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Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Maria Ribeiro, on the recent events in the Port of Misrata

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Publication date

Tripoli, 20 November 2018

The humanitarian community is saddened by the turn of events in Misrata, where 79 refugees and migrants who remained onboard a commercial vessel since 10 November were forced to disembark the boat. We regret the reports that some of the people onboard were injured during the forced disembarkation and transferred to the public hospital. Refugees and migrants on board included Ethiopian, Eritrean, South Sudanese, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Somali nationals.

Since the onset of the impasse in Misrata port, the humanitarian community has provided humanitarian assistance on a daily basis to alleviate the suffering of the people onboard and has strongly advocated for a peaceful solution to the situation, including with refugees and migrants themselves. It is regrettable that mediation efforts undertaken did not lead to a peaceful resolution.

The humanitarian community calls for alternatives to detention to be implemented in Libya and for the transfer of individuals from disembarkation points to appropriate reception facilities for assistance, screening and solutions. We further call for continued humanitarian access to all individuals disembarked and stand ready to contribute to ensuring appropriate support and solutions for the entire group are found, depending of the circumstances and needs of each individual.

For more information, please contact:

Paula Barrachina, UNHCR Libya,
Christine Petre, IOM,
Niels Scott, OCHA Libya,

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit