Libya: 43 migrants die in shipwreck
Tripoli, Jan 20 (Prensa Latina) The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported on Wednesday that at least 43 people died in a shipwreck off the Libyan coast.
The incident occurred on Tuesday and 10 survivors were rescued, in the first case of this kind this year in the central Mediterranean Sea, one of the riskiest routes used by migrants on their way from Africa to Europe.
According to reports, the boat left Zauiya, 50 kilometers west of the capital, and capsized due to strong waves after its engine broke down a few hours after starting the journey.
The survivors stated that among the victims -all of them from West Africa-, there were citizens from Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia, and they specified that they were rescued and taken to the Libyan coastal town of Zuara.
In a statement, the IOM and UNHCR recalled that in 2020, hundreds of people died while trying to cross the central Mediterranean Sea, and both sources expressed concern that the death toll would increase in 2021, due to the reduced capacity to monitor the routes used by migrants.
'This loss in human life once again emphasizes the need to reactivate state rescue operations, the disruption of which is being addressed by non-governmental organizations and commercial vessels despite their limited capacity,' the UN agencies said.
It is estimated that about 1,200 people died in the Mediterranean last year while trying to reach Europe.
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