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Libya: Thousands of migrants need support - local immigration chief


Thousands of migrants displaced by fighting on Libya’s northwestern coast are in need of medical help, the head of a migrant camp in the town of Gharyan, Abdulhameed Muftah said on Thursday.

Some 5,800 migrants arrived at the Al-Hamra dentition centre in Gharyan, about 80 km south of the capital Tripoli, since fighting broke out last month in the coastal city of Sabratha, previously a launch pad for crossings to Italy.

About 2,000 people have already been sent on from Gharyan to other centres in Tripoli.

“Currently, the numbers of those who have reached Gharyan that we have taken in are more than 5,800. We moved a decent amount of them, around 2,000 to Tripoli where they can be deported back to their countries after they receive the proper medical care,” he said.

U.N. agencies have been struggling to provide support for thousands of mainly sub-Saharan African migrants stranded after the fighting.

Many have been taken to centres such as the one in Gharyan, which are nominally controlled by the U.N.-backed government but notorious for widespread abuse and poor conditions. Humanitarian workers have limited access.

“Through you, (the media) we appeal to all international organisations, charity organisations and the Libyan state to consider the humanitarian condition of these migrants and to try and provide us with the most simple of aid, such as healthcare and psychological care,” Muftah said.

Al-Hamra camp, which is also called a shelter, consists of about a dozen hangars, each meant to hold up to 150 people.

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