At least 13 immigrants died, and another three bodies recovered, after a migrant boat sank off the coast of Libya, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.
IOM tweeted: “At least 13 lives were lost at sea and three bodies retrieved after a tragic shipwreck occurred off the coast of Libya last night. IOM staff are now providing medical assistance to 22 survivors brought to shore by fishing vessels.”
Libya has become a key route for illegal migration, since the 2011 revolution. The authorities have been unable to control migrant trafficking routes, across the vast shores. This raises concerns in Mediterranean countries, especially Italy and France.
On Thursday, Amnesty International urged the EU to reconsider cooperation with Libyan authorities, over the “horrific abuses” of refugees and migrants.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his concern about immigration from Libya. He described Libya as not a safe place to land for migrants and reminded that UN Member States are obligated to ensure that the migrants are transported to a safe place, and in conditions that preserve their human rights. “There is no justification for the conditions in which migrants are detained in Libya. These migrants face human rights violations which should be addressed urgently,” Guterres said in his report.
On Saturday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said 128 persons were intercepted at sea. The two boats were stopped by the Libyan Coast Guard, and returned to Tripoli, despite it being an unsafe port.
The EU’s Union Border Assistance in Libya (EUBAM), said it will help write Libya’s national strategy for border security and management, over the next six months.