AP Interview: UN says Libyan refugees to return

AP News
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Posted: Aug 25, 2011 9:15 AM

The U.N.'s refugee chief says thousands of migrant workers stranded in Libya are living in fear of reprisal attacks.

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said Thursday that many migrants, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa, say they have been harassed after being mistaken for pro-Moammar Gadhafi mercenaries.

Opposition forces have previously detained people who they say are hired mercenary soldiers from Sudan, Niger and Chad.

Guterres told The Associated Press in an interview that he and colleagues had spoken with migrant workers who have faced detention and abuse.

He said "they feel trapped, they cannot move, they feel threatened."

Guterres said most of 60,000 Libyan refugees in Tunisia are preparing to return home as soon as it is safe.