UN says Libyans must allow return of stranded Tawergha group

Displaced women from the Libyan town of Tawergha, 260 km east of the Libyan capital Tripoli, are seen at a temporary camp, 20 km from Tawergha, after they were denied entry to their hometown: (Mahmud Turkia/ AFP)
Updated 21 February 2018
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UN says Libyans must allow return of stranded Tawergha group

CAIRO: A UN human rights expert is urging Libyan authorities to ensure the safety of hundreds of former residents of the northern town of Tawergha, “who are stranded and even dying in the desert despite an agreement allowing their safe return.”
The group, mostly dark-skinned Libyans who were due to return on Feb. 1 under an agreement with the neighboring city of Misrata, have been barred from entry and harassed by militias.
The entire population of around 40,000 people was forcibly evacuated in 2011 as collective punishment for their perceived support for deposed leader Muammar Qaddafi.
Special Rapporteur Cecilia Jimenez-Damary says in a Tuesday statement she was “appalled” at the situation, in which “two men have died already following strokes, possibly as a result of the harsh weather conditions.”


At least 30 migrants believed missing after boat sinking off Libya

Updated 8 sec ago
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At least 30 migrants believed missing after boat sinking off Libya

TRIPOLI: At least 30 migrants are believed to be missing after their boat sank off the western Libyan city of Sabratha this week, a coastguard spokesman said on Thursday.
According to a survivor the boat was carrying almost 50 migrants, coastguard spokesman Ayoub Qassem said. The body of one child was recovered and 16 migrants were rescued, he added.
Previously, officials had said at least 10 migrants were thought to have died in the incident.
Libya's western coast is a main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe, though numbers have dropped since an Italian-led effort to disrupt smuggling networks and support Libya's coast guard.