The Libyan navy announced Sunday that it rescued 335 migrants and fished the body of a person in separate operations north of the capital Tripoli, while trying to cross the Mediterranean.
"A coastguard patrol rescued 57 irregular migrants Saturday on a wooden boat 40 nautical miles north of Zouara, including 17 women and nine children," said General Ayoub Kacem, spokesman for the navy. "They are from Ethiopia and Egypt," he said.
A body fished by the coastguards
Tuesday, patrols of the Libyan navy "rescued 278 migrants aboard four inflatable boats north-west and northeast of Tripoli," said General Kacem. According to the Libyan navy, there were among them 128 Sudanese, Chadians, Egyptians, Nigerians, Beninese and Eritreans, including 35 women and 11 children. A body was recovered by the coast guards.
Since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya is plunged into chaos, with a multitude of armed groups and rival political forces. Migrants rescued at sea by the sea are first greeted by the NGOs on the spot who offer them care and food, before being taken care of by agents of the Body in charge of the fight against immigration of the Ministry of the Sea. Interior of the Government of National Unity (GNA), recognized by the UN.
Libyan navy accuses authorities
On 9 August, the Libyan navy accused the authorities of failing and slowness in dealing with migrants rescued at sea, claiming that it could be forced to leave them free when they were returned to the mainland. Despite the risks of crossing Europe, migrants go to sea, preferring to try their luck rather than stay in Libya, where they are subjected to abuse, extortion and torture, conditions often denounced by NGOs.