Twenty-two Malian migrants died in shipwreck off Libyan coast, says UN

Twenty-two migrants including three children, all from Mali, died in a shipwreck off the Libyan coast, the UN announced on Tuesday, citing survivors who reported victims drowned or dehydrated. After nine days at sea in a dinghy, 61 survivors, mostly from Mali, were rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard and brought ashore, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. The migrants boarded the boat in the Libyan town of Zuwara, near the Tunisian border, on June 22, IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli said.

Three dead children

“After nine days at sea, they were picked up by the Libyan Coast Guard,” she added. They were brought ashore on Saturday. “According to the survivors, 22 migrants, all from Mali, died during the journey. The reported causes of death are drowning and dehydration. Among the dead are three children,” the spokesperson continued. “The total number of survivors is 61, the majority of whom are from Mali,” she said.

The spokesperson pointed out that some migrants were in very poor health and were therefore taken to hospitals by IOM. “The remaining migrants were taken to Al-Maya detention center,” she said.

More than 6,340 migrants were intercepted and brought back to Libya

The chaos that followed the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011 made Libya a favored route for tens of thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, Arab countries and South Asia seeking to reach the Europe by the Italian coasts, about 300 km from the Libyan coasts. Several thousand of them find themselves stranded in Libya, often in deplorable conditions.

Candidates for emigration are the prey of traffickers, when they do not die attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean, and Libya is regularly singled out by NGOs for the ill-treatment inflicted on migrants. Since the beginning of the year, more than 6,340 migrants have been intercepted and brought back to Libya, according to an IOM report released in May. At least 129 people have died attempting the crossing and 459 are missing and presumed dead, according to IOM.

Source: Europe1

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