MMWG Libya Flash Update - Bani Walid Situation, 24 May 2018

Humanitarian response to the needs of individuals escaping smugglers and traffickers in Bani Walid

In the night of Wednesday to Thursday, 23-24 May 2018, approximately 140 individuals from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia managed to escape captivity from the notorious trafficker Mousa Diab in Bani Walid.

While the majority sought refuge in Wahd Kamsin Mosque 51, in the Atas Nia area of Bani Walid, approximately two dozen severely injured persons were brought to the public hospital in Bani Walid for treatment. Some sources attribute the injuries to torture during captivity, while others attribute them to armed attempts by the smugglers to recapture the individuals. There are also accounts of some casualties. While there are unconfirmed reports that traffickers managed to recapture some who were in the hospital, others claim those individuals were instead taken to different hospitals.

The individuals who had sought refuge in the mosque, where they were protected by the local population, were later transferred to the DCIM-operated detention centre in Qasr Ben Gashir, on the outskirts of Tripoli.

Since their arrival at the detention centre, 117 individuals have been provided with immediate humanitarian assistance, including medical, hygiene and psychosocial assistance, as well as supplementary feeding, while non-food items and other protection interventions are underway. The MMWG will continue to monitor their situation, as well as the situation in Bani Walid, where reportedly hundreds more remain in the captivity of smugglers and traffickers.

International Organization for Migration:
Copyright © IOM. All rights reserved.