Tripoli January 31, 2013:
Syrian refugees in Libya have been told by the Interior Ministry that they must register and obtain a residence card.
Magdi Al-Arafi, the ministry’s spokesman, said today, Thursday, that “Syrian brothers” who had not registered should to to the nearest passport office and do so.
He added that the order was part of the moves to tighten up on border security and the presence of illegal migrants. In recent days, the Interior ministry has announced that the Egyptian border corssing at Musaid would be closed to all foreigners other than Egyptians and that all foreigners, without exception would in future require visas to enter the country.
Since the start of the Syrian uprising several thousand refugees have fled to Libya. However, there are no reliable figures. According to the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, “thousands of Syrians entered Libya between 2011 and 2012”. However, at the beginning of December, it said that that over 1,300 Syrians had arrived in Libya during that past month. However, Syrians in Libya reported that almost 4,000 Syrian families had sought refuge in the country in the same period. Officials in Misrata say there are over 5,000 Syrians living there.
Arafi did not specify what would happen to Syrian refugees who did not register.