Over 1,000 illegal migrants returned to Libya: UNHCR

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that more than 1,000 illegal migrants were returned to Libya.

“Record number in returns of refugees and migrants to Libya today. Over 1,000 persons were returned in two operations in Zawiya and three others in Tripoli,” the UNHCR tweeted on Sunday.

“UNHCR & IRC have provided medical aid, food and water to all survivors before being taken to detention by the authorities,” the UNHCR said.

The IRC is short for the International Rescue Committee, a non-profit organisation in the Libyan capital Tripoli, Xinhua news agency reported.

So far in 2021, a total of 10,154 illegal immigrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast, while 173 died and 459 others went missing on the central Mediterranean route.

Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making it a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward European shores.

Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centres across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close them.

The IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) identified and located 348,372 internally displaced persons in Libya.