Choucha Refugee Camp at the Tunisian-Libyan border, hosting refugees fleeing the war in Libya, was officially closed on 30.06.2013. The eviction of the hundreds of remaining refugees is due to be carried out in the coming weeks.
Members of the network “Choucha Protest Solidarity” visited the Choucha refugee camp at the end of August 2013. There are still around 400 refugees – according to IOM and UNHCR, 262 rejected asylum seekers and 135 recognized refugees who do not have access to the previously closed resettlement program – living in extremely hard conditions, among them families, children and ill people. Access to food, water, medical care and electricity has been cut off by UNHCR, who was managing the camp. Refugees are now desperately trying to stop passing cars, begging for food and water. The camp looks like a battlefield, as most of the facilities have been destroyed by the NGOs before the camp closure and tents are being torn into pieces by strong desert wind. In order to earn some money, people are trying to work as daily workers in the nearby city of Ben Guerdane, although these jobs are miserably paid and the competition with Tunisian workers is very high. Without the assistance of the NGOs, the remaining refugees are not only left alone with all sorts of problems and deprived from any perspective for a normal life, but also feel insecure in the deserted border region. Read more on Indymedia