Refugees in eastern Tripoli live in fear due to recent clashes

North Africa

Recent clashes in the Libyan capital Tripoli have displaced thousands of people, among them refugees who have already been displaced from Somalia, Sudan and other African countries.

In the Libyan capital, Tripoli, over 500 migrants are trapped in a refugee facility, threatened by the clashes taking place nearby. The migrants, many of whom are children and young men from Somalia, Sudan and other African countries, say that gunfire and the nearby clashes have caused them to be very afraid.

“I have been hearing the sound of shooting and fighting for more than 17 days. I am afraid, and I cannot sleep or rest, I suffer a lot every day,” said one of the refugees. “I hope that nothing will happen to us and I want to be transferred from here so as not to be harmed.”
Furthermore, the director of the facility says that since the conflict broke out, the authorities and international organisations have not delivered food, water or provided them with any support, resulting in massive shortages.

“We have not received any assistance from international organisations,” said the facility’s director. “Some local organisations offer little food, but this is not enough.”

According to United Nations (UN) estimates, there are over 700,000 migrants in Libya.

Since the start of the Libyan conflict in 2011, hundred of thousands of Africans have attempted to enter the country before attempting to cross into Europe via the Mediterranean owing to high levels of violence and poor economic opportunities.

As a result, countries like Libya, which was used as a passage, was forced to host thousands of migrants within its borders.

While the UN and other international organisations have attempted to relocate many of the displaced Africans currently living in Libya, others were sent back home, despite the lack of financial and physical security in their home countries. However, with their host countries now facing problems, these migrants say they have nowhere to go but stay here, threatened by the ensuing conflict.