Migrant crisis: Self-immolation exposes UN failures in Libya

31 July 2019

After a horrific two-year ordeal across three countries – being bought and sold by people traffickers and surviving running out of fuel on an inflatable boat while trying to cross the Mediterranean – Mohamed finally gave up hope.

The Somali man’s wife Leyla, 21, recalls the day he burnt himself to death after hearing that they were not on a UN refugee list.

They were to be evacuated from the Triq al-Sikka Detention Centre, run by a pro-government militia in the capital, Tripoli, where the UN provides humanitarian assistance. (The names of the couple have been changed for Leyla’s security.)

“We were told it would be our turn to leave next. So when the new list came out, Mohamed asked me to go and check it. But our names weren’t there. I had to tell him that we’d been passed over again.

“So many people who came in after us had already left. Mohamed was so upset and confused. It was just before early evening prayers when it happened. I saw Mohamed. He was burnt. I was told he had covered himself in petrol and set himself on fire.”

Read more at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-49154959