The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said that they were deeply saddened by a tragic shipwreck off the Libyan coast on Tuesday, which was the first of 2021 in the Central Mediterranean, leading to the loss of at least 43 lives of illegal immigrants.
Meanwhile, the IOM and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), UNHCR’s partner on the ground, added that ten survivors were rescued and brought to shore by Coastal Security in Zuwara city.
The humanitarian bodies added that the boat, which embarked in the early hours of Tuesday from the city of Al-Zawiya, reportedly capsized due to bad sea conditions when its engine stopped, just a few hours after departure.
“Survivors, mainly from Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana, and The Gambia, reported that those who perished were all men from West African countries.” They said.
IOM and UNHCR acknowledged the efforts made by the Libyan authorities in combatting smuggling and trafficking, and appealed for an increase in efforts to prosecute and hold accountable criminal groups responsible for human rights’ abuses targeting thousands of migrants and refugees in the country.