The UNHCR announced on Friday that it has received permission to resume some activities in Libya. The UNHCR said that “its operations will be restricted to only its current caseload” in Libya.
Libyan officials have offered several reasons for why the Libyan government ordered UNHCR to cease operations several weeks ago, including complaints that UNHCR entered into cooperation agreements with local NGOs within Libya without authorisation, rented office space without permission, displayed the UNHCR logo improperly, and, most recently, that one or more persons associated with UNHCR accepted bribes and/or sexual favours from persons in exchange for refugee status.
“UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards stressed that the Libyan allegations remain unsubstantiated. He told journalists in Geneva that talks on the agency’s future in the country will resume shortly and that the expulsion order has not yet been formally lifted. ‘UNHCR does take very seriously any accusation against any UNHCR staff member from whatever source,’ he said. ‘We have a zero tolerance policy for misconduct. We have asked the Libyan Government to substantiate these particular claims. If and when we receive these indications, we will be in a position to investigate through our normal procedures.’”
Click here for UN statement.