Migrant’s death exposes UN failures in Libya

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As tragedy and controversy continues to move hand in hand with the migrant voyages from the shores of Libya across the Mediterranean, Rana Jawad, the BBCs North Africa correspondent gives a good insight to the desperate situation of thousands of migrants stuck in Libya and the role of the United Nations.

Jawad reports on a  tranche of confidential documents, unpublished reports and email correspondence given to the BBC by several sources also reveals a chaotic and “dysfunctional” humanitarian response, especially when dealing with other NGO

Jawad speaks to various survivors of the most horrific of situations as well as officials from the United Nations.  Among them of a Somali man, Mohamed who burnt himself to death after hearing that they were not on a UN refugee list. His wife speaks about the tragedy and how she was locked in a small room with 50 other women and just a bucket for a toilet, with people dying in her arms and being tortured repeatedly.

Jawad also speaks to Julien Raikman, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) mission head in Libya, who emphasises that migrants should not be taken back to Libya: “It is totally illegal actually and this is what we don’t understand. We say that this is not a port of safety.”

In view of the criticism and obstacles that the UN constantly faces, Jawad points out that the UN and other non-governmental organisations find that Libya is a difficult environment to work in – and the UNHCR is not even recognised by the government in Tripoli.

 

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