Several Europe-bound migrants drown off Libya coast: UN | Migration News

According to the IOM, continued loss of life requires an urgent change in how we approach the situation in Libya and the central Mediterranean.

At least eleven people drowned when a rubber dinghy with two dozen migrants capsized in Europe off Libya, said the UN migration authority.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the tragedy occurred near the western town of Zawiya on Sunday. The Libyan coast guard saved the lives of 12 migrants, it said in a Twitter post.

“The ongoing loss of life requires an urgent change in the approach to the situation in Libya and the Central Med,” tweeted the IOM.

🚨 At least 11 migrants drowned this morning when a rubber dinghy capsized off the coast of Zawya, #Libya, while 12 survivors were rescued by the Coast Guard.

The ongoing loss of life requires an urgent change in the approach to the situation in Libya and the central Mediterranean.

– IOM Libya (@IOM_Libya) May 2, 2021

These migrants were to be taken to an internment camp.

The deadly shipwreck on Sunday was the last on the central Mediterranean migration route. Last month, at least 130 people were believed to be dead after their boat capsized off Libya. This was one of the deadliest maritime tragedies in years along the busy route.

Libya fell into chaos after the 2011 uprising, in which long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed.

In the years since the uprising, Libya has become the dominant transit point for people traveling to Europe.

Since 2014, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have died at sea trying to reach Europe from Africa.

More than 17,000 of them were in the central Mediterranean, which the United Nations calls the most dangerous migration route in the world.

In recent weeks there has been an increase in crossings and attempted crossings from Libya. So far this year around 7,000 migrants have been intercepted in Europe and brought back to Libya, according to the IOM.

Smugglers often pack desperate families into ill-equipped rubber boats that stop and perish on the dangerous route of the Mediterranean.

Thousands drowned along the way. Others have been intercepted and returned to Libya to be extradited to armed groups or imprisoned in miserable detention centers.

Human rights groups and UN agencies have denounced the inhumane treatment of people in Libyan prisons, claiming they have endured beatings, rape and insufficient rations.

The European Union has reportedly spent more than € 90 million funding and training the Libyan coast guard to stop the crossings.

An Associated Press investigation found that the EU had sent more than € 327.9 million to Libya, largely through UN agencies.