Libya is major sea route to Europe for illegal migrants, IOM reported

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya, Ali Zaatari
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya, Ali Zaatari

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said that Libya is a major country for immigration to Europe from North Africa.

According to the organisation, some 77,000 people reached Europe through Libya during the first seven months of 2016, including more than 7,000 unaccompanied children.

The United Nations radio quoted the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya Ali Zaatari as saying: “We hope the Libyans can overcome the humanitarian crisis by next year and for Libya to resume its footsteps on the path of development and international cooperation.”

Zaatari stressed the need to support the men, women and children who flee their homes each year to ensure the protection of their rights and dignity.

“The revolution came, but it was followed by a lot of chaos. This chaos, unfortunately has led to internal fighting and the collapse of internal services, especially humanitarian ones. All of this has led to humanitarian tragedies afflicting about 2.4 million people who live in Libya, both Libyans and non-Libyans,” he said.

Libya has become the main gateway for immigration from North Africa to Europe after the European Union signed a deal with Turkey to control migration through the Mediterranean Sea.

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