A boat with at least 91 migrants on board floating in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast is feared missing. A hotline for migrants in distress at sea says Libyan authorities on Sunday refused to attempt to rescue the migrants because detention camps are "full". 93 other migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean on Sunday by a Spanish NGO.
A boat with 91 migrants on board is feared missing off the Libyan coast, the Mediterranean migrant hotline Alarm Phone says.
It tweeted early Sunday morning that the boat was taking on water and there were already people overboard. The Libyan coastguard had failed to respond to efforts to contact them for "several hours," according to Alarm Phone.
A representative of the Libyan coast guard later said no rescue operation had been launched because the detention camps were already full and a solution was needed.
SOS +++ 91 people in acute danger! The People had fled #Libya. They reported to us that water is entering the boat & there are already people in the sea. We informed authorities at 4.24h CET, but they haven't taken sufficient action yet. The people need help immediately! pic.twitter.com/xgY7K8juT4— Alarm Phone (@alarm_phone) February 9, 2020
More than a 1,000 returned to Libya last month
During the month of January, Libyan coast guard authorities picked up more than 1,000 refugees and migrants off its coast and brought them back to Libya, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
Many migrants stopped by the Libyan coast guard are returned to detention centers. The UN has repeated calls for the centers to be closed because of their squalid conditions and abuse of detainees.
With agencies, epd, kna, ap