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ShareNovember 22, 2019The International Organization for Migration (IOM) expresses "concern following the latest developments in Libya: within 48 hours, at least nine boats carrying more than 600 migrants left the country and a tenth boat is arrived in Lampedusa with 74 people on board ".
According to Oim, "the apparent increase in departures from Libya comes at a time when Tripoli and the surrounding areas are hit by a heavy series of bombings, probably the hardest since the beginning of the conflict in April".
In a note. "the IOM expresses strong concern for the safety of migrants who, as conditions deteriorate, are increasingly exposed to clashes, human trafficking and abuse".
Change of approach
Federico Soda, IOM head of mission in Libya, said that the country "is not a safe haven; it is necessary to activate a safe and structured landing mechanism for migrants fleeing violence and abuse". The IOM reiterates its appeal to the European Union and the African Union to make an "immediate change in the approach to the situation in Libya. It is necessary that rapid action be taken to dismantle the detention system and find alternative solutions for protect the lives of migrants ".
Between Tuesday, October 29th and Thursday, November 21st, operators of the Ocean Viking and Open Arms NGOs reported saving 287 migrants. At the same time, IOM Libya confirms that the Libyan Coast Guard has brought another 289 people back to earth, including 14 children and 33 women. The migrants were transferred to a detention center. The OIM staff present at the point of disembarkation to provide first emergency assistance, reported that the migrants were extremely "vulnerable and scared".
Msf: need immediate assistance
Doctors without Borders, who run Ocean Viking with Sos Méditerranée, asked for the medical evacuation of two of the migrants on board, rescued in recent days off Libya. This is a pregnant woman with twins and a man with gunshot wounds. According to the doctors, both migrants need medical treatment that cannot be provided on the ship
Bodies on the beach of Khoms
Meanwhile, Thursday morning, almost simultaneously with the aforementioned arrival of 74 migrants in Lampedusa, 43 other migrants were rescued and taken in charge by the Tunisian authorities off the coast of Djerba. According to Oim staff present in Tunisia and Lampedusa, both boats left from Zwara, in Libya. On Friday, Oim Libya reported six bodies on the beach of Khoms.
At least 6 bodies of migrants washed up on the shore of Khums, Libya this morning.
Some 90 others were just picked up by the Libyan coast guard.
For the moment, however, OIM Libya is unable to verify the news circulated on Wednesday that many people would have lost their lives during a shipwreck. Since the beginning of the year, underlines the organization, more than 8,600 migrants who attempted the crossing of the Mediterranean have been brought back to Libya in overcrowded detention centers, of which the United Nations has documented the unacceptable conditions, the violations of human rights and the disappearances.