Sudden drop in numbers of people fleeing Libya into Tunisia – UNHCR concerned that people are being prevented from leaving Libya

From UNHCR:  “GENEVA, March 4 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency on Friday reported a sharp drop in the numbers of people crossing the border at Ras Adjir from Libya into Tunisia, and said it was increasingly worried at reports of people being impeded from fleeing.

As of mid-week, some 10,000-15,000 people were crossing the border daily, placing huge strains on the abilities of Tunisian authorities and humanitarian agencies to cope. But since Wednesday afternoon the numbers have fallen sharply. On Thursday, less than 2,000 people crossed.

‘The border on the Libyan side is now manned by heavily armed pro-government forces,’ UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told a press conference in Geneva. ‘From those that did manage to cross the border, we have heard that mobile phones and cameras were being confiscated en route. Many people appear to be frightened and are unwilling to speak’.…”

Click here, here, and here for full articles.

Click here for picture of pro-Gaddafi demonstration on Libyan side of border.

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Filed under Libya, Mediterranean, News, Tunisia, UNHCR, United Nations

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