June 8, 2023
Africans trapped at border, Bangladeshis prepare for repatriation

(13 Mar 2011) SHOTLIST
1. Various of Shousha transit camp on the main road to Ras Ajdir, where people who fled Libya are staying
2. Group of men sitting next to tents
3. Man sleeping on blanket
4. Wide of camp residents running to get water and bread from Tunisian aid distributers
5. Man holding up his of bread
6. Wide of Bangladeshi nationals receiving their passports
7. Close-up of pile of Bangladeshi passports
8. Various of passports being handed out
9. Two women walking through camp, one carrying her baby
10. Wide of tent
11. Volunteer feeding 2-year-old Sudanese girl called Enass inside tent
12. Close-up of Enass eating
13. SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Afeefa (no last name given), Tunisian volunteer:
“We have been here for 14 days trying to help anywhere we are needed, if there is a shortage of anything we will help, but mostly we help the women by giving them clothes or food.”
14. Wide of Ghanaian nationals fleeing Libya gathered at the Tunisian border, but unable to cross because they have no passports
15. Mid of group waiting at the border
16. Various of Tunisian border police monitoring group
17. Wide of Tunisia-Libya border with refugees waiting to cross
More than one-thousand Ghanaian nationals fleeing the violence in Libya were unable to cross into Tunisia on Sunday because they do not have documentation, Tunisian border officials said.
About 1,200 Ghanaians were stuck at the Libya-, pleading with Tunisian officials to let them in.
Border officials said they would not be allowed into the country until they had passports or other adequate documents.
A Tunisian border official said the Ghanaians would be held at the border until the necessary checks have been completed.
More than 250,000 people have fled Libya since the start of the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime last month, UN officials have said.
About 6,000 people, most of them foreign migrant workers, cross into Tunisia to the west and Egypt to the east every day.
In the Shousha transit camp, a group of Bangladeshi nationals were being given their passports in preparation for being repatriated on Sunday.
Thousands have found shelter in more than 2,300 tents at the camp, about four miles (seven kilometres) from the Libyan border.
The repatriation of labourers from Bangladesh is particularly difficult because of the higher cost of long-distance flights.
Aid workers are scrambling to secure enough planes and ships to repatriate them, despite contributions from Europe, the US and others.
Stranded workers have complained that there is not enough food and that they have to wait in long lines for small meals.
Several organisations, including the World Food Program and volunteer groups, have set up food distribution points in the camp.
In addition, ordinary Tunisians drive to the camp and distribute donated food.
The number of people in the camp fluctuates between 15,000 and 17,000, officials said.
Aid officials said that the camp remains manageable with a daily influx of between 2,000 and 3,000 arrivals.
However, they said a backlog is gradually building up because fewer people are being repatriated than are arriving at the camp.
An official with the International Organisation for Migration, said that starting on Saturday, between 1,200 and 1,500 would be put on flights to the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, every day for the next week.

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