IOM: 9,000 Migrants Returned to Libya in 2022

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On Monday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that a total of 9,000 migrants, including 656 women and 342 minors were returned to Libya, after being rescued off the country’s coast in 2022.

“In the period of January -June, a total of 9,000 migrants have been disembarked back on Libyan shores,” IOM said in a statement late Monday. The UN agency also added that 156 migrants drowned, and 565 others went missing this year.

In 2021, a total of 32,425 migrants were returned to Libya, 662 died, and 891 others went missing, the IOM revealed.

Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. This has made the country the preferred point of departure for migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean to European shores.

Last week, the international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or ‘Doctors Without Borders’ called for the evacuation of the most vulnerable migrants from Libya to safe countries.

“Since the start of MSF’s migration projects in Libya in 2016, we have repeatedly faced the same challenges: the impossibility of protecting migrants inside Libya, of ensuring continuity of care for serious physical and mental conditions, and of rehabilitating victims of torture,” it added.

MSF called on European and North American states, among others, to offer protection to migrants currently trapped in Libya.

“A significant increase in the number of slots for resettlement to third countries of asylum should be promoted. Humanitarian evacuation and resettlement flights should be scaled up, and the relevant processes sped up, including quicker and smoother transit processes through facilities in Niger or Rwanda,” it recommended.