Migrant shooting in Libya, ‘irrefutable’ proof it’s not safe, say agencies
The death of a Sudanese man in Libya who was shot after being returned to shore by the coastguard, has been condemned by UN humanitarian agencies, who on Friday reiterated their call for the country’s migrant detention centres to close.
According to the International Organization for Migration, IOM, the man was among more than 100 migrants “resisting being sent back to detention centres”, when shots were fired in the air at Abusitta in Tripoli on Thursday.
In Geneva, IOM spokesperson Safa Msheli explained that the migrant was seriously wounded in the stomach and died after being admitted to a nearby clinic.
“IOM staff who were on the scene to provide aid to the migrants, report that armed men began shooting in the air when several migrants tried to run away from their guards. The use of live bullets against unarmed vulnerable civilians, men, women and children alike, is unacceptable under any circumstances.”
Some 5,000 migrant women, children and men are still detained in Libya in conditions described as “inhumane” by IOM.
More than 3,000 are held in areas of active conflict which continues to worsen in and around Tripoli, amid ongoing clashes between the UN-recognised Government and forces fighting for challenger Khalifa Haftar, the UN agency warned.
Refugee safety a priority amid rising xenophobic attacks in South Africa
Violence against foreign nationals in South Africa has forced more than 1,500 people to flee their homes, UNHCR said on Friday.
Attacks have left at least 12 people dead, including refugees and South Africans, Charlie Yaxley told journalists in Geneva.
He said UN staff had also seen a spike in the number of calls to emergency hotlines in recent weeks, after incidents in places including Katlehong near Johannesburg in Gauteng Province.
“People (are) reporting that their homes and businesses have been looted, buildings and property having been set on fire, increased gang activity on the streets and rising incidents of sexual and gender-based violence. Many refugees are now too afraid to go to work or carry out their day-to-day trade, despite having no alternative sources of income.”
Today, around 800 people have sought safety in community halls in Katlehong but many have said they want to return home to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, UNHCR’s Charlie Yaxley said.
Reports indicate that dozens of Malawians and Zimbabweans have decided to return already, along with more than 130 Mozambicans and over 300 Nigerians.
Working with the Government of South Africa, refugee agency UNHCR has deployed relief items, emergency shelter, psycho-social care, legal assistance and support for those who have lost their jobs because of the violence.
Community dialogues have also been established with host communities to strengthen social cohesion, the agency said.
In Yemen, record 12.4 million food-insecure people receive food assistance
And finally to Yemen, where a record 12.4 million people have received emergency food assistance amid ongoing fighting.
Announcing the development, the World Food Programme, WFP, said that importing, storing and transporting this amount of aid in a war zone is a major challenge.
It’s calling for $600 million to ensure uninterrupted food assistance for the next six months, warning that without more funding, the agency will have no choice but to reduce food rations to families from next month.
Today, more than four years of clashes between troops loyal to President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and mainly Houthi opposition forces, more than 20 million Yemenis are food insecure – that’s two-thirds of the population.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.