Some 200 Libyan families displaced in Tunisia will be granted funds by the Government of the National Accord (GNA), Minister of State for and Displaced People’s Affairs Yousuf Jalal announced Sunday.
During a meeting with Libyan elders, Jalal discussed the actions that can be taken to alleviate the suffering of Libyan migrants and the possible measures ensuring their safe return to Libya.
He called on Libyan elders to exert efforts to end the division and help in reaching a national reconciliation between the rival parties in Libya for the displaced to return to Libya.
Since the 2011 uprising, the number of people fleeing Libya has increased on Libyan Tunisian borders. The Tunisian government said at least 80,000 people crossed into the country from Libya in late February, 2011 alone.
Further, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in 2011 that about 11,000 refugees from Libya’s western mountains have crossed into Tunisia, fleeing of shelling and intensified fighting between the government and opposition force.
There are two million Libyans abroad, mostly in Tunisia, and 400,000 internally displaced within the country, according to Brookings, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington.
They are mainly concentrated in Greater Tunis (34 percent), the centre-east (29.3 percent), the north-east (16.8 percent) and the south-east (15.5 percent), according to a study conducted by International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Tunisia and the Tunisian National Observatory on Migration (ONM) in 2016.
Most of the Libyans interviewed in the study wanted to return to Libya as soon as peace is restored.
Additionally, about 15,151 people left North Africa – mainly Libya – by boat in 2012, according to U.N. figures.
In 2014, the number rose to a staggering 170,110 as the conflict escalated after between rival governments, led by Faiez Sarraj and Khalifa Haftar, and militias competing for power following disputed elections.
The fighting was so intense that the U.S. shut its embassy after being attacked and evacuated its diplomats to neighbouring Tunisia.