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Over 4,000 migrants rescued off Libya’s coast since Friday


SomaNet News Archive

(By Bonny Apunyu)

Since Friday May 29, 2015 more than 4,200 migrants have been rescued off Libya’s coast while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. According to VOA, Italy's coast guard said it has coordinated the rescue of a total of 4,243 people from fishing boats and motorized rubber dighies.

Reports indicate that the 22 operations took place Friday and involved ships from a host of European nations including Italy, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and Britain. Rescued migrants were taken to southern Italian harbors, including Sicily.

While calm seas and warm spring weather has reportedly led to an increase in migrants attempting the journey, VOA reported observers as saying worsening conditions in lawless Libya, the North African staging place for many migrants' journeys, is contributing to the problem.

Majority of the migrants come from Syria, Nigeria, Mali and Eritrea fleeing war, political persecution and economic hardships. In April, some 800 migrants reportedly drowned off Libya when their 20-meter-long fishing boat capsized and sank.