U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
September 12, 2011
Statement by Victoria Nuland, Spokesperson
Detention of Sub-Saharan African Refugees and Migrants in Libya
The United States is deeply concerned about reports of arbitrary detention and abuse of sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees. We also understand that some Libyans are also being victimized based on the color of their skin. Nobody should be detained or harassed due to the color of their skin or their nationality, and measures must be taken to protect individuals from acts of violence.
We have welcomed the Transitional National Council’s (TNC) assurances of their commitment to safeguard the well-being of individuals throughout Libya and the TNC leadership’s cooperation with those international agencies engaged in identifying and assisting those at risk and/or detained, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Organization for Migration. We look forward to prompt implementation of these measures.
The United States is working with its international partners to facilitate safe passage out of Libya for those foreign nationals, including sub-Saharan African migrants, who wish to depart for their own safety.