As a desperate power struggle unfolds in Libya, its neighbors fear hundreds of thousands may flee across the Mediterranean to seek asylum in Italy, Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta and Spain. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the region should brace for a “biblical exodus” because one-third of Libya’s population—2.5 million people—are recent immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa who are now caught in a society reduced to bitter tribal rivalries. Dangerously exposed, they may choose to flee north rather than return to their home countries. Many Mediterranean ports of call may see a heavy influx of refugees in the near term, straining social services and perhaps requiring the United Nations to help create camps and processing centers.


About The Author

Michael Hartung, editor of Healthy Travel Blog, serves as head of Product Development at HTH Worldwide. Mike is responsible for all product strategy and development for the company. Mike has over twenty years of successful product innovation to his credit. He has played a senior management role in three start-up companies and has built complex organizations in rapid growth environments. Prior to joining HTH in 2000, he served as President of U.S. Healthcare’s Workers Comp Advantage subsidiary, which he co-founded with Angelo Masciantonio. Mike has also served in senior roles at Aon Consulting, Vantage Health Partners and Managed Health Care Services. Mike earned an M.B.A. from New York University, an M.A. from Duke University and a B.A. from Carleton College.


  1. Dear Mike,

    Your portrayal of Libya as a “society reduced to bitter tribal rivalries” is simply wrong. This view illustrates you (the writer) didn’t spend any time actually trying to understand what’s happening in my country (Libya), there is no “tribal rivalry” here, there’s a united people sacrificing lives to rid themselves of the ruthless dictator that oppressed us for more than 4 decades. Your portrayal is nothing short of insulting.

    Thank you to spend some time reading and understanding what’s happening in my country before writing about it.


    • I stand corrected, Aladin. Since we posted this piece, I have learned a lot about Libyans’ courage and tenacity and believe your struggle will succeed.

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