TRIPOLI—“Libya´s Social Welfare minister Ibrahim Sharif has denounced that 53 young girls and 52 boys were kidnapped from the Misrata Orphanage,” said Telesur TV special envoy to the Northern African nation, Rolando Segura.
International news agencies reported that Libyan authorities launched a probe to find out what happened with the 105 children, who were kidnapped following a bombing of the city some weeks ago, the minister said.
“Those orphans were kidnapped in Misrata, a city controlled by the groups operating under the command of other countries. They were taken to an unknown place,” said minister Sharif.
On his tweeter page, the Telesur reporter said that “several sources have affirmed that the 105 children were taken out of the country in a ship that could be Turkish, French or Italian.
In this regard, the Libyan minister explained that “some witnesses said to have seen the children onboard a Turkish boat, while others talked of an Italian or French ship. We want to know the truth and those countries are responsible for the fate of those kids, who are neither soldiers nor armed people.”
The Libyan official added that local authorities have a list with the names of the minors. According to reporter Segura, the armed forces captured a Libyan man residing in Germany who said to have seen the children being kidnapped.
A doctor with the rebels, who was arrested by Libyan authorities said that the children had been taken to Italy and France, Sharif added.
The Venezuelan reporter with Telesur noted that the Libyan government had said that the children were seen for the last time on Al Jazeera TV.
Following the approval of the UN Security Council resolution allowing the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, imperial powers have indiscriminately attacked the population and the country´s infrastructure resulting in over 900 people dead and thousands wounded.
Misrata orphans may be abroad
Tripoli – A Libyan government minister has voiced concern about the whereabouts of 105 orphans from the rebel-held city of Misrata, saying there were reports they may have been taken abroad.
Social Affairs Minister Ibrahim Sharif told reporters in Tripoli late on Tuesday that the government had opened an investigation into what had happened to the 52 boys and 53 girls, who were listed as resident at a state-run orphanage in Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city.
“Some witnesses have reported seeing them on board a Turkish boat, others say it was an Italian boat, others still a French boat,” the minister said.
“We want the truth and we hold those countries responsible for the well-being of these children who are neither soldiers nor combatants.”
Sharif added that a rebel doctor captured by government troops had told his captors that the orphans had been taken to France and Italy.
One of two rebel-held enclaves in western Libya, Misrata is surrounded by government forces and is entirely dependent on supply by sea.
A number of European vessels have docked in the port to deliver relief supplies and bring out civilians injured in the fighting and other hardship cases.
France was at the centre of a scandal in 2007 when aid workers from the Zoe’s Ark charity attempted to fly 103 children out of Chad who they said were orphans from the war-torn Darfur region of neighbouring Sudan.
International aid staff later found that almost all the children were Chadian and had at least one living parent.