After a boat carrying West African migrants capsized off Libya's coast on Tuesday, 43 individuals drowned. In contrast, ten others were rescued based on the IOM's statement or the International Organization for Migrant and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
According to Reuters, the UNHCR stated that this is the first migrant shipwreck of 2021.
Based on some reports, the capsized boat reportedly left Zawya, a northwestern Libyan city, on early Tuesday. Just hours after their departure, the migrants faced terrible sea conditions, causing their engine to stop.
The UNHCR also mentioned that the individuals who died were all men who came from West African countries.
The United Nations Agency also shared that the survivors were mainly from Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Gambia, and Ghana. Those who perished were all men coming from several West African countries.
The statement also mentioned that hundreds of individuals lost their lives last year after attempting to cross the Central Mediterranean, where the number of deaths along a single migration journey worldwide happened.
It also added that the UNHCR and the IOM fear that because of the limited ability in monitoring the routes, the actual number of individuals who perished in the Central Mediterranean during 2020, could have been much higher.
The European Union in recent years has partnered with the coast guard of Libya and other local groups to stem such dangerous seas crossings.
Based on the rights groups, they mentioned that the policies have left the migrants at the mercy of armed groups or confined in squalid detention centers rife with abuses.
The IOM also shared that the coastal security forces in the western town of Zuwara in Libya rescued ten migrants from the shipwreck Tuesday and brought them to shore.
Based on the survivors, the dead men were all nations from West Africa.
Since 2011 when Libya's longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi was killed after being ousted, the country has emerged as the dominant transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, The Arab News reported.
Moreover, smugglers often pack desperate families into ill-equipped rubber boats that stall and founder along the perilous Central Mediterranean route.
The IOM also mentioned that the Libyan coast guard intercepted on Wednesday not less than 48 immigrants, including 11 children, and returned them to shore.
The UNHCR or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees called for an urgent and measurable shift in the approach regarding the Mediterranean situation, which includes an end to migrant returns to unsafe ports, CNN reported.
They mentioned in a statement on Wednesday that the arbitrary arrests and arbitrary detention in the direst of conditions continue in Libya.
Also added in a statement on Wednesday is that the many are victimized and exploited by traffickers and smugglers, who held for ransom, tortured, and abused.
Moreover, in November, the IOM shared that some 500 migrants have died trying to cross the central Mediterranean. Still, the actual number of individuals who lost their lives could be much higher because of limitations on the ability of monitoring the routes.