International organisations extend rescue operation of illegal migrants off the Libyan coast

The process of extending humanitarian support to the refugees have led to the rescue of several, off the western coast of Libya in the past few weeks.

On July 20, the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said that, 76 refugees have been rescued from the region. The UNHCR tweeted, “Yesterday evening, 76 refugees and migrants were brought back to Al Khoms (western Libya), after being intercepted at sea.”

On the other hand, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said on July 20, that, in the past week more than 240 illegal immigrants were rescued off the Libyan coast.

The IOM said, between July 13-20, “243 migrants were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya.”

The UNHCR estimates that, more than 2,200 refugees and migrants are being held in detention centres in Libya. While the IOM estimates that a total of 6,119 illegal immigrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast and returned to Libya in the year 2020, while 9,225 illegal immigrants were rescued and returned to Libya in 2019.

The IOM also added that of the 6,119 illegal immigrants rescued in 2020, 453 were women and 327 were minors.

Since the 2011 fall of the late leader, Muammar Gaddafi’s government, the state of insecurity and chaos in Libya makes the country a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe.

Photo Credit : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UN_refugee.jpg

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