Ongoing fighting and insecurity – particularly in Sirte and some parts of Benghazi – during the reporting period has continued to affect displaced and migrant populations in Libya.
Many districts surrounding Sirte municipality have experienced a de-escalation of conflict; however, fighting continues in the urban centre of the city. Although most analysts predict an imminent end to the conflict, it is expected that the infrastructural damage inflicted on Sirte, along with a significant presence of unexploded ordnance will pose an obstacle to facilitating the return of those who have been displaced.
The UN Office of the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has launched a flash appeal specifically for a coordinated humanitarian response to meet the needs of IDPs from Sirte for protection, psychosocial support, and humanitarian assistance, upon their anticipated return to the their homes between September and December 2016.
The return of IDPs in many parts of the country continues to be tracked in this latest round, with Az Zahrah, Al Mayah and Benghazi currently identified as the areas hosting the largest proportion of returnees between 2015 and present.
More returns are expected to continue, dependent on the successful progress of ongoing national reconciliation processes. In August for example, a reconciliation pact was signed between officials from Tawergha and Misrata, who had been at war since the start of the revolution in 2011. The signature constitutes the first step of a longer process of reconciliation and reparations, aimed at enabling the safe return of Tawergha IDPs back to their homes. Migrants in Libya continue to be among the most vulnerable populations, their status as third country nationals often without required documentation inhibiting their access to livelihood opportunities, protection, health services, and security. The number of migrants identified in this round is slightly lower than that recorded in Round 5, having decreased from 267,733 to 256,690 individuals. This decrease is also paralleled by a reduction in outflows of migrants from Niger to Libya, as reported by DTM Niger, and may be representative of a reduction in migrant flows towards Libya as summer draws to a close.