They were preparing to undertake the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean.

A group of 542 migrants was intercepted on Sunday and detained in Tripoli, we learned from a security source.

These candidates for exile were arrested by the Libyan authorities near a beach in Misrata, some 200 km from the capital, as they prepared to reach the European coasts on board inflatable boats, said to AFP an official within the Body for the fight against illegal immigration, affiliated to the Ministry of the Interior.

Most of them from Bangladesh, according to an AFP photographer, they were transferred the same day by bus to a detention center near Tripoli where “humanitarian aid will be provided to them until their deportation to their countries. said the Libyan official.

475 deaths since the beginning of the year

The chaos that followed the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011 made Libya a favored route for migrants from East Africa, the Sahel and Asia seeking to reach Europe via the coasts. Italian, about 300 km away.

Several thousand of them find themselves stranded in this North African country, often in deplorable conditions.

Candidates for exile are the prey of traffickers, when they do not die trying to cross, and the country is regularly singled out by NGOs for the ill-treatment inflicted on migrants.

Since the beginning of the year, "at least 475 people have died trying to cross the central Mediterranean" via this route, according to an IOM report dated April 11.

A few days after this assessment, 6 migrants were found dead and 29 others missing after another shipwreck off the country.

  • World

  • Migrants

  • Libya

  • Mediterranean