Dozens feared lifeless as migrant boat capsizes off Tunisia


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A UN report says six migrants died daily in 2018 making an attempt to cross the Mediterranean (file picture)

No less than 65 migrants are thought to have died after their boat capsized within the Mediterranean off the coast of Tunisia.

There have been 16 survivors, based on the United Nations refugee company (UNHCR).

Survivors say the boat left Zuwara in Libya on Thursday and bumped into bother throughout robust waves.

About 164 folks died on the route between Libya and Europe within the first 4 months of 2019, the UNHCR says.

How had been the survivors rescued?

The incident is regarded as one of many deadliest shipwrecks involving migrants for the reason that begin of the 12 months.

The survivors had been delivered to the coast by the Tunisian Navy and are awaiting permission to disembark. One individual has been transferred to hospital for medical therapy, the UNHCR says.

The navy dispatched a ship as quickly because it heard in regards to the incident and got here throughout a fishing boat choosing up survivors, an announcement from the Tunisian defence ministry stated.

A Maltese helicopter was additionally mobilised, stories stated.

The passengers are understood to have been from sub-Saharan Africa.

“It is a tragic and horrible reminder of the dangers nonetheless confronted by those that try to cross the Mediterranean,” the UNHCR’s Vincent Cochetel stated in an announcement.

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Media captionGirls and youngsters are being held in camps near fierce preventing in Libya’s capital Tripoli

Why has the variety of migrant crossings been falling?

1000’s of migrants try to cross the Mediterranean to Europe yearly, and Libya is a key departure level.

Those that make the journey usually journey in poorly maintained and overcrowded ships, and lots of have died.

However since mid-2017, the variety of migrant journeys throughout the route has declined dramatically.

Within the first three months of 2019, some 15,900 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by way of the three Mediterranean routes – a 17% lower on the identical interval in 2018.

The decline is essentially as a result of Italy has engaged Libyan forces to cease migrants from setting off or to return them to Libya if discovered at sea – a coverage condemned by human rights organisations.

Nevertheless, the BBC’s James Reynolds, in Rome, says that whereas numbers could have declined, the capsizing off the coast of Tunisia reveals that migrant journeys throughout the Mediterranean stay extraordinarily harmful.

In January, a UN report stated six migrants died crossing the Mediterranean daily in 2018.

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