Britain to get 5,000 out of Misrata

18th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain will charter a ship to pick up 5,000 migrant workers stranded in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata and take them to safety, a British spokesman at the UN said Monday.

Misrata, in western Libya, has been under attack by Moamer Kadhafi's forces with several hundred people killed there, according to rights groups and doctors in the city.

The plan to get the migrant workers out of the city is being discussed by Britain's International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell during meetings with top United Nations officials in New York, British mission spokesman Daniel Shepherd said.

"Current planning is to get 5,000 out of Misrata and it is likely to be one ship," Shepherd told AFP.

"The position in Misrata, which has sharply deteriorated in the last few days, means that there are 5,000 poor migrant workers caught out on the quayside with munitions exploding some 300 yards (metres) from where they are," Mitchell told the BBC.

He said the UN's International Organisation of Migration would organize the operation and take the workers to Egypt.

"Many of them are Egyptians, there's some Bangladeshis as well, and we're going to move all of them out as soon as we can by sea."

Mitchell also announced that Britain would fund other aid for towns in western Libya.

This money will be channeled through the International Medical Corps (IMC), a non-government group.

The money would allow IMC to send in five person medical teams and provide basic medicines to treat the wounded and for other general medical care needs, said a British statement.

"In conflict-affected areas across Libya, thousands of sick and injured people are in desperate need of medical help. Those who are able to reach hospitals find a shortage of doctors -- most with no training in war surgery -- few nurses, overwhelmed staff, and weak or non-existent post-operative care," Mitchell said.

© 2011 AFP

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