PRESS REVIEW, Migrants and refugees arrivals in Europe

from May 2 to 6

The number of refugees who had fled Libya to borders countries is different according to sources. Although UNHCR talks about 550 000 refugees, the European Commission’s press release, estimated that there are 650 000.
During the past days, refugees from Berber tribes, living in South-Western mountains of Libya are more and more to cross into Tunisia. This community has long been persecuted by the Libyan leader. There were 8 000 this week-end to get into Tunisia by the Dehiba’s check point, where another tents camps has been settled by UNHCR (at the south of Choucha camp).
Confrontation between Kaddafi’s forces and rebels are still taking place, a few kilometers away of the border to control this crossing point. Past Tuesday (April 28), Kaddafi’s forces penetrated several kilometers into Tunisian territory, during an attack and prompting a strong protest from Tunis.
In Misrata harbor, hundreds of person and wounded are waiting to be evacuated. This week, IOM called on both part of this conflict to allowed the evacuation of 1 000 persons stranded in the besieged harbor of Misrata.

CNN, le 04-05-11

Exodus of Libyans to Tunisia resumes

More than 8,000 people, (most of them women and children) fled into Tunisia during the weekend to escape fighting between Libyan government troops and opposition forces. The refugees arriving in Dehiba, are predominantly from ethnic Berber tribes that have long been persecuted by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Opposition forces continue to have control of the border crossing despite fighting that has spilled into Tunisian territory. More than 550,000 people, mostly migrant workers, have fled Libya for neighboring countries, according to UNHCR.

The Malta Independent Online, le 04-05-11

Minorities continue to flee Libya to Tunisia, Lampedusa

The Italian island of Lampedusa has received some 3,200 people, mostly sub-Saharan Africans fleeing Libya over the last five days, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said yesterday. The arrivals over the last five days bring the total number of people fleeing to Lampedusa to 8,100. Malta, the UNHCR noted yesterday, had received 1,132 people from Libya back in mid-April. Over the last weekend, in fact, over 8,000 people, most of them ethnic Berber women and children, arrived in Dehiba in southern Tunisia.

Voa News, le 03-05-11

UN Asks West for Help with Libyan Refugee Crisis

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that hundreds of thousands of refugees are moving out of Libya. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on Western nations to help. He asked Western Europe to adapt a more positive and pro-active migration policy, especially toward younger refugees looking for economic opportunity.

AFP, le 03-05-11

Aid agencies seek sea and land access to Misrata

The international migration agency appealed to all sides in the Libyan crisis Tuesday to allow a ship to evacuate about 1,000 stranded migrants as well as mounting casualties from the besieged port of Misrata. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that several hundred patients needed evacuation for urgent medical treatment, while the international Red Cross said it would try to reach Misrata by land.

AFP, le 01-05-11

Libyan refugees keep up flood into Tunisia

A flow of Libyans keep crossing into Tunisia from Libya at the Dehiba border post. Sunday, a record of 5 000 refugees crossed the border. The Kaddafi’s soldiers attacked rebels manning the frontier on Thursday, penetrating several kilometers into Tunisian territory and prompting a strong protest from Tunis.

AFP, le 23-04-11

Refugees from Libya celebrate Easter in camp

An all-male group of 60-odd people, mainly Eritreans and Nigerians, gathered to pray and sing psalms in a makeshift church of two tents, while the women prepared a traditional Eritrean dish. There are about 10 000 waiting in a camp.
The camp at Choucha houses about 6,000 refugees, most of whom are hoping to obtain refugee status enabling them to demand seek asylum in a safe country.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees set up a structure in the camp a week ago to study all the applications.