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Tunisia and Libya take 276 migrants stranded in desert border area, deliver them to shelters

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TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia and Libya took again 276 sub-Saharan migrants stranded in a desert area alongside the border between the 2 nations and introduced them to shelters on Thursday.

Tunisia has been blamed for dumping the migrants within the scorching warmth within the no-man’s land close to the border put up of Ras Jedir. Libya stated Wednesday that 27 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa had been discovered {dead} by Libyan authorities within the western desert close to the Tunisian border.

Tunisia’s coast — and particularly the jap port metropolis of Sfax — has just lately taken over from Libya as the principle leaping off level for African migrants setting off in fragile boats for Europe throughout the Mediterranean Sea.

“We took cost of a bunch that was sheltered by the Tunisian Purple Crescent and the Libyan facet did the identical in order that the migrants had been evacuated from the zone,” Tunisian Inside Ministry spokesman Faker Bouzghaya informed The Related Press.

“A consensual resolution was … reached to finish the issue of the presence of unlawful immigrants within the border space between the 2 nations,” a Libyan assertion stated.

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Tunisia took 126 of the migrants, together with 45 ladies and eight youngsters, and transferred them to 2 cities within the southeast, an operation coordinated by the Tunisian Purple Crescent and the Group for Migration, the Inside Ministry stated.

On the Libyan facet, Ahmed Hamza, chairman of the Nationwide Human Rights Committee in Libya, an area rights group, stated 150 migrants had been transferred by Libyan boarder guards to shelters within the capital, Tripoli.

Each nations confirmed the border space had been cleared by late Thursday.

Particulars of the accord weren’t made public, past the element on bringing the migrants to shelters and stepping up patrols to make sure the desert space stays migrant-free.

The event follows an settlement Wednesday throughout a gathering in Tunis of Tunisian and Libyan inside ministers, accompanied by giant delegations. A variety of safety points was on the desk, together with how the 2 North African nations can stem the tide of migrants fleeing battle and poverty.

Tunisian Inside Minister Kamel Fekih just lately informed the AP that authorities had retrieved 901 our bodies of migrants from the ocean from January to July 20.

Human traffickers have profited from instability in Libya for the reason that 2011 toppling of autocrat Moammar Gadhafi, exploiting migrants fleeing battle and poverty to make the damaging sea crossings to Europe.

Tunisia has since been broadly denounced by human rights teams for dumping some migrants within the desert border space with Libya and likewise with neighboring Algeria to the north.

Fekih, denied any collective expulsion of migrants whereas conceding that some small teams had been pushed again into the desert.


Jeffery reported from Cairo. Related Press author Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report.

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