Dozens of migrants rescued off the Libyan coast, 20 missing

Dozens of migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast on Sunday. The coast guard removed nearly 100 people from the water off eastern Libya, while 20 others have been reported missing. The German NGO Sea-Watch said it had picked up 73 migrants with its ship Sea-Watch 3.

The Libyan Coast Guard brought the rescued migrants to the Tripoli maritime base, where they were met by a team from the International Organization of Migrants. According to the IOM, these are people from Cameroon, Sudan, and Mali.

Among them are six women and two children. Two survivors who wanted to cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy have been taken to hospital in critical condition. About twenty people on board were reported missing.

The German NGO Sea-Watch also announced on Sunday that it had rescued 73 people off the Libyan coast, including 16 women and children. Over the past two days, the Sea-Watch 3 has also picked up a total of 145 people, bringing the total number of migrants on the ship to around 220.

Libya remains an important transit country for people fleeing from African and Middle Eastern countries, although the country itself remains highly unstable since the fall of dictator Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.

According to the International Organisation for Migration, more than 1,200 migrants died in the Mediterranean last year. This year, 170 migrants have already died. The IOM also announced on Twitter that 3,700 migrants have already been pulled out of the water and returned to Libya since the beginning of the year.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, in Italy, the gateway to the European Union for many migrants, almost 4,500 migrants already arrived by boat in 2021.

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