IOM: Over 17,000 migrants intercepted off Libya in 2023

Alwasat - Cairo Sat 06 Jan 2024, 09:33 AM
alwasat radio

The Libyan coastguard has intercepted more than 1,200 migrants off Libya's western coast between December 25 and 30, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

According to a detailed statement by IOM on the sites of the interceptions, the boats carrying these migrants were intercepted mainly off Tripoli and the neighboring city of Zawiya.

Migrants usually sail from the Libyan coast on rickety and overcrowded boats, hoping to cross the Mediterranean to Italy, particularly Lampedusa.

During 2023, Libyan authorities intercepted about 17,000 migrants. These figures indicate a decrease in the number of interceptions off the Libyan coast, compared to 2022, which recorded the interception of about 24,000 migrants.

At the same time, 974 migrants died and 1,372 went missing on the central Mediterranean route off the Libyan coast in 2023, the IOM said.


Coast guard patrols routinely intercept migrant boats in Libyan or international waters and forcibly return them to Libyan territory as part of its plan to limit migrants' access to the European continent.

The EU has provided material and financial support to the Libyan Coast Guard since 2016, despite persistent criticism from international organizations defending migrants' rights.

Last month, Médecins Sans Frontières published a report monitoring violations against migrants being arbitrarily detained in centres located in Libya's capital, Tripoli.

These violations include sexual assault, beatings and killings, and systematic denial of basic humanitarian conditions, including proper access to food and water, sanitation and medical care.

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