Illegal Immigrants

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that some 95 illegal migrants rescued off the Libyan coast were returned to Tripoli on Sunday.

“Some 95 persons have been intercepted/rescued at sea, and returned to Tripoli by the Libyan Coast Guard tonight,” UNHCR tweeted later Sunday. “UNHCR and IRC (International Rescue Committee) are currently providing them with blankets, water, and medical assistance,” UNHCR said.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that at least 11 illegal migrants drowned on Sunday when a rubber dinghy capsized off the coast of Zawiya city, some 45 km west of the capital Tripoli.

Over the past few days, hundreds of illegal migrants have been rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard and returned to Libya, while many others drowned at sea.

Due to years of instability and unrest, Libya has become a preferred point of departure for thousands of migrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach European shores. Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.

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