Libya: thousands of African migrants stranded in war zone

Thousands of African migrants are camped at the Libyan port of Misrata in hope of boarding a ship to escape the conflict, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), told the Missionary News Service. There has been heavy fighting in the city for weeks between rebels and  Colonel Gaddaffi's army.

“In the port area, some 6,500 foreigners are camped out in the open in very bad hygienic conditions. They are Egyptians, Sudanese, Nigerians and Ghanaians, and all want to escape”, Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC spokesman said.  A ship from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), left the  Italian port of Brindisi on Monday with the aim of collecting migrants and taking them to Egypt. But the ship can only take 1,000 passengers at a time.

ICRC staff are the first aid workers to visit Misrata, where there have been claims that Gaddaffi's forces have killed thousands of people. The Libyan Red Crescent, which has sheltered hundreds of displaced people in a school building and caring for 120 orphaned children has confirmed that the situation is grave.

Source: MISNA