(ReliableNews.org) – The Libyan War ended in 2020, but the country has been in a state of crisis. Despite the chaos in the North African nation, it’s become a transit point for refugees fleeing poverty in the Middle East and Africa. Dozens recently died when a boat capsized.
In the overnight hours between December 14 and 15, a ship carrying 86 refugees sank when strong waves crashed into it. According to reports, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) issued a statement on December 16 and said 61 migrants died when the boat was destroyed. Women and children were among those who died in the shipwreck. The agency pointed out, “The central Mediterranean continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous migration routes.”
More than 2,250 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year. IOM spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo said the “dramatic figure” shows “not enough is being done to save lives at sea.” Approximately, 14,900 refugees were captured in the sea and sent back to Libya this year.
The European Union border agency, known as Frontex, announced that a partially deflated rubber boat was found on the evening of December 14. That agency said the refugees on the boat “were in severe danger because of adverse weather conditions.” The waves were more than 8 feet high.
In April, 57 bodies washed ashore after two boats sank. Around the same time, Italy rescued 47 boats carrying roughly 1,600 migrants along the dangerous route. The Italian government also approved measures to fine charities who were rescuing refugees at sea.
Human traffickers are exploiting the desperate situations of many migrants and sending them out to sea. Libya shares borders with at least six nations, making it a desirable place to smuggle migrants. According to the UN, when survivors are rescued at sea, they’re sent to Libya where they are put in government-run detention centers where abuse is common.
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