Eastern authorities increase focus on Sudanese refugee crisis in Kufra

Jun 11, 2024 | Libyan actors

The Government of National Stability (GNS) and eastern anti-immigration agencies are increasing their attention on, and warnings about, the Sudanese refugee crisis in Kufra. On 11 June, the head of the Anti-illegal Immigration Agency (East), Nouri al-Saadi, stated that there are now between 400,000 and 500,000 refugees from Sudan in Libya, the majority in Kufra. [This figure appears to be inflated several times over]. He said he discovered this during a recent visit to Kufra. He said Libya has repatriated more than 5,000 migrants to their home countries in the last two months. The number includes 2,987 Sudanese, 385 Nigeriens, 614 Chadians, 185 Somalis, 406 Eritreans, and 111 Ethiopians. Al-Saadi expressed his disappointment at the lack of international support, noting the EU only supports the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Tripoli.

On the same day, the spokesman of the Kufra Municipal Council, Abdullah Suleiman, described the number of Sudanese refugees suffering from dangerous diseases as ‘terrifying’. He claimed around 100 refugees are suffering from HIV/AIDS, 800 from hepatitis and more than 100 from malaria. There are fears that these diseases will spread further.

On 14 June, the Head of the Emergency Room of the GNS Ministry of Health Ismail al-Aydah visited the Anti Illegal Immigration Agency in Kufra to ensure the readiness of the medical facilities to receive and examine the refugees and issue health certificates. Since the beginning of the work on 24 May, 29,103 health certificates have been issued, 16,000 children have been vaccinated and 10,000 medical examinations have been carried out.

On 14 June, USAID reported a sharp increase in the number of refugees arriving in Libya from Sudan. Compared to the previous year, the number had risen by 73%. As of the end of May, there were a total of 136,000 ‘Sudanese migrants and refugees’ in Libya. The agency said it has taken proactive steps to support the refugees, particularly in the area of food supplies.

On 15 June, the GNS said that the Anti-Illegal Immigration Service in the Southern Region deported a large number of illegal migrants from Wadi al-Shatti to Niger by land.