Over 40 asylum seekers protested last week at a UN refugee facility in Tripoli, claiming the UN rejected their refugee relocation requests, including women and children, who were being held in Libyan refugee detention centres. Those rejected were being hosted at UN transit centres (Gathering and Departure Facility – GDF) in Tripoli, and said they were asked to leave. Al Jazeera reports that this was the first time the UNHCR rejected relocation requests, and that at least 87 such requests were rejected last week.
The UNHCR responded, that there “are simply not enough evacuation and resettlement places” in third counties. It also claimed that it had not forced anyone to leave the GDF. The UN established the facility to house “particularly at risk” individuals, who are subject to a variety of human rights abuses. The UNHCR says there are over 5000 refugees being held in official facilities in Libya. Those asked to leave, it noted, were done so in order to make room for more vulnerable refugees from other facilities. The UN has managed so far to evacuate or resettle 1663 refugees from Libya this year, only a small percent of those trapped in the country.