The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) urged the international community to come forward with offers of evacuation to "get people out of harm's way" amid heavy clashes in and around Tripoli, at a press conference at the UN Office in Geneva on Tuesday.
Spokesperson for the International Organisation for Migration Libya (IOM), Safa Msehli, noted that clashes "are definitely intensifying." According to World Health Organisation (WHO) Spokesperson Christian Lindmeier, the intense fighting between the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) left "454 dead and 2,154 wounded" from April 5 to May 9.
Yaxley of the UNHCR noted that the staff "report seeing thousands of civilians moving on a daily basis to safer locations in cities along the coast and towards the Nafusa Mountains."
Yaxley also denounced the practice of returning migrants to detention centres in Libya after their rescue in the Mediterranean, saying that "we cannot consider this to be a rescue if people are being returned to dire conditions inside Tripoli detention centres."
He added that the agency "is in a race against time to evacuate people out of these detention centres as quickly as possible."