The migrant crisis has aggravated as rescue team recovered 74 dead bodies of immigrants in a wrecked boat washed up on Libya beach, near the village of Harcha, outside Zawiya, 45 kilometres (30 miles) from Tripoli.
The bodies were first sighted by locals who alerted the emergency services and even more were feared to remain in the sea. According to a report, Libya is presently home to 1.2 million people who want to get to Europe. In 2015, a record-breaking number of people trooped en masse into Europe through the sea the Mediterranean sea with most of them arriving in Italy.
Despite efforts by the Italian government to stop illegal migration this year, the country has seen little slowdown in the number of migrants arriving so far.
As the lifeless bodies are lined up in black and white body bags, the emergency team complained they do not have an appropriate vehicle to transport the bodies or a cemetery for unidentified bodies to bury them in. They also confirmed some bodies are still on the beach and others that can’t be reached are still afloat in the sea.
After some investigations, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the boat was foundered on Sunday, February 19, leaving as many as 100 people dead. Traffickers reportedly stole the engine of the boat and left the immigrants to their fate.
Other details of people rescued include that of 187 people who were rescued off Zawiya on Saturday, February 18 and were held at a detention centre – with all the ‘mistreatment’ of immigrants report marring Libya. About 180 people were further estimated to have died on January 14 when a migrant boat capsized off the coast of Libya. Hundreds of people have been rescued from the waters north of the African nation, including 700 on January 30 alone off the western city of Sabratha.
Even hundreds of these people fleeing their countries due to one crisis to another – war, hunger, search for greener pastures, were rescued off the coast of Libya on Tuesday, February 21, by Italy’s coast guard from two drifting vessels, a large boat and a rubber raft.
Meanwhile, the President of the European Parliament (EP), Antonio Tajani on Tuesday told Italian media that if the problem of Africa – war, drought, malnutrition, is not tackled adequately, millions of people with migrate and no dams, oceans or walls will be sufficient to stop them.
The report says human smugglers have taken advantage of the chaos gripping Libya since the 2011 revolution to greatly boost their lucrative trade. Even several militias acting as coastguards are often accused of either complicity or involvement in the people-smuggling business.
A leaked secret report from German security authority revealed that almost 6 million people from countries around the Mediterranean are seeking to enter Europe to claim asylum and some of them reportedly came from Central African to Libya and Algeria after travelling to Mali and Niger which have become hubs for migrants.