United Nations
Migration and mobility

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has closed one of its three centres in Tripoli following an announcement on 2 December. Contacted by InfoMigrants, Aroline Gluck, a spokesperson for the UN agency in Libya, said that “the decision to close the centre at the end of 2021 was a very difficult one to take, as it was a ‘one-stop shop’ offering assistance, with partners, to about 150 people a day in one place.”

Three days later, the Libyan authorities violently evacuated nearly 1,000 migrants who had been camped for three months outside the UNHCR premises in the capital in search of protection.

Forcibly returned to Ain Zara prison, the exiles were assaulted by police and military forces who also burned tents and confiscated property.

Condemning the violence that occurred during the evacuation, the UNHCR recalled that the inhabitants of the neighbourhoods near its headquarters “complain about the security risks as well as the disruption of their daily lives and of the local economy.” Faced with this situation, the UN agency called on the international community to “provide more legal avenues, including in countries of asylum, to help more people reach safety.”