UN Calls for Immediate End to Tunisia’s Expulsion of Migrants to Libya


Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General has called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to “intervene immediately to stop the expulsion of migrants and refugees from Tunisia to the borders with Libya and Algeria.”

He urged the two UN agencies to “collaborate to transfer those stranded at the borders to safe locations.”

During a press conference, Haq expressed the United Nations’ concern about the expulsion of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from Tunisia, to the border areas. He added that many migrants stranded at the Tunisian-Libyan borders, who are of various nationalities, have lost their lives.

Haq also explained that “hundreds of stranded individuals, including women, pregnant women, and children, are living in extremely harsh conditions, and their chances of getting food and water are decreasing day by day.”

He called for the “protection of all migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and for them to be treated with dignity, emphasizing the need to respect them regardless of their situation.”

Notably, Libyan Border Guards have confirmed that their patrols have found two unidentified bodies of illegal immigrants.

The guards stated that the bodies were discovered during security patrols in the border security zone. The patrols were inspecting the area to prevent the flow and entry of migrants, who are being deported by Tunisian authorities and forcing them to enter Libyan territory.

According to the guards, one of the bodies was found near the Ain Al-Naga checkpoint, and the other near the Abu Al-Sharif checkpoint.

The guards have reported the incident to the Assa police station, and the public prosecutor’s office to take the necessary measures.

This tragic incident highlights the risks that many African migrants undertake in search of a better life. The situation in Libya has been challenging for migrants due to the ongoing conflict, and political instability in the country.

Last week, the Libyan Ministry of Interior announced that it had recovered the bodies of five migrants, in a barren area near the border with Tunisia.

The ministry stated that security patrols discovered the bodies between the Zwara Al-Khass and Tawila Al-Rutba areas.

The fate of dozens of sub-Saharan Africans near the Libyan border has become uncertain, as they claim that Tunisian authorities deported them from Sfax earlier this month.

The Tunisian government then reportedly moved them to shelters in two towns. Human rights groups have said that dozens are still stranded in extremely difficult conditions, left thirsty and hungry, in an unprecedented heatwave.

Tunisian President, Kais Saied condemned illegal migration from sub-Saharan Africa in February, saying it aimed to change the demographic structure of Tunisia. Rights groups criticized these statements as racist. The African Union also criticized Tunisia, and urged it to “avoid hate speech.”