22 immigrants from Mali, including three children, have died off the coast of Libya, Mali’s government said on Tuesday.
The 22 immigrants who died were part of a group of 83 people stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22, the Ministry of Malians Abroad said in a statement.
Of the total number of immigrants, 61 were rescued, including some Malian nationals, with the help of the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).
IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli said the cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration, according to survivors.
Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.
“The remaining migrants were taken to Al-Maya detention center” in Libya, she said.
There have been “significant increases” in migrant flows through Niger and Mali toward North Africa in the first quarter of 2022 compared with previous years, an IOM spokesman said.