Tuesday, March 1, 2011

'Refugee crisis' on Libyan national boundaries

The circumstance on Libya's border with Tunisia has reached crisis position, as tens of thousands of foreigners flee unrest inside the nation, the UN says.

Aid employees seem unable to cope using the influx, say correspondents. Some 140,000 have gone to Tunisia and Egypt.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has advised Western journalists he's cherished by his folks and denied protests in Tripoli.

His interview came amid reports that he's trying to regain control of rebel locations in western Libya.

Col Gaddafi is going through a substantial challenge to his 41-year rule, with protesters in control of towns inside the east.

Witnesses said pro-Gaddafi forces tried to retake the western cities of Zawiya, Misrata and Nalut on Monday but had been repulsed by rebels assisted by defecting army units.

The rebels said that they had killed eight pro-Gaddafi militia, but there had been no opposition fatalities. There continues to be no term from the government on casualties.

You'll find fears in Zawiya that the metropolis could possibly be attacked from the air, however the rebels remained defiant.

"We're not
here for energy, authority or income," they said inside a concept aimed at Col Gaddafi.

"We are here for the result in of independence and also the cost we're prepared to shell out is with our very own blood... It is victory or death."

In other developments:

* The Red Cross is requesting use of western Libya, amid unconfirmed reports of attacks on physicians and summary killings of patients
* Austria freezes property of the Libyan leadership worth 1.2bn euros ($1.65bn; £1.02bn) as Germany freezes the bank account of 1 of Col Gaddafi's sons
* Libyan air power planes reportedly attacked ammunition depots inside the eastern towns of Ajdabiya and Rajma
* About 400 protesters gathered inside the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura on Monday - Gaddafi supporters tried to disperse them by firing inside the air
* Studies say there have been extended queues in Tripoli banks as folks tried to gather the 500 dinars (£250; $410) promised through the government in an attempt to quell the unrest


A spokeswoman for the UN Large Commissioner for Refugees, Melissa Fleming, said 70,000-75,000 folks have fled to Tunisia given that violence started in Libya on twenty February. A comparable range have gone to Egypt, exactly where most have been capable to carry on their journeys onward.

"Our employees on the Libya-Tunisia border have advised us this morning that the circumstance there is certainly reaching crisis position," she said, quoted by AFP news company.

About two,000 folks are crossing into Tunisia every single hour but as soon as in Tunisia several of them have nowhere to go. Yet another twenty,000 are said to become backed up on the Libyan facet.

Most are Egyptian, but you can find also significant numbers of Chinese and Bangladeshis.

The Egyptians are angry, complaining that they've been forgotten by their government, says the BBC's Jim Muir on the border.

Temperatures plummeted overnight and our correspondent observed the physique of the youthful Egyptian guy who had apparently died of chilly.