The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Thursday that nearly 300 illegal migrants have been rescued off Libyan coast.
Nearly 300 persons were returned to Tripoli by Libyan Coast Guard, the UNHCR Libya tweeted. “UNHCR and IRC (International Rescue Committee) were at the disembarkation point and provided all survivors with medical assistance, water, food and humanitarian items,” it said, confirming that all the rescued migrants have been released.
Libya has become a preferred point of departure for migrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards European shores due to the insecurity and chaos that have plagued Libya since the fall and death of its former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Thousands of illegal migrants, who were either rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan authorities, are detained in overcrowded reception centers in Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers. The UNHCR has repeatedly stressed that Libya is not a safe point of disembarkation for rescued migrants.