Migrants who are currently settled in Tunisia speak of the torture and mistreatment they were subject to in shelter centres in Libya.
Several migrants who have escaped one war after another have been settled in Tunisia at the Tunisian Red Crescent refugee centre. Refugees from Sudan, Chad and Congo were interviewed in this video report and they have recounted the racism and humiliation they faced in refugee shelters in war-torn Libya.
Abdelhadi, a refugee who has escaped from the Darfur region in Sudan, says that he would “rather drown in the sea than go back to Sudan”. Nevertheless, he explains that the armed militias inside Libya mistreated him and his refugee counterparts.
Omar from Chad, who says he escaped death in Libya, noted the following: “We were not allowed to even speak, they were racist and we were mistreated.”
Abu Bakr Salih, a refugee from Somalia, was expressed his grievances about his stay in Libya: “The migrants do not want to stay in Libya because of the war and the bad conditions there. No one cared about us.”
The refugee situation in Libya is known to have reached crisis levels in the midst of the ongoing civil war in the country, especially in areas around the capital city Tripoli. The most recent catastrophe to hit the refugees stranded in Libya was the airstrike that hit the detention centre in Tajoura, in the outskirts of Tripoli.
Despite issues with border crossings between Tunisia and Libya, Tunisia has accepted several refugees from other parts of Africa who then fled from neighbouring Libya. The Tunisian Red Crescent is one of the most prominent humanitarian organisations that is helping to shelter refugees entering the country.
Nevertheless, the majority of refugees stranded in Tunisia are not keen on staying in the country, which itself is suffering from high unemployment rates, despite improvements to the political situation there following the running of presidential and parliamentary elections over the past few weeks.