UNHCR: Over 2.500 migrants rescued off Libyan coast at the weekend

In this photo taken on Sunday, April 17, 2016 migrants ask for help from a dinghy boat as they are approached by the SOS Mediterranee’s ship Aquarius, background, off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. The European Union’s border agency says the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Italy more than doubled last month. Frontex said in a statement on Monday that almost 9,600 migrants attempted the crossing, one of the most perilous sea voyages for people seeking sanctuary or jobs in Europe. (Patrick Bar/SOS Mediterranee via AP)

The U.N. refugee agency called on Sunday for European countries to help Italy cope with an increasing flow of migrants after some 2,500 were rescued at the weekend and dozens were reported missing at sea after leaving Libya.

Libyan coastguards recovered the bodies of eight migrants from an inflatable boat found east of Tripoli on Saturday.

At least 52 are feared missing from two incidents involving large numbers of people on flimsy dinghies off the coast of Libya on Saturday, the UNHCR said.

The Italian coast guard coordinated over a dozen search and rescue efforts to save lives. The UNHCR called on other countries to help.

“Solutions cannot just be in Italy,” the UNHCR said. “New measures on both sides of the Central Mediterranean Sea to seriously combat trafficking are needed.”

The agency also called for renewed efforts to help refugees and migrants in the countries they cross before they reach Libya, saying people were exposed to “horrific exploitation and abuse” in these states.

Libya is the most common departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea, with the number making the crossing rising sharply since 2014.

Over 1,770 people are estimated to have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea so far in 2017, according to the UNHCR.

More are believed to have died in the Sahara before arriving in Libya.

(Source: Reuters)

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to oped@libyanexpress.com. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
You might also like

Submit a Correction

For: UNHCR: Over 2.500 migrants rescued off Libyan coast at the weekend

Your suggestion have been successfully submitted

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Libyan Express will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.