23 January 2015
Following fresh fighting among rival tribal factions in Libya since the beginning of 2015, UNHCR estimates that almost 400,000 people are now internally displaced. Benghazi, Derna, and near the Gulf of Sidra in Ben Jawad and Ras Lanuf are the areas most affected. In Benghazi alone, around 90,000 are reported to be displaced. Many people have had to flee for a fourth or fifth time.
Following UNHCR’s recommendation and in light of the deteriorating security situation in Libya, Norway suspended forced returns to the country earlier this month.
The situation in Libya has worsened to the extent that, according to Frontex, while Libya was the departure point of choice for smugglers in 2014, “this increasingly lawless North African nation appears to have become too dangerous an operating environment even for the criminal gangs”.
International concerns are growing over the situation in Libya. “The general impression is the country is very close to total chaos”, stated Bernardino León, Head of the United Nations Mission in Libya, declared earlier this month.
For further information:
- EU Observer, EU looks to mothball Libya border mission, 19 January 2015
- UNHCR, Fresh fighting in the New Year triggers displacement in Libya, 16 January 2015
- ECRE Weekly Bulletin, Norway suspends returns to Libya, Uzbekistan and certain parts of Iraq, 15 January 2015
- ECRE Weekly Bulletin, UNHCR advises against returns to Libya amid deteriorating human rights situation, 21 November 2014
- Malta Today, The EU must start considering Libya as a priority: Dalli, 14 January 2015
- The New York Times, Fearing ‘Total Chaos’ in Libya, U.N. Plans New Peace Talks, 14 January 2015
This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 23 January 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.