ECRE calls on the EU to rescue sub–Saharan refugees trapped in Libya

Statement in full:

“Brussels, 3 March 2011. In a meeting today with Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström, ECRE urged the European Commission to make an appeal to EU Member States to help evacuate and offer protection to the 4,000 sub-Saharan refugees who are trapped in Libya.

The international community is making important efforts to support the evacuation of Europeans, Egyptians, Tunisians and other foreigners. However, sub-Saharan refugees, mainly Somalis and Eritreans, are not able to get out of Libya to find safety. As de facto refugees, they cannot go back to their own countries, which they fled to save their lives. What is more, suspected of being pro-Gaddafi mercenaries, they are being targeted and are at great risk if they try to reach the Egyptian or Tunisian border.

Bjarte Vandvik, ECRE’s Secretary General, said ‘Persecuted in their own country, persecuted now in Libya and unable to leave the country, sub –Saharan refugees need to be urgently evacuated to Europe’.

For further information

– ECRE, Appeal for Libya: NGOs call on European governments and the European Union to stand with them in helping people who are fleeing Libya

– ECRE, Safe haven for people fleeing bloodshed in Libya

– CIR, CIR launches an urgent appeal for the evacuation of Eritrean refugees in Tripoli


Click here for link to ECRE statement.

Click here (SV) for Commissioner Malmström’s short blog post regarding the meeting with ECRE.

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Filed under European Union, Libya, Mediterranean, Statements

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