At least six migrants died, 93 rescued off Libya's coast

UN says rescued migrants, including one woman who gave birth on a rubber dinghy, brought back to Libya.

At least six migrants died, 93 rescued off Libya's coast
30 June 2020 - 08:29

A woman who gave birth at sea was among 93 migrants rescued off Libyan shores as they tried to reach Europe, but six others died along the way, the UN's migration agency said.

The survivors were brought back overnight to the port city of Khoms, 120km (75 miles) west of the capital Tripoli, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Twitter.

"Among them was a woman who gave birth on the rubber dinghy" that had undertaken the perilous Mediterranean crossing, it said.

"Migrants reported to IOM staff that 6 people have died along the journey," it added.

Libya was thrown into chaos after the overthrow and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011. 

Migrants rescued from Mediterranean on Ocean Viking after fleeing Libya

Traffickers have exploited the unrest to turn the North African country into a key route for migration towards Europe.

The situation of refugees and migrants in Libya worsened after eastern Libya-based military commander Khalifa Haftar launched an assault on Tripoli in 2019 and the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

These people arrive in Libya fleeing poverty, conflict, war, forced labour, female genital mutilation, corrupt governments and personal threats. 

Some arrive in Libya by choice, others by force. For some, Libya is a country of destination and not transit. 

Human rights groups have repeatedly criticised the systematic return of migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean to Libya, where they are held in crowded detention centres.

Source: Aljazeera (Click for futher of the article)

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