ABOARD GEO BARENTS (WNN) – As part of Libya’s unprecedented crackdown on migrants exceeded 5,000, including hundreds of children and women – dozens of whom are pregnant, according to a UN tally.
The United Nations said one migrant was killed and at least 15 others were injured in the raid. Action started on Friday In the western city of Gargesh, a major center for expatriates in the North African nation. The roundup, dated October 3 and obtained by The Associated Press on Monday, showed 215 children and more than 540 women. Of them, at least 30 were pregnant, according to the United Nations.
Libyan authorities described the action as a security operation against illegal migration and drug trafficking. Libya has emerged as a major transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, hoping for a better life in Europe. Oil-rich Libya fell into chaos after the 2011 NATO-backed insurgency and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi.
The UN humanitarian coordinator for Libya, Georgette Gagnon, criticized the raids, in which unarmed migrants were harassed, beaten and shot in their homes.
But the Home Ministry, which led the action, made no mention of any smugglers or smugglers being arrested. It has yet to address casualties among migrants and alleged abuse during raids, including the use of deadly force, which has been raised by the United Nations.
The UN’s International Organization for Migration report obtained by the WNN showed that 5,152 migrants have been detained in raids since Friday. Those numbers are likely to increase, the report said, as actions continue in many parts of the region, also known as the Andalus neighborhood.
The IOM document states that authorities have distributed migrants to detention centers in the capital, Tripoli. At least 4,187 detainees, including 511 women and 60 children, were sent to the Mabani detention center, which was more than its capacity. The Abu Salim center received at least 570 migrants.
The document showed that at least 390 others, including 30 pregnant women and 155 children, were taken into al-Zawiya custody. The Center has already detained 182 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to rights activists, these detention centers are full of abuse. The WNN also reported in June that the guards at Share al-Zawiya Sexual assault of young Somali female migrants.
Alexandra Sayeh, Libya Advocacy Manager of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said refugees and migrants in different parts of Libya are afraid to leave their homes for fear of being detained.
“People are quite frightened,” she said. “This is really a ‘wake up call’ to the dire situation in Libya for migrants and refugees and the international community must step up.”