Connect to share and comment

New wave of refugees pour into Tunisia from Libya

Libyans are fleeing across the border to escape violence, adding to Tunisia's refugee crisis.

Young Tunisian volunteers, including medical school students, have been helping clean up the camp, making food or simply providing psychological support to the refugees.

“We cleaned some areas of the camp and moved the military hospital because we had to keep it in a central place,” said Ali Mnif, a 24-year-old aid worker from Tunis.

The crisis is far from over.

Iheb Saidi, 25, a computer scientist, has been going regularly to the refugee camp to help install telecommunications equipment. He also volunteered with the Tunisian Red Cross and spent time discussing the situation with the refugees.

“A man from Mali told me that he would be happy staying here eating and sleeping for free because in Libya he worked all the time and very hard to get the same result,” Saidi said. “Another man from Somalia said that he wishes he would settle at Ras Ajdir because he can’t return to his home nor go back to Libya.”

A woman who arrived in Tunisia said she does not want to return to her home country, Somalia. "It is dangerous to go back. In my country what will be waiting for me is hunger and instability. My country is not safe and I do not want to go back," Khadija Sheikh Ali, 24, from Tripoli, told Reuters.

"Here I have food and clean water and it is safe, why should I go back? We call on the world to help us," she said. "I do not care where I go next as long as they do not send me back to Somalia, I have nothing in Somalia."