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Nearly 300.000 have already left Libya. Thousands of migrants still stranded

Arrival of refugees at the Tunisian border (© Kate Thomas/IRIN)

The latest figures provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are precise. As of March 14, 287,846 people had left Libya. Half by Tunisia (154.186) the others by Egypt (120.986), Niger (3.580), Algeria (9.094). No information comes from refugees arriving in Sudan. This figure is therefore a minimum.

Migrants stranded in Libya. Very difficult situation around Tripoli airport

According to information received by the IOM, there are still 19.000 migrants stranded on the Libyan border with Tunisia and Egypt. And the number of Africans stranded around Tripoli airport has increased significantly in recent days. We knew there were several thousand “ in very difficult conditions ", as a European diplomat had confided several days ago to 'B2' who was able to visit the site in person. According to the IOM, the number of refugees has now reached 1 km2. Which could represent several tens of thousands of people.

Too slow repatriation in Tunisia

In Tunisia, the problem remains the evacuation of these refugees. The UNHCR believes that there are not enough long-haul means. And there are more refugees arriving every day at the Tunisian border than there are leaving, according to the Tunisian Ministry of Health. Thus 3186 people arrived at the Choucha camp, located 25 km from the border, on March 12 and 13, half being Ghanaians (1615). But only 2000 people left. Another problem: the Somalis and Eritreans who have nowhere to go. The typology of people arriving is also starting to change: in particular the proportion of women and children arriving at this camp continues to increase.

Crossing the desert in Niger

In Niger, where even if there are not a large number, the conditions are not easy. A military escort was organized to repatriate these people from the border to Niamey, a four-day journey in the desert.

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).