61 migrants die in shipwreck off Libyan coast

– At least 61 immigrants, including women and children, died in a “tragic” shipwreck off the coast of Libya, reported the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“According to survivors, the boat with about 86 people on board left the Libyan coast from Zuara (west of Tripoli). The Central Mediterranean continues to be one of the most dangerous migratory routes in the world,” the IOM detailed in a statement.

Libya is, together with Tunisia, the main starting point on the migratory route from the Central Mediterranean to Europe. Considered one of the deadliest known in which 2,203 people have died as of November, more than 22,400 since 2014.

As of December 9, the Libyan coast guard had intercepted hundreds of boats with more than 15,300 people who were returned to Libya. A country considered “not safe” by human rights organizations.

From Libya to Europe

The organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) published a report this week in which it denounced the abuse and mistreatment of asylum seekers and migrants in detention centers in Tripoli, where thousands of people are being held arbitrarily.

This Saturday, the Agency against Illegal Immigration of the Government of National Unity (GUN) of Libya released 106 immigrants of Syrian, Sudanese and Palestinian nationality “on the condition that they do not try to cross the sea to the European Union again,” said the Ministry of the Interior.

The IOM also reported the voluntary return of 136 migrants from Bangladesh, including two families, of which 41 had medical health problems.

On the journey from Libya to Europe, more than 950 people died in 2023 and another 1,200 are still missing.

Egyptians, Bangladeshis and Syrians are the main nationalities of the migrants who leave Libya and manage to reach European coasts, mainly Italy.

More than 700,000 migrants of some 40 nationalities reside in Libya, according to the latest report from the international organization.

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga