Second IOM-Chartered Boat Leaves for Tripoli as First Group of Migrants Are Safely Evacuated

Posted: 
08/25/11

A second IOM-chartered boat is today leaving the eastern Libyan
city of Benghazi for Tripoli where it will evacuate more migrants
stranded by the violence there.

The boat, loaded with supplies and essential humanitarian and
medical aid, is also transporting about 50 humanitarian workers
from various organizations. It is due to arrive in Tripoli at the
weekend. Assuming security conditions are right, the IOM chartered
boat will dock and off-load the aid before migrants are boarded for
departure.

The departure of this second IOM boat comes as a first group of
263 people were successfully evacuated by IOM from Tripoli on
Thursday night.

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IOM staff reported increased shooting in the area around the
port as evening approached and with the IOM chartered boat still in
dock.

Among those evacuated were Egyptians, Lebanese, Algerians,
Filipinos, Americans, Swiss, Lebanese, Italians, Indians, Sudanese,
a German, a Canadian and an Iraqi.

The migrants, en route to Benghazi, will be temporarily
accommodated at a transit centre before being taken by IOM to the
Egyptian border and eventually assisted to return to their home
countries.

IOM staff in Tripoli say that getting migrants scattered across
the city to the port is the single most challenging issue of the
operation.

Continued fighting in parts of the city, the many checkpoints
and sniper fire represent the main obstacles to movement within the
city as well as lack of fuel.

"Movement is extremely slow as well as dangerous. Crossing
checkpoints manned by different groups with different demands is
very challenging," says IOM Regional Director for the Middle East
and North Africa Pasquale Lupoli. "And then there are snipers."

Although IOM managed to get the 263 migrants to the port through
arrangements with some concerned embassies and other parties, the
Organization remains deeply concerned that migrants who want and
need evacuation assistance may not be able to get it because they
cannot get to the port.

Some, such as Sub-Saharan Africans, are largely on the outskirts
of Tripoli and far from the port vicinity.

The second evacuation operation will aim to assist groups of
Bangladeshi, Chinese, Filipino, Indian and Egyptian migrants.

For further information, please contact:

Jean Philippe Chauzy

IOM Geneva

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

Email: "mailto:jpchauzy@iom.int">jpchauzy@iom.int

or

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

IOM Geneva

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

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