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Showing posts from May 21, 2011

Distress call for thousands more African migrants fleeing Libya, stranded at Chad border - The Washington Post

Distress call for thousands more African migrants fleeing Libya, stranded at Chad border - The Washington PostBENGHAZI, Libya — Thousands of migrant workers who fled fighting in Libya are stranded in a remote desert town in northern Chad, in what an international aid group warned Friday could become a humanitarian catastrophe.

More than 3,800 Chadians are stuck in Zouarke, a small town in Chad’s arid mountainous region near the border with Niger, after traveling for days through the extreme heat of the Sahara desert, the International Organization for Migration said. The migrants are said to include 310 women and children. Dozens are sick or injured, and at least four people have died after drinking water from contaminated wells.

“The situation in Zouarke could become a catastrophe,” IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy told reporters in Geneva.

The Africans, who were working in Libya when the revolt against ruler Moammar Gadhafi erupted, had to endure a tortuous road journey via Niger, cr…