UN closes refugee camp on Libya-Tunisia border, refugees refuse to leave

This is one of many enduring legacies Obama’s excellent adventure in Libya has left us.  Actually I should say Obama and his Humanitarian Vulcans—Clinton, Rice and Power—left us!   Tens of thousands of refugees were created when we helped oust Qaddafi.  Many were workers who had gone to Libya to work in the oilfields.  So much for Samantha Power’s “responsibility to protect!”

In truth, perhaps it was the Al-Qaeda rebels she and the girls were protecting.  Just think what a danger Samantha Power will be if confirmed as Obama’s UN Ambassador!

Samantha Power’s refugees at Choucha camp on the Libyan-Tunisian border at the heyday of US involvement in the Libyan conflict.  Photo: Renaud Philippe.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees was eager to close this camp, but the remaining refugees are demanding resettlement to third countries—that means the US, Canada, or Australia, because those three are really resettling the bulk of the world’s refugees

From the Saudi Gazette:

TRIPOLI — Some 650 refugees have refused to leave the Choucha refugee camp at the Tunisian-Libyan border, which officially closed Sunday.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR announced the closure of the camp in March but many refugees have stayed on, despite water and electricity supplies being cut off. A Chadian resident, Mussa Ibrahim, confirmed that the camp is still open and continuing to house around 650 residents.

“The camp may be closed theoretically,” he said: “UNHCR said they closed it for administrative reasons, but they did it for media hype.”

He also told the Libya Herald that basic services have been reduced over the last week. The water, he said, was stopped, forcing refugees to fetch water from neighboring areas in Ben Guerdane.

Ibrahim said that the camp’s residents, especially asylum seekers who have had their applications rejected, are waiting for a satisfactory solution.

The Tunisian government’s earlier decision to integrate remaining camp residents into Tunisian society, or return them to Libya, was rejected by some refugees, who asked UNHCR to reconsider their demand to be resettled in Western countries. These individuals are apparently mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, Palestine and Iraq. The Tunisian Ministry of Social Affairs, said Ibrahim, has started taking fingerprints from refugees, on a voluntary basis, in a move to grant some six-month residence permits. “This would also give us free movement in Tunisia,” Ibrahim explained, adding: “Until then, we cannot leave the camp.” However, his permit, which he needs to support his family, has not yet materialized.

By the way, we have been resettling refugees from the Libyan upheaval with the theory that we broke it, we fix it.  Now we are moving on to doing the same thing in Syria!  At my most cynical moments, I think the goal of all of  our involvements in the Middle East is the creation of more refugees.

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