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Civilians Bear the Brunt of Renewed Fighting

Libya began descending into chaos after Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. Could you summarize the complex situation in Libya today? The latest conflict started in April 2019, when an armed group in eastern Libya called…
Government of National Accord fighters take positions during clashes with east-based fighters from the Libyan National Army at Al-Yarmouk frontline in Tripoli, Libya on August 29, 2019.
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The scars ran deep. His back was a maze of thick welts, thinner scars and parts that resembled small craters. His wrists and ankles were raw from where he’d been shackled and suspended from a ceiling for hours, and his limbs appeared…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
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Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
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Pressure is building on Afghan and Somali refugees to go home, even if they no longer have homes to return to. It is not surprising that this pressure is coming from governments that have been hosting huge numbers of refugees and want…
Member of Greek Red Cross helps an Afghan refugee who has just arrived from Turkey with an inflatable boat in the area of airport of Mytilene, Lesvos Island, Greece.
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After 25 years of vicious conflict that has cost countless lives and displaced millions of people, peace has finally broken out in south-central Somalia — at least that's what Kenya says. And the UN refugee agency, the United Nations High Commission for…
A newly arrived Somali refugee is forced out of the queue outside a reception centre in the Ifo 2 refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, in Garissa County, Kenya
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Hot, dusty wind has constantly passed through the thatch and thorn of Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps since they opened in the early 1990s. In May, however, a new wind created a chill among the estimated 340,000 mostly Somali refugees living here…
Somali refugees look through a barbed wire fence in Dadaab in 2013.
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Kenya is home to the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, which provides shelter to 360,000 mostly Somali refugees. In May 2016, Kenya’s government disbanded its department responsible for refugees and announced plans to repatriate Somalis and close…
An aerial view shows makeshift shelters at the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya. Photo taken April 2011.
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“Maria,” a Ugandan worker, paid $400 in 2013 to an agency in the United Arab Emirates that promised her a job in a mall in Dubai. Instead, the agency placed her as a domestic worker with half the salary she had been promised. Maria told me that her…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
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You Are All Terrorists came the dreaded words, as the blows and kicking mercilessly rained down before a police car pulled up and took the suspect away. A short while later, after two officers had raped her and bundled her out of the car, the suspect…
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All civilians deserve protection, but some civilians deserve more protection than others. Or so it seems in Libya today. Two years ago, the U.N. Security Council authorized a military operation by NATO with a mandate to protect civilians who were under…
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John Osas, 32, was nervous after boarding a frail fishing ship with his family and hundreds of other sub-Saharan Africans fleeing the war in Libya. The Nigerian painter knew the risks: many had perished after attempting the same journey across the…
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The call was urgent, the news shocking: Qatar, a close US ally and supporter of the NATO campaign in Libya, had forced a Libyan woman who said she was raped onto a plane back to Libya. I could hardly believe the story -- not because I'm surprised by…
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"My father didn't even recognize me," Abdel Wahed, 32, told me when I interviewed him in a hospital in southern Tunisia in late April. His entire face was blackened with serious burns from what he believed was a Grad rocket launched by Gaddafi forces that…
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A man named Mohammed posted this plea on the Migrants at Sea website three days after a rickety boat capsized on 6 April in rough seas just 39 miles from Lampedusa: "i wont to know if my brother is there with the eritreans died in the sea his name is…
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Somalis fleeing the violence in their own country can expect only beatings, extortion and overcrowded refugee camps in Kenya

Shot at and raped. Arrested and beaten. Detained and deported. Extorted and robbed. Threatened and insulted. Ignored and shunned. The treatment of hardened criminals in some far-flung police state? The fate of political opponents by a repressive regime?…