Migrants Storm UN Refugee Office in Libyan Capital

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On Wednesday, migrants stormed the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, according to the Libyan News Agency.

Sources at the UNHCR told the Libyan News Agency, that the protesters, who were conducting a sit-in for in front of the Commission stormed the office building by force. Some of them conducted violence against the UNHCR’s workers.

“Security was called and work in the office was suspended until the office was secured and protected,” the Libyan News Agency added.

Last month, the UNHCR deplored the violence which broke out during a demonstration outside its main office in Tripoli, Libya.

The UNHCR reported that at least three people were attacked, and one person was taken to hospital.

In October 2021, Libyan authorities arrested some 5,000 migrants during which one migrant was killed and 15 were wounded, according to the United Nations (UN).

“Several days later, some 2,000 migrants escaped from a detention centre in the Libyan capital Tripoli, as guards shot dead one migrant,” the Office of the Libyan Attorney General said.

On Thursday the UNHCR said that 93 asylum seekers have been evacuated to Italy from Libya, where they had been living in precarious situations with an uncertain future.

The UNHCR said this group of evacuees, the first of 500 to be evacuated under a new mechanism for humanitarian admissions, included children, women at risk, survivors of violence and torture, and people with serious medical conditions.

It noted that, some were recently released from detention while others had been held in captivity by smuggling or trafficking networks. The asylum seekers left Tripoli on a UNHCR-chartered flight to Rome.

“We are pleased to see these evacuation flights become a reality and that the Libyan authorities have supported them. They are a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable asylum seekers,” the UNHCR’s Chief of Mission in Libya, Jean-Paul Cavalieri, said.

“Conditions in Libya remain dire for many refugees, and we need the international community’s help to expand similar routes to safety,” Cavalieri added.