More African migrants flee Libya: IOM
More central and western African migrants are managing to flee Libya, the International Organisation for Migration said on Thursday, following fears of targeting by Moamer Kadhafi's regime.
"Although the numbers of Africans fleeing to the borders still remain comparatively small, they are mounting," Mohamed Abdiker, IOM's Director of Operations, said in a statement.
"This is an encouraging sign given our strong concerns over the targeting of sub-Saharan Africans inside Libya," he added.
About one third of a group of 1,052 migrants being evacuated on Thursday by the IOM came from Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Around 790 were Bangladeshi.
A day earlier the 1,713 evacuees included 295 Ghanaians and Sudanese.
More than 20,000 migrants of all nationalities are still stranded in Tunisia and Egypt, with an average of 6,000 still arriving at the two borders alone every day, according to the IOM.
In the past three weeks, more than 252,000 people have reached neighbouring Tunisia, Egypt, Niger and Algeria.
The sub-Saharan Africans were largely being repatriated through Egypt, Malta, Tunisia using commercial or charter flights.
The IOM feared that many migrant workers, especially poorer Africans or Asians had trouble fleeing, while sub-Saharan Africans also faced animosity in Libya after some were reportedly recruited as mercenaries by Kadhafi's forces.
© 2011 AFP