The tragic bombing of the Tajoura Detention Centre that killed more than forty migrants and refugees is a reminder of the human cost of the conflict in Libya as well as the dire and vulnerable situation of civilians, including migrants and refugees, caught up in the spiral of the conflict that has engulfed Tripoli and surrounding regions.
Attacks against civilians, including refugees and migrants, are utterly unacceptable and the African Union-European Union-United Nations’ Task Force denounces them in the strongest terms.
The Task Force reiterates its call for the respect of international humanitarian law and the protection of all civilians in the country.
Since the beginning of the conflict, the Task Force has intensified its work on protection of refugees and migrants stranded in Libya. Through the action of IOM and UNHCR on the ground, we have stepped up the evacuation of refugees and migrants from detention centres near the frontline. Where possible, we enabled some of them to find safety outside of Libya, including in the Emergency Transit Mechanism in Niger, with a view for further resettlement.
In spite of the Task Force efforts that allowed for the return of over 45,000 migrants to their countries of origin and the evacuation of close to 4,000 persons in need of international protection, many more are at risk and should be relocated and/or evacuated to safe places swiftly to receive assistance.
To this end, the Task Force reiterates its earlier calls on all stakeholders including the international community to redouble their ongoing assistance to the humanitarian response and protection of stranded migrants and refugees in Libya, as well as redouble efforts to urge all parties to cease hostilities immediately and return to the negotiating table.
The Task Force reiterates its call on all sides to allow safe passage for humanitarian actors on the ground.
The Task Force further reiterates its call to end the current system of arbitrary detention of refugees and migrants and manage asylum and migration in full compliance with Human Rights law and the regional refugee instrument Libya is party to.
We also repeat our call on all sides in the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and call for an immediate investigation into this attack.