Libyan border 2011: the video of calling operations

Watch out the TSF video of calling operations on the Tunisia-Libya border!


Mission funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department.


This mission was also made possible thanks to the support of TSF's other partners: the Vodafone Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, Inmarsat, Eutelsat, AT&T, PCCW Global, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Vizada, IT Cup, the Communauté d'Agglomération de Pau and the Regional Council of Aquitaine.


10 March TSF Tunisia-Libya Transit camp 2-40010 March TSF Tunisia-Libya Transit camp 4-400
















Between February 23rd and May 13th, Télécoms Sans Frontières was deployed to the border between Tunisia and Libya in the transit camp of Chucha, where thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict in Libya have taken refuge.


TSF conducted humanitarian calling operations at the entrance to the transit camp over 80 days. Victims of emergencies need quick and reliable telecommunications services to reconnect with separated family members and arrange for support. Re-establishing communication links is vital.


On May 15th, more than 30,500 families sheltered in the Chucha camp could reach their relatives in 115 different destinations worldwide. This action represents 84,000 minutes and 40,000 free satellite connections provided to populations of 40 different nationalities.

Those priority calls enable them to reassure their loved ones who have been left without any news, and above all to receive personalised assistance. Beyond the psychological support provided, TSF's role was also to find concrete solutions for displaced families.


Since February 15th, more than 500,000 people have fled Libya to take refuge in neighboring countries: particularly in Tunisia and Egypt. Another 60,000 people have fled towards Sudan, Chad, Niger and Algeria.


18 March ECHOTSF Tunisia-Libya Transit camp 2-200The team witnesses events...

"We enabled a group of refugees from Ghana to call their families to tell them that they were still alive. But every day, we saw them near to the TSF sat phones. There is no immediate solution for them. There isn't a Ghanaian Consulate in Tunis. We thus decided to contact the Consulate in Algeria. Following that phone call, the Consulate reassured the Ghanaian refugees that they would receive official assistance.  Which they did. Indeed on March 1st, the Representative of the Consul himself came to the transit camp to repatriate his fellow-countrymen."

"Masi and Mohamed are from Bamako in Mali; they arrived on the evening of 25th February at the border post. Thanks to TSF, they were able to call the Malian Embassy in Tunis who reassured them that they would receive official assistance."


“Almost one hundred inhabitants of Niger, some without documents, had no news from their government and no information on when they would be able to get back to Niger. They designated spoke persons who came to talk to us, to try to reach a Nigerian embassy, somewhere. We called the Niger embassy of France and we finally managed to get the personal number of the Niger ambassador in Algeria, who got in contact with IOM to organise the repatriation of his fellow countrymen. A few days later, before they got in the bus that would take them to the airport, some of them came to tell us good-bye, along with warm thanks.”

“Right now, we can’t be in Bangladesh,” said Nienn. “But talking to my parents by phone eases the wait.” When violence broke out in the western Libyan town of Zawiyah, Bangladeshi migrant worker Mohammed Nienn, 28, was doing a shift as a steelworker. In a hurry to leave, he jumped into a taxi with four other Bangladeshis and headed for the Tunisian border, where a bus eventually took him to Chucha transit camp, 6km from the frontier town of Ras Ejdir. Ten days later, he was still there, waiting for a flight to Dhaka. “My family tells me to get home as quickly as possible,” he told IRIN. “But it’s not as simple as that. There are so many Bangladeshis here. The wait to go to the airport is quite long.”
Source of this last testimony: - 14 March 2011


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To ensure better coordination in the transit camp, TSF also established a Wi-fi connection using satellite equipment and a Wi-fi router. The connection benefited the IOM teams (International Organisation for Migration), the local authorities and the medical teams who were helping the refugees in the camp. As well as setting up internet connections and high-speed satellite lines, TSF teams also provided technical and telecommunications support for the Organisation for Migration (IOM) as they manage the temporary camps on the border.


The transit camp is an obligatory stop for all the migrants coming from Libya before a longer term solution is given to them. It was essential for TSF to respond to their most urgent needs. This response had to be adapted as the needs of the displaced populations have been evolving with the uncertainty surrounding the date of their evacuation.


The camps’ population has decreased significantly with the acceleration of evacuation operations.


28 Feb TSF Tunisia-Libya Transit camp 40027 Feb TSF Tunisia-Libya Transit camp 6