IOM plans third round of evacuations from Misrata

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The International Organisation for Migration said that it plans to carry out a third round of sea evacuations from the besieged Libyan city of Misrata late Tuesday, after Britain agreed to fund further rescue missions.

"We will possibly be doing a third mission today," said Jemini Pandya, spokeswoman for the inter-governmental agency.

"We will be sending a third boat later this evening, we're in the process of actually loading again another 400 to 500 tonnes of cargo, this time it's all medical and food aid," she added.

The organisation estimates that another 5,000 migrants are still stranded around the port area of Misrata, most of whom are sub-Saharan Africans, particularly from Niger.

"This is the group we are going to be targetting this time. This is what we hope, to take out a good chunk of the Niger migrants," added Pandya.

The agency has already evacuated over 2,000 people from Misrata over the last few days.

On Monday, Britain announced that it would work through the IOM to get a ship to evacuate 5,000 stranded migrant workers out of Misrata.

Separately, Unicef said it is sending a ship carrying supplies for 15,000 to 25,000 people to Misrata.

The ship is expected to arrive Wednesday with first aid kits, drinking kits, water purification tablets, hygiene material and recreation material for children, said spokeswoman for the UN Children's Fund Marixie Mercado.

© 2011 AFP

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