Migrants in distress and incidents involving the Libyan coastguard
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A group of migrants are in distress in the central Mediterranean asking to be rescued, according to the international NGO Alarm Phone. The 25 migrants, including four minors, left from Libya two days ago. Alarm Phone said that the engine is not working and the migrants don’t have any food left. The NGO is urging for an immediate rescue.
Hours before, Alarm Phone alerted the authorities about another group of migrants in distress who escaped from Libya on a wooden boat. The group of around 100 migrants is running out of fuel and one engine stopped working.
Meanwhile, early this week, the Libyan coastguard chased two boats in Maltàs search and rescue area. According to the German NGO Sea Watch the “Libyan militias” intercepted 130 migrants and they were “forcibly returned to Libya, facing abuse.” In another incident, Sea Watch reported that the Libyan militia stole the dinghy’s engine and started shooting at the empty boat.
Libya serves as a transit country for migrants trying to reach Europe, particularly through the Italian coastline. According to the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 153,000 migrants reached Italy this year from Tunisia, and Libya.
– Foto: Sea Watch International –