UNHCR Rescues 227 Migrants off Libyan Coast

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On Sunday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced the repatriation of 227 refugees and migrants to Libya after they were rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard.

“Tonight, 227 refugees & migrants were returned to Libya after being intercepted and rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard,” the UNHCR tweeted.

The UNHCR revealed that the survivors embarked aboard 3 rubber boats from Zawyia and Zwara.

It added that the UNHCR and the International Rescue Commission (IRC) provided them with medical assistance and water upon disembarkation in Tripoli

Last week, Stephanie Williams, the acting head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), called for the immediate release of thousands of detained migrants held in Libyan detention centres.

During her intervention before the Human Rights Council in Geneva, she called for “the closure of the detention centres affiliated with armed groups, and others affiliated with the Ministry of Interior in Libya.” Williams estimated the number of people displaced in the country, as a result of the armed conflict, to be about 430,000. She noted that the numbers of dead and wounded have not been specified and pointed out that Libyans “aspire to justice and accountability for those responsible for serious crimes.”

In September, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that 9,448 illegal migrants, including women and children, have already been rescued and returned to Libya so far this year. In 2019, 9,225 migrants were reported by IOM to have been rescued.