UNHCR Says Around 1,350 Refugees Evacuated From Libya So Far In 2019

The UN Higher Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) on Sunday said around 1,350 refugees have been evacuated from Libya so far in 2019, reported The Libya Observer.

 “1,350 refugees left Libya to safe third countries through evacuation or resettlement program in 2019,” the UNHCR wrote in a  post on Twitter.

On Saturday, “31 refugees left … with hopes to start a new chapter of their lives,” it added.

Notably, Libya is a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

The UNHCR has said Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation for migrants as security conditions in the North African country are worsening each passing day.

Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) began a war against forces loyal to the UN backed Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj,  in April to take control of Tripoli and overthrow the government in April. The fighting has killed over 1,100 people and displaced more than 100,000 civilians.

On Sunday, Haftar’s forces advanced on the area between Gharyan and Al-Urban (45 km to southeast Gharyan) and positioned in Ghout Al-Reeh after violent clashes preceded by heavy air attacks.

The LNA said its forces captured the Ghout al-Reeh area in southeastern Gharyan. The statement added that its strikes on the area forced militias to flee and left 12 people dead, including two suspected ISIS members.

Haftar’s forces, however, denied it was behind an airstrike that left three people dead in the town of al-Sawani south of Tripoli. GNA media had accused the LNA of being behind the attack, broadcasting images of the destruction of several vehicles.

 “Our forces deny targeting any civilian vehicle in the al-Sawani region as claimed by the misleading Muslim Brotherhood media,” LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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