UN: New group of 83 migrants intercepted and detained by the guard - Plataforma Media

UN: New group of 83 migrants intercepted and detained by the guard

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Sunday that the Libyan coast guard last night intercepted a group of 83 migrants off the coast of the country, which was later transported to a detention center.

IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli said that these migrants, who were trying to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe, were intercepted near the city of Garabouli and were later transported to the detention center in Souq al-Khamis, in Khoms, a city located 120 kilometers east of Tripoli (Libyan capital).

According to the representative of the United Nations (UN) agency, the majority of the 83 migrants were from Sudan and Eritrea. A migrant woman was part of the intercepted group.

In total, some 6,000 migrants have already been intercepted and taken back to Libya, a country that is not considered a safe haven, since the beginning of this year, according to Safa Msehli.

Libya has in recent years become a revolving plate for hundreds of thousands of migrants, mainly Africans and Arabs who are trying to escape conflict, violence and poverty, who are trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.

Due to the country’s situation, immersed in political and security chaos since the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in 2011, Libya has also been a breeding ground for networks of illegal migrant trafficking and situations of kidnapping, torture and rape.

Most migrants try to cross the Mediterranean in ill-equipped and very precarious rubber boats in terms of security.

Libyan territory is part of the so-called Central Mediterranean migratory route, which leaves Algeria, Tunisia and Libya towards Italy and Malta.

According to the latest IOM estimates released in April, more than 20,000 people have died during the crossing of the Mediterranean migration route since 2014.

Over the past few years, the European Union (EU) has supported the Libyan coast guard and other local forces to try to stem the departure of migrants towards Europe.

Various non-governmental human rights organizations have always denounced that such efforts had left migrants at the mercy of local armed groups or held in overcrowded detention centers and with very precarious living conditions.

In February, the EU agreed to replace the patrolling and controlling the flow of migrants in the Mediterranean (referred to as Sophia) mission with a mission to block arms from entering Libya and comply with the embargo imposed by the UN Security Council, faced essential to stop the ongoing civil conflict in Libyan territory.

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