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UNHCR calls on Libya to urgently develop plan for asylum seekers and refugees, welcomes permission to resume evacuations

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UNHCR calls on Libya to urgently develop plan for asylum seekers and refugees, welcomes permission to resume evacuations

Many were left homeless and lost all their belongings as a result of the security operation and are now sleeping in the cold and in a very dangerous environment

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 22, 2021 / APO Group / –

UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, today urged the Libyan government to immediately address the dire plight of asylum seekers and refugees in a humane and rights-based manner. Raids and arbitrary arrests by authorities this month targeted areas largely populated by refugees and asylum seekers which left several dead, thousands detained and many homeless and destitute.

“Since the start of the security raids and arrests by the Libyan authorities in October, we have witnessed a sharp deterioration in the situation of asylum seekers and vulnerable refugees in Tripoli,” said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR special envoy for the western and central Mediterranean. Situation. “The Libyan authorities must come up with an appropriate plan that respects their rights and identifies lasting solutions. “

Some 3,000 people are currently accommodated outside the Community Day Center (CDC) in Tripoli, where UNHCR and partners have provided medical assistance and other services. Their situation is very precarious. Many have been affected by the raids, the demolition of their homes and have escaped detention in appalling conditions. Others joined the group in the hope of being evacuated.

“Many were left homeless and lost all their belongings as a result of the security operation and are now sleeping in the cold and in a very dangerous environment. This is completely unacceptable, ”Cochetel said.

UNHCR and its partners have had to suspend operations at the community day center for safety and security reasons, but remain engaged in an active dialogue with representatives of protesters outside the CDC to explain the limited assistance that he can offer, especially in cash and food.

Together with other UN agencies, UNHCR stands ready to support an urgent plan of action that could help alleviate the terrible suffering of asylum seekers and refugees in Libya.

UNHCR continues to call on the authorities to respect the human rights and dignity of asylum seekers and refugees, to end their arbitrary arrests and to release them from detention.

The United Nations Refugee Agency has welcomed the authorization to restart humanitarian evacuation flights, but warns that this is not enough.

“This is a positive development for some of the most vulnerable refugees, who have been eagerly awaiting their departure for many months. Our teams are already working so that humanitarian flights can restart as soon as possible, ”Cochetel said. “But we also have to be realistic: resettlement or evacuation flights will only benefit a limited number of people.

More than 1,000 vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers are currently prioritized for humanitarian flights and await their resumption. UNHCR continues to urge the international community to provide more legal avenues to safety outside Libya.

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