Libya: migrants flee, injured evacuated

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

  • libya613-0357.jpgA street in the centre of Misrata, the besieged Libyan city where civilians and rebel forces are surrounded on three sides by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.
  • libya613-1048.jpgFred Pavey, the team leader of an ACT Alliance demining group deployed to Misrata, inspects remnants of fighting, including unexploded ordnance, collected by local residents. Pavey works for the mine action group of ACT member DanChurchAid.
  • libya613-0340.jpgA wounded rebel soldier, his arm amputated, is loaded aboard a ship in Misrata. The ship will carry him and other wounded, along with hundreds of fleeing African migrants, to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
  • libya613-0293.jpgAnother wounded rebel soldier is loaded aboard a ship in Misrata to be evacuated to Benghazi. The Turkish ferry, chartered by the International Organization for Migration, sailed the day before from Benghazi, the city in eastern Libya that is the de facto capital of rebels.
  • libya613-0343.jpgAfter arriving in Misrata, the ferry returned to Benghazi within hours filled with wounded and hundreds of fleeing African migrant workers.
  • libya613-0219.jpgWaiting for a boat to take them away, African migrant workers line up at the dock in Misrata. The thunder of artillery and bombing repeatedly echoes in the distance.
  • libya613-0188.jpgA migrant worker boards a ferry leaving Misrata. Much of the city centre was abandoned during the heaviest fighting, and displaced families are living with others around the edges of the city, afraid to come back to potentially unsafe homes.
  • libya613-0116.jpgThousands of migrant workers are fleeing the war, most returning to their home in Niger.
  • libya613-0707.jpgAn African woman carries her belongings aboard a ferry on the dock in Misrata.
  • libya613-0323.jpgWhile many migrant workers are leaving, civilians that remain in Misrata still face the risk of the remnants of war. Within days the ACT demining workers will begin training teams of local residents to search for and identify unexploded ordnance left over from the fighting.
  • libya613-0850.jpgA resident of Misrata makes contact with family outside the country using a satellite phone provided by the Libyan Red Crescent. The ACT mine action team will devote time to clearing several key facilities, identified in partnership with the Libyan Red Crescent and the local government council.
  • libya613-0871.jpgChildren play on a tank captured by rebel forces in Misrata. The fierce fighting in and around the city has persuaded most outsiders to stay away.
  • libya613-0373.jpgThe removal of mines and unexploded ordnance will make possible not just the return home of those families whose homes were not destroyed, but will also include strategic areas like schools, water supplies and religious buildings.
  • libya613-1026.jpg“What we do enables the UN and other NGOs to come in and do what they can do. When we clear roads, for example, then the World Food Programme can safely send trucks along those roads,” says Fred Pavey, the team leader of the demining team from ACT member DanChurchAid.
  • libya613-0994.jpgThe landscape in Misrata is littered with the debris of war.

Aboard a Turkish ferry, a two-person mine action team from ACT member DanChurchAid arrived to begin operations. The boat, chartered by the International Organization for Migration, sailed the day before from Benghazi, the city in eastern Libya that is the de facto capital of rebels fighting to overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The boat returned to Benghazi within hours, filled with wounded and hundreds of African migrants fleeing Misrata.

Credit: ACT/Paul Jeffrey