The Libyan Coast Guard announced the rescue of 235 African migrants, who were on board three rickety boats destined for Europe.
In a statement, the Coast Guard explained that it handed over the migrants to the competent authorities in the city of Al-Zawiya, without giving any further details. It pointed out that the rescue operation comes within the framework of its humanitarian role, and it completing the procedures necessary for their safe repatriation home.
On Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that 58 refugees have been released from a detention center in Tripoli.
“UNHCR facilitated the release of 58 asylum seekers from Ain Zara and Trik-Al-Sikka detention centers,” it said in a statement. As well as adding that most of the released had been arrested during security operations carried out by the Libyan authorities in Tripoli last month.
Many African migrants, choose to cross the Mediterranean sea to European shores from Libya, despite the state of chaos and insecurity plaguing the country. These migrants are often sent to overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close such facilities.
Ten people were found dead in the lower deck of a severely overcrowded wooden boat off the coast of Libya, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported. According to survivors, they had suffocated after 13 hours on the cramped lower deck, where there had been a strong smell of fuel.
In a difficult operation, less than 30 nautical miles from Libyan shores, the MSF team onboard the charity’s chartered search and rescue vessel Geo Barents reached the boat carrying more than 100 asylum seekers. Survivors told rescuers that there were people crammed on the lower deck who were unresponsive.