Over 250 migrants rescued off Libya coast: navy

2018-03-11 10:00
Migrants  (File: AFP)

Migrants (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - The Libyan navy on Saturday rescued 252 migrants seeking to reach Europe, in two separate operations off the country's western coast.

"We were alerted... to the position of a migrant boat" around 30km off Zawiya, west of Tripoli, navy captain Rami al-Hadi Ghomed said.

He said the 140 migrants on board, including 14 women and four children, were brought back to Tripoli's naval base before being transferred to a detention centre.

Since the 2011 fall and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi, unruly Libya has become a key launch pad for migrants making desperate bids to reach Europe, often on unseaworthy vessels.

To save money to pay smugglers for the crossing, some migrants stay and work in Libya - such as Sunday Adeleghe, a 42-year-old Nigerian father of four.

He was among those who tried their luck on the boat rescued off Zawiya.

 KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

"I left my country in June," he said. "I couldn't go back to Nigeria with nothing."

"I started washing cars to save money for my family," he said.

"I'm desperate... but a man can die only once, not twice."

The second rescue operation took place around 50km off Garabulli, east of the capital.

The navy rescued "112 migrants, including 30 women and three children, aboard an inflatable boat", said navy spokesperson Ayoub Kacem.

"The migrants, from African countries.... were given medical care before being transferred to the Tajoura detention centre" in Tripoli, Kacem said.

The navy gave no details on the origin of the boats, but smugglers usually launch departures from western Libya, just 300km from the Italian coast.

Recent years have seen thousands of migrants infiltrate the vast southern border of Libya in attempts to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

The situation has deteriorated since Gaddafi's fall, as lawlessness and insecurity have pushed ever more migrants who were already present in Libya to attempt the perilous crossing.

At least 337 migrants have died or disappeared off the coast of Libya since the start of the year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

"If our rulers were good for us, Nigerians would not leave their country," Sunday said.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.