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Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

Libya Coastguard Rescues 89 Migrants

April 2013 

migrants on libyan coast

Eighty-nine sub-Saharan African migrants who had been drifting in a boat for five days have been rescued to Libyan coastguard, but not before the migrants had to dump the bodies of five people who died on the journey overboard, Libya’s state agency LANA has reported.

The news agency quoted Libyan naval official Colonel Ayub Omar Gacem as saying the Libyan authorities were alerted by a fisherman that the boat was adrift off the western port of Zawiyah.

After the rescue the illegal migrants were brought to shore and many of them were taken to hospital for treatment. “The rest were provided with food and medicine on the spot,” Ayoub said.

He said this was the second such incident in two weeks after Libya’s coastguard saved another 34 people, including women and children, off the west coast.

Improved spring and summer weather conditions, illegal migrants use North Africa as a launch-point for maritime migration to southern Europe, with Italy and Malta the main destinations. Thousands of people have been killed attempting the dangerous crossing in overcrowded and frequently unsafe vessels.

On Friday, the Italian coastguard is reported to hve rescued almost 500 migrants crammed into five small inflatable boats off the Sicilian coast in the Mediterranean Sea after receiving distress calls overnight. Most of the migrants were taken to Lampedusa, an island south of Sicily.

According to Human Rights Watch, in 2011 an estimated 1,500 migrants lost their lives in the Mediterranean. Many of them were trying to escape the turmoil caused by the Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa. In 2012 the estimated death toll was set at more than 300.

Source: Tripoli Post 

Categories: News, Press

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