Human Rights

16,000 migrants repatriated from Libya in 2018 due to safety concerns

North Africa

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 16,000 migrants were repatriated from Libya in 2018. Many were held in illegal detention facilities.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) released a statement saying that more than 16,000 migrants were repatriated from Libya in 2018.

The IMO also stated that the security and humanitarian situation in Libya remains serious. This warning comes amidst movements by the Libyan National Army (LNA), which is led by General Khalifa Haftar, towards the western areas of the country, most notably the capital Tripoli.

In recent days, the LNA has been making significant advances on Tripoli, with fighters reaching the International Airport in the southern parts of the capital on Friday.

The IOM statement also added that many migrants arriving into Libya are being held in arbitrary detention centres, which often have no legal authority or mandate. The centres are also poorly equipment and suffer from “inhumane” conditions, according to the IOM.

In response, the Libyan navy has called on relevant authorities to investigate and follow up on these claims, which they allege only serve to distort the country’s image.

The navy also called on the international community, and the European Union in particular, to support local authorities and pressure countries to stop the flow of migrants through Libya.

For their part, Watch the Med have documented the deaths of 50 migrants in the Mediterranean, criticising the incapacity and unwillingness of both the Libyan and European-state authorities and rescue services to help those at sea.