Migrants, refugees moved out of endangered Tripoli detention center: UN

Remaining migrants and refugees in a detention center in Libya’s capital Tripoli, under threat of violence, were moved Thursday to safer areas in the region, a UN spokesman said.

“The transfer of all the remaining migrants and refugees from Qasr Bin Ghashir detention center in Tripoli to safer areas is underway,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters at a regular briefing that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday they had transferred 328 refugees and migrants from the detention center amid deteriorating security and escalating violence.

The relocation, triggered by reports on Tuesday of the use of armed violence against detainees, were being carried out with support from the Libyan authorities and the United Nations.

“Current conditions in Libya continue to underline the fact that it is a dangerous and unsuitable place for refugees and migrants,” said Dujarric.

A humanitarian pause was coordinated and facilitated with all parties to allow for the safe passage of the migrants and refugees who were intercepted while attempting to sail across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe from North Africa, the spokesman said.

Ghassan Salame, the secretary-general’s special representative for Libya, said Wednesday on a visit to Rome that the UN continues its efforts to bring the warring sides in Libya together, hoping that they can recognize the political process is better than further fighting while the country and its people are losing.

He said he hoped to see results before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The world organization continues to provide assistance to thousands of Libyan families affected by the fighting to be relocated to other areas, he said.