TRIPOLI, July 27 (Xinhua) — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Monday said that around 95 illegal immigrants are still floating in the Mediterranean at risk of drowning after departing from Libya.
“Around 95 migrants are still floating in the central Mediterranean at risk of drowning, after attempting to flee Libya,” IOM tweeted.
“We reiterate that states and shipmasters have a moral and legal obligation to respond to distress cases at sea,” IOM said.
The fall of Libya’s late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 created a state of insecurity and chaos in the country that made it a preferred point of departure toward Europe for thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans.
IOM estimates that more than 6,100 illegal immigrants were rescued and returned to Libya so far this year, confirming that 101 have died and 166 remain missing on the central Mediterranean route. Enditem