IOM Evacuates First Group of Migrants from Tripoli
IOM staff have begun boarding migrants wanting to leave the Libyan
capital, Tripoli, on its chartered boat heading for Benghazi.
The IOM chartered boat, which had remained anchored off the
Tripoli coast since Tuesday evening, was finally able to dock late
Thursday morning after security conditions in and around the port
area had sufficiently improved.
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The migrants had been brought to the port area from various
locations around the city through arrangements with relevant
embassies and other parties.
Among an approximately 200 foreigners being evacuated are
Egyptians, Filipinos, Canadians, Algerians, Moroccans and an
The IOM chartered boat with IOM medical staff on board, will
leave for Benghazi later Thursday. Upon arrival, the evacuees will
be taken to a transit centre where facilities for their
accommodation have been strengthened. The migrants will then be
transported by IOM to the Egyptian border at Salloum from where the
Organization will assist them to return to their home
"It has not been easy to do this operation. We never expected it
to be. Nevertheless, there is a huge sense of relief that all our
efforts are in the end helping these migrants," says Pasquale
Lupoli, IOM Regional Director for the Middle East and North
"However, IOM reiterates its call to all parties to allow
migrants safe passage to the port. This issue remains a major
challenge in any further evacuations of migrants from Tripoli,"
Fear of fighting, looting, sniper fire and checkpoints prevents
migrants from leaving their homes to reach the port area, the only
place from which they would be able to flee the country.
A second IOM chartered boat with a much larger capacity is due
to carry out another evacuation over the weekend.
Although there are no clear figures on the overall number of
migrants still in Tripoli and how many in total who still want to
be evacuated, several thousands had registered for assistance.
Many more, including Sub-Saharan Africans who live on the
outskirts of Tripoli might also require assistance.