Left Menu
Development News Edition

Aid group says Libyan militia is holding hostage 60 migrants

"We found over 350 women, children, and men sleeping on the ground in appalling living conditions without access to water, showers, or toilets," said Guillaume Baret, MSF's head of mission in Libya. The militia stole valuable items and identification documents from the migrants, before taking them to a warehouse guarded by armed men in the nearby coastal city of Sabratha, the biggest launching point for the mainly African migrants who make the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea, the group said.

PTI | Tripoli | Updated: 12-10-2020 22:29 IST | Created: 12-10-2020 21:28 IST
Aid group says Libyan militia is holding hostage 60 migrants
Representative image Image Credit: Flickr

A Libyan armed group is holding hostage at least 60 migrants, including two dozen children, in "appalling" conditions after abducting them almost two weeks ago, an aid group has said. Masked militiamen abducted the migrants on September 28 from the town of al-Ajaylat, around 80 kilometers west of the capital, Tripoli, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres. The statement on Saturday said that the armed group initially took hostage around 350 migrants, mainly from West Africa, but that most of the migrants managed to escape while some others were released.

The aid group said that it had been notified by the Libyan government's agency for combatting illegal migration two days after the abduction, and later visited the warehouse where the migrants were held. "We found over 350 women, children, and men sleeping on the ground in appalling living conditions without access to water, showers, or toilets," said Guillaume Baret, MSF's head of mission in Libya.

The militia stole valuable items and identification documents from the migrants, before taking them to a warehouse guarded by armed men in the nearby coastal city of Sabratha, the biggest launching point for the mainly African migrants who make the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea, the group said. The Switzerland-based organization, also known as Doctors Without Borders, said that the remaining hostages are being held by the militia at a former military base.

Two Sabratha residents and one migrant said most of the armed men belong to a militia known as Al-Ammu, which the UN Panel of Experts on Libya identified in 2017 as main facilitators of human trafficking. The migrant said the militiamen are likely seeking ransom from families of the held migrants, or to sell them to other traffickers. Al-Ammu and another militia, called the Brigade 48, are headed by two brothers from the area's large al-Dabashi family. Both militias are affiliated with the UN-supported government in Tripoli.

The residents and migrant spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. A spokesman for the Tripoli-based interior ministry did not answer phone calls and messages seeking comment. The aid group said its medics were only allowed to consult with women and children among the captive migrants, and they were not allowed to treat men. A shooting reportedly broke out following an attempted escape on October 2, and at least three people were killed, it said.

"The situation at the warehouse was tense, with armed men firing shots into the air," the group's statement added. Libya has emerged as a major transit point for African and Arab migrants fleeing violence and poverty to Europe, after the North African country collapsed into civil war following the overthrow and killing in 2011 of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Pakistanis living in Hyderabad, Centre looking into issue: MoS Kishan Reddy

Union Minister of State MoS for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy has said that there are a few Pakistanis living in Hyderabad and the Central government does have a report on them and is looking into this issue. He also said that there is a colo...

Pakistan's first transgender lawyer goes from begging to fighting in court

Lawyer Nisha Rao maneuvers among the throng of black-coated attorneys clustered near Karachis city courts searching for her client.But Rao, 28, is not just another lawyer running for a meeting. As Pakistans first transgender lawyer, she has...

S.Korea braces for bed shortages as coronavirus cases near nine-month high

South Korea reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day on Friday, a level unseen in nearly nine months, as a third wave of infections spread nationwide, leaving authorities scrambling to provide more hospita...

France resumes tax on tech giants, seeks deal with US

France is resuming collection of a special tax on Big Tech companies like Amazon and Facebook despite the threat of U.S. retaliatory tariffs on French Champagne, cheese, handbags and other goods. The tax brought about 400 million euros to t...

Give Feedback