Refugees refuse to leave Tunisia camp

2013-06-30 19:36
Refugees in their camp in Chousha.

Refugees in their camp in Chousha. (Maatoug, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Tunisia - Several hundred people who had fled the 2011 Libya conflict refused on Sunday to leave the Choucha refugee camp in southern Tunisia, which was due to be shut, blocking attempts to dismantle their tents, an AFP journalist reported.

The UN's refugee agency UNHCR said in March that it would close the camp on Sunday. Choucha opened in early 2011 to shelter those fleeing the conflict that toppled Libya's former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Water and electricity supplies to the camp have been cut, but its remaining residents, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, are blocking any attempts to take their tents down, the AFP journalist reported.

Mohammed Taher, a 33-year-old Sudanese resident of the camp, said he was determined to stay in Choucha in spite of its closure.

"We refuse to leave, and even if the Tunisian authorities are going to take down our tents, we will sleep under the stars," he said.

He said the Tunisian government had made lots of promises to the refugees at Choucha which it had not kept.

Khaled Moujib, a Palestinian living in Choucha, also charged that the government was doing little to help their situation.

"We are being held hostage by the Tunisian authorities, who refuse to legalise our situation," he said.

"We do not want to be integrated into a Tunisia that does not have a law to protect refugees," he added.

Paul Constant, 39, from Ivory Coast said he would leave the camp immediately if he was offered residency in Tunisia.

UNHCR officials were absent from the site on Sunday, while security was boosted, the AFP journalist said.

Around 700 people are still living in the camp near the Libyan border, of which 250 are waiting to be resettled in the United States, while an equal number have been offered accommodations in Tunisian cities, according to the UNHCR.

But some of the refugees who have been offered accommodations in Tunisia have staged protests in recent months to demand their resettlement in the west. They have said that there is a lack of legislation on asylum seekers in Tunisia, and that they are victims of discrimination in the country.

A dozen refugees had gone on hunger strike, while others camped out in front of the UNHCR headquarters in Tunis and the southern town of Zarzis.

Tunisia opened its borders to a flood of people (more than 300 000) fleeing the conflict in Libya that led to the overthrow and death in October 2011 of Gaddafi.

At the height of the crisis, Choucha hosted around 18 000 refugees.

Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  tunisia  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R1399.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.