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The Guardian: Migrants forced to support militias aligned with GNA

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – Migrants detained Tajoura and Tripoli are being forced support militias aligned with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), British newspaper The Guardian reported today.

The Guardian interviewed migrants detained in a military complex in Tajoura and detention centers in southern Tripoli. Those migrants fear that they will become victims and targets in the ongoing battle in the capital after witnessing other migrants being “forced to take an active role supporting militias aligned with the GNA.”

“As the fighters controlling Tajoura prepare for a showdown, some of the hundreds of refugees and migrants inside the complex, and in other detention centres across Tripoli, are worried that they will become victims and targets, after they were forced to take an active role supporting militias aligned with the GNA. Compelling detained refugees and migrants to support fighters could constitute a war crime.”

Since the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched its military operation to liberate Tripoli in April 4, migrants and refugees in three detention centers controlled by militias have told the Guardian they were “taken out of locked halls and ordered to carry and move weapons, with some transferred to military bases around the city.”

“In a fourth centre, detainees said people had been taken away by fighters, but they don’t know what’s happened to them.”

“The police and soldiers force migrants to do cleaning work and load weapons. They [tell] migrants that if you know how to shoot a gun we will make you stay with us,” said one migrant who messaged the Guardian using a hidden phone.

“About 6,000 refugees and migrants are currently locked up in detention centres ostensibly under the control of Libya’s directorate for combating illegal migration, which is associated with the government of Fayez al-Sarraj.”

“In reality, however, many of the centres are run by militias. The directorate did not respond to multiple requests for comment.”

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