Thousands flee Libya to Tunisia: UN agency

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About 3,000 people fled Libya's mountainous west for Remada and Dehiba in Tunisia Saturday, the UN refugee agency said, doubling the number to seek refuge in this area since March.

"Nearly 3,000 arrived yesterday. It is a number confirmed by the Tunisian authorities," Andrej Mahecic, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told AFP Sunday.

Another 2,000 had arrived the day before, bringing to about 6,000 the number of people to have crossed the border to that southeastern part of Tunisia since the beginning of March.

"It may be more," the spokesman said, explaining that many may not be registered with the authorities.

Some humanitarian aid workers have put the figure at more than 12,000.

The UNHCR said many of those who fled in recent days were of the Berber minority, setting up camp at Remada, about 47 kilometres (29 miles) north-west of Dehiba. The camp counts about 750 inhabitants.

Others have been given free accommodation at hotels or were taken in by families in the region.

On April 15 the UNHCR said it needed more money to deal with the influx of Libyans from Tunisia, calling for 68.5 million dollars (48 million euros) for urgently needed refugee aid. It has so far received 39.4 million dollars, and spent it all.


© 2011 AFP

2 Comments To This Article

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