March 8, 2011

  • The America Team spoke today with a representative of 80 refugees stuck in Tripoli since the eruption of civil war in Libya in mid-February.  Some items:
  • Italian rescue teams are assisting, and about 50 Eritrean refugees are to be evacuated today
  • The group of 80 has continued to try to contact the embassy of Sudan in Tripoli but so far has not gotten through
  • Conditions in Tripoli have improved a bit – calmer, food more readily available – as the regime makes efforts to make areas in the city better for loyalists there, with some semblance of normalcy
  • The group states that once rebels enter the city or if the regime is attacked by third countries, conditions and safety for the refugees will become acutely dangerous – and that during this time of relative calm is the best opportunity for safe evacuation.  It is fully expected that rebels who might enter the city will exhibit no consideration for black Africans who are presumed to be mercenaries fighting for the regime.
  • The group continues to have cell phone contact with other Eritrean refugee groups in Tripoli, in order to build a network, as encouraged by The America Team