On Monday, a boat carrying 75 African migrants collapsed off the coast of Libya, killing at least 57 people.
According to a UN migration official, a boat carrying African migrants collapsed off the coast of Libya on Monday, killing at least 57 people. It was the latest catastrophe involving refugees seeking a better life in Europe in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to Safa Msehli, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, the vessel departed the western coastal town of Khums on Sunday.
She estimated that at least 75 migrants, including women and children, were on board. Msehli said 20 women and two children were among the 57 people likely drowned.
According to Msehli, fishermen and the Libyan coast guard rescued and returned 18 of the migrants to land.
The survivors, who are from Nigeria, Ghana, and Gambia, stated the ship came to a halt owing to an engine failure and subsequently sank in heavy weather, according to Msehli.
The capsize on Monday was the second in less than a week off the Libyan coast involving migrants heading to Europe. According to the United Nations Migration Agency, at least 20 migrants fell overboard from a ship on Wednesday and are believed dead.
The year’s worst catastrophe occurred off the coast of Libya on April 22, when 130 people drowned despite the ship’s repeated distress cries.
Libya has emerged as the primary transit route for migrants escaping Africa and the Middle East’s wars and poverty. Following a NATO-backed revolt that ousted and murdered longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, the oil-rich country descended into anarchy.
For years, human rights organizations and UN officials working with migrants and refugees have highlighted survivor evidence concerning widespread abuse in Libyan detention facilities.
Forced labor, slappings, rapes, and torture are among them. Attempts to extort money from families are frequently accompanied by abuse.
Libyan maritime officials admitted earlier this month that one of its coast guard warships had fired warning shots at a migrant boat they were pursuing in the Mediterranean.
They claimed it was an obvious attempt to prevent the vessel from getting into Europe, putting the lives of the migrants on board in jeopardy.