Al-Assah, Libya, July 17 (Online Desk): Libyan border guards have rescued dozens of Tunisian migrants. The number of such migrants, left in the desert without water and food, is gradually ‘increasing’. An official said this on Sunday.
Hundreds of migrants from sub-Saharan African countries were forcibly taken to hostile desert areas bordering Libya and Algeria after ethnic violence in Sfax, Tunisia’s second largest city, began in early July. News from AFP.
An AFP team on the Libya-Tunisia border saw apparently exhausted and dehydrated migrants lying on the sand in bushes trying to protect themselves from the 40 degree Celsius summer heat. The group was stationed in an uninhabited area near the town of Al-Assah, near the Tunisia-Libya border, about 150 kilometers west of Tripoli.
“The number of migrants is increasing every day,” Mohammad Abu Snenah of the border patrol unit told AFP. “50 to 70 migrants have been rescued,” he said. I provide treatment.’
Hundreds of migrants fled or were forced out of Sfax, Tunisia, as ethnic tensions flared after a clash between locals and migrants killed a Tunisian on July 3.
The port of Sfax is a safe route to Europe for many migrants from impoverished, violent and devastated countries. Hoping for a better life in Europe, they made the dangerous Mediterranean crossing, often by boat, to seek refuge in the port.
Between 100 and 150 migrants, including women and children, are still stuck on the Libyan border, Tunisian human rights groups said on Friday.
The Tunisian Red Crescent says it has sheltered more than 600 migrants. They were moved to the military area of Ras Zedi north of al-Assah on the Mediterranean coast after 3 July.
The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) said on Friday that around 165 migrants stranded in western Tunisia, near the border with Algeria, had been picked up, without specifying who took them where.
In Libya, human traffickers have reportedly profited from the long chaos that followed the 2011 ouster of iron man Moammar Gaddafi, and the country has faced allegations of migrant abuse.