Libya: Antonio Guterres calls for the closure of migrant detention centers

Nearly 3,000 migrants are believed to be currently prisoners in Libya (illustrative image) Taha JAWASHI / AFP

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2 min

The conditions in which the civilian population in Libya lives worries the UN and in particular the migrants who find themselves stranded in Libya, stuck in the bogged down of the conflict between the government of national unity and the National Liberation Army of General Haftar .

In a report delivered to the Security Council on Friday, Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls for the closure of detention centers for illegal migrants, and protests against the violation of their rights. 


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With our correspondent in New York


Carrie Nooten

The fate of the Libyan people, and migrants in particular, has remained the big unknown in New York in recent months - so this report by Antonio Guterres shows the UN's commitment to protecting the civilian population, despite the stalemate of the Libyan conflict.

The Secretary General speaks of “ 

horrible conditions 

” of detention for 2,780 people: lack of care or food, torture, enforced disappearances, sexual violence…

Nothing is spared these migrants,

often gathered by force in these camps.

Most of the time used as free labor to repair or maintain the weapons of different armed groups, men and boys are also used as bargaining chips to obtain ransoms from their families.

Almost a quarter of these detainees are children, generally separated from their families - contrary to all international regulations, and Antonio Guterres calls on the Libyan authorities to release them immediately and entrust them to specialized services.

In addition, the Secretary General deplores the fact that no progress has been made in the investigation into the bombing of the Tajoura refugee camp, near Tripoli, in July 2019 - which left more than 50 victims.


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  • International Migration

  • Libya

  • UN