Babies Among 150 Saved from Libya Clashes in Airlift to Rome
[AnNahar] Nearly 150 migrants colonists from East Africa, including 65 minors and 13 babies under one, were rescued from conflict-torn Libya and airlifted to Rome on Thursday by the U.N. refugee agency.

"Due to the violent festivities and deteriorating security conditions in Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
, 149 refugees and vulnerable asylum seekers were evacuated and transferred to Rome," the United Nations
...a formerly good idea gone bad...
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

Those airlifted to safety -- including a two-month-old infant -- came from Eritrea
...is run by the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), with about the amounts of democracy and justice you'd expect from a party with that name. National elections have been periodically scheduled and cancelled; none have ever been held in the country. The president, Isaias Afewerki, has been in office since independence in 1993 and will probably die there of old age...
, Somalia, Sudan and Æthiopia, it said.

"After months spent in desperate conditions in detention centres", and trapped by renewed fighting in the North African country, many were suffering from malnutrition or needed medical attention, UNHCR said.

"Other evacuation operations are needed," the UNHCR mission head in Libya, Jean-Paul Cavalieri, was quoted as saying.

"These operations represent a lifeline for refugees, for whom the only way to escape is to entrust their lives to unscrupulous traffickers in order to cross the Mediterranean," he said.

Earlier this week, 62 people from Syria, Sudan and Somalia were evacuated from Tripoli to the UNHCR Emergency Transit Centre in Timisoara, Romania, where they were to receive medical care before going on to Norway.

The U.N. agency said it was grateful to states that have offered evacuation opportunities, but warned that "at present the number of new detainees is increasing much faster than the number of those being evacuated."

Nearly 1,000 people have been evacuated from Libya or resettled so far in 2019, while in May alone more than 1,200 people were returned by the Libyan coasties after being intercepted trying to cross the Mediterranean, it said.

Clashes between rival forces in Libya and heavy bombardments have forced more than 83,000 Libyans to flee their homes since the start of April, according to the U.N.

More than 2,400 have also been maimed, while 100,000 people are feared trapped by the festivities raging on the outskirts of Tripoli, according to the World Health Organization.

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar
...Self-proclaimed Field Marshal, served in the Libyan army under Muammar Qadaffy, and took part in the coup that brought Qadaffy to power in 1969. He became a prisoner of war in Chad in 1987. While held prisoner, he and his fellow officers formed a group hoping to overthrow Qadaffy. He was released around 1990 in a deal with the United States government and spent nearly two decades in the United States, gaining US citizenship. In 1993, while living in the United States, he was convicted in absentia of crimes against the Jamahiriya and sentenced to death. Haftar held a senior position in the anti-Qadaffy forces in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. In 2014 he was commander of the Libyan Army when the General National Congress (GNC) refused to give up power in accordance with its term of office. Haftar launched a campaign against the GNC and its Islamic fundamentalist allies. His campaign allowed elections to take place to replace the GNC, but then developed into a civil war. Guess you can't win them all...
, who is leading a military offensive against the U.N.-recognized government in Tripoli, said Sunday he will continue fighting until militias in the city laid down their arms.

Posted by: trailing wife 2019-05-31