sebha receiving food, water and shelter assistance on a daily basis.
The migrants at Zouarké are now being escorted by IOM across the Chadian desert to Faya Largeau, a land journey that will take another few days. Staff at the IOM centre in the town will provide the migrants with food, water, medical assistance and a place to rest upon arrival.
The migrants will eventually be taken to the Chadian capital, N’Djamena, from where all the migrants will be assisted to reach their homes in Chad or Nigeria.
This second land evacuation from Sebha funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection office (ECHO) and Germany follows a previous evacuation in October when more than 1,220 Africans representing 12 different nationalities were assisted.
In the meantime, IOM has stepped up air evacuations of African migrants from Tripoli, heading towards various final destinations in Africa.
Nearly 1,030 Nigeriens, Malians and Nigerians have been taken home by IOM on chartered flights from Tripoli since the beginning of November.
The evacuated Nigerians were among an estimated 800 Nigerians including women and children who took shelter at the port city of Sid Bilal near Tripoli at the height of the violence. IOM medical staff who provided travel health assistance to those being evacuated said the migrants were in good health despite having lived in very rough conditions for some time with little food and water.
IOM is planning further air evacuations of stranded Gambian, Senegalese, Malian, Ghanaian and Nigerian migrants who want to return home after working closely with National Transitional Council counterparts on the implementation of an interim strategy for the protection and repatriation of stranded migrants in Tripoli and in Sebha.
Despite the end of hostilities in Libya which have seen more than 764,000 migrants flee the country, including more than 200,000 Africans, groups of migrants still want to leave Libya and require assistance.
In many cases, stranded African migrants remain exposed on a daily basis to arbitrary detention, harassment and persecution. The lack of diplomatic representation for many African nationalities is also making it much harder to conduct citizenship verification and to issue travel documents.
To date and using land, sea and air transport, IOM and partners have assisted more than 216,000 migrants fleeing the Libyan crisis to return to their home countries.