43 African Migrants Dead,As Ship Capsizes In Mediterranean Sea
…Call For Reactivation Of State- Led Search and Rescue Operations In Mediterranean
Two United Nations(UN) agencies have stated that 43 African migrants died when a ship they were on capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya.
In a joint statement, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) informed that the vessel overturned in rough seas after its engine quit a few hours after leaving the city of Zawya early Tuesday.
The agencies quoted a “partner on the ground,” the International Rescue Committee, as saying that 10 survivors were rescued by coastal security and brought to shore and that the survivors said all the passengers were men from West African countries.
The agencies also stated that they gave the survivors emergency assistance, including food, water and medical screenings, before they were released from the port.
According to the agencies this is the first such accident of 2021, following a year in which hundreds of people lost their lives attempting to cross the central Mediterranean.
They also said that the actual number of people who died crossing the sea during 2020 could be much higher, due to their limited ability to monitor migration routes.
The war-ravaged Libya is a major route for Africa and Middle Eastern migrants seeking to reach Europe.
The U.N. agencies called for reactivating state-led search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and for a halt to returning migrants to “unsafe ports.”