Dozens of migrants perish in Libya shipwreck, survivors recount harrowing ordeal

Libya shipwreck

Libya: A tragic accident has claimed the lives of at least 61 migrants, including children and women, who were trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Europe. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Libya announced the news on social media platform X on Saturday, after rescuing 25 survivors from the water.

According to the IOM, the boat was carrying about 86 people when it capsized off the coast of Libya, near the city of Jawara. The survivors told the IOM that they had left Libya on Thursday night, hoping to reach Europe in search of a better life. They said that the boat started to leak and sink after a few hours and that many people drowned or were swept away by the waves.

Libya is a major transit point for migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East, who risk their lives on overcrowded and unsafe boats to reach European shores. Many of them are fleeing war, violence, poverty, and persecution in their home countries. However, Libya is also plagued by instability, conflict, and human rights violations, making it a dangerous place for migrants.

Some reports allege that human trafficking networks, run by armed groups and militias, exploit and abuse migrants in Libya. They charge them exorbitant fees to board the boats and often subject them to torture rape, and slavery. Recently, Libyan security forces have intensified their efforts to crack down on irregular migration, resulting in mass arrests and deportations of migrants.

This is not the first time that a migrant boat has sunk in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the third such incident this year, adding to the grim toll of thousands of lives lost in the past decade. In June, 79 migrants died and hundreds more went missing after their boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia. In February, 96 migrants perished when their boat hit rocks on the Calabrian coast of Italy during a storm.

Libya shipwreck

Media reports indicate that the boat that sank on Saturday had departed from the Libyan city of Tobruk, near the Egyptian border. An anonymous official from the Libyan Shipping Ministry said that most of the passengers were from Egypt, Syria, and Pakistan. Greek state broadcaster ERT reported that the boat was heading to Italy, where many migrants hope to find asylum and protection.