On Thursday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that nearly 180 illegal migrants, including fourteen women and five children have been intercepted off of Libya’s western coast.
“179 persons, including 14 women and 5 children were returned to Tripoli. UNHCR and partner IRC (International Rescue Committee) are providing assistance and medical care to all survivors. All survivors were sent to a detention facility managed by Libyan authorities,” UNHCR tweeted. It reiterated that Libya is not a safe port for refugees to disembark.
Thousands of migrants, mostly Africans choose to undertake the difficult journey and cross the Mediterranean from Libya towards Europe. Last year, 323 migrants died and 417 others went missing on the central Mediterranean route. 11,891 more were rescued and returned to Libya, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).