Libya: Concerns for IDPs and migrants rise as fighting continues
|Publisher||Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)|
|Publication Date||23 September 2011|
|Cite as||Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Libya: Concerns for IDPs and migrants rise as fighting continues, 23 September 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e804fb82.html [accessed 22 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
On 16 September, three weeks after the entry of rebels into the capital Tripoli, the number of people internally displaced by the conflict in Libya was still unknown. Fighting was ongoing in Sirte, Sebha and Bani Walid; on 11 September, transitional government forces had given the residents of Bani Walid two days to leave before the town came under attack, and many left to nearby towns or tented camps in the Souf Aljein Valley. The Misrata Military Council estimated on 20 September that half the 130,000 population of Sirte had fled. ICRC reported on 15 September that around 1,300 people, mainly from Ben Jawad and other towns along the Mediterranean coast west of Ras Lanuf, had also fled their homes and had been living in tents in the desert.
The situation of the 25,000 inhabitants of the city of Tawergha to the south of Misrata has raised concern, after they fled to Tripoli and its surroundings in fear of reprisals. When in mid-August the conflict reached the city, Tawergha was completely deserted. Misrata rebels have arrested dozens of male IDPs from Tawergha in Tripoli, and brought them back to Misrata for detention and interrogation.
Concerns have also been raised over the situation of migrant workers in Libya. Thousands of migrants, particularly Sub-Saharan Africans, are scattered around the capital and need urgent assistance and protection, as existing racial tensions have been fuelled by the Qadhafi government's alleged use of African mercenaries. 3,000 migrants have also sought refuge at an IOM transit centre in the southern city of Sebha, where the security situation has rapidly deteriorated.