Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

3,000 migrants trapped in risk zone in Libya

ROME, APRIL 19 - Thousands of Libyan families are fleeing and over 3,000 refugees and migrants are stuck in detention centers near the conflict.

They ”remain at imminent risk of being caught in the crossfire”, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said in a statement, and ”the provision of basic services including food and water remains extremely limited – with reports of many not eating for several days at a time”.

There is limited healthcare available and medical supplies are expected to run out after less then two weeks, MSF warned, calling for measures to protect civilians, including medical workers, and civilian infrastructure. It asked that indiscriminate attacks on populated areas be avoided and that the over 3,000 refugees and migrants trapped in the detention centers near the fighting be evacuated. MSF called on EU Member States to find an agreement to disembark migrants in safe ports and to stop punitive actions to hinder humanitarian organizations working at sea.

”In Sabaa detention centre, as well as providing medical consultations, MSF teams have distributed a much-needed five-day supply of food rations, including fresh vegetables. Over recent days, approximately 200 people were moved from the Ain Zara detention centre, which is just 1.5 kilometres from the frontline, to Sabaa detention centre which is 6.5 kilometres from the frontline,” the statement noted.

”With the new arrivals, the population size in Sabaa has surged to nearly 540 people, exacerbating already poor conditions and services. With a further 150 refugees relocated early last week to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Gathering and Departure Facility, Ain Zara detention centre is now believed to be empty,” it added.

”While the numbers in each detention centre are subject to change daily, currently there are 135 people in Anjila detention centre which is 5.5 kilometres from the fighting. A few days ago, there were around 910 people in Abu Salim, 6.5 kilometres from the fighting. This detention centre is anticipated to be directly affected by conflict in the coming days,” it said.

MSF medical teams have also provided hygiene kits in several shelters for displaced families that had to flee their homes, as well as a donation of medical kits to treat war wounds (sutures, dressings and essential medication) to two hospitals so far, one in Tripoli and another south of the city.

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