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

Posted: 
08/31/11

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 yesterday 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.

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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.

For further information, please contact:

Jean Philippe Chauzy

Tel: + 41 22 717 9361/+41 79 285 4366

E-mail: "mailto:jpchauzy@iom.int">jpchauzy@iom.int 

Jemini Pandya

IOM Geneva

Tel: + 41 22 717 9486/+ 41 79 217 3374

E-mail: "mailto:jpandya@iom.int">jpandya@iom.int

or

Jumbe Omari Jumbe

Tel: + 41 22 717 9405/+ 41 79 812 7734

E-mail: "mailto:jjumbe@iom.int">jjumbe@iom.int