Over 60 Migrants Die in Shipwreck Incident

(LibertySons.org) – Apparently, the United States doesn’t have a monopoly on refugees and asylum-seekers desperately trying to find ways into the country at the risk of life and limb. A boat capsized in the south-central Mediterranean Sea overnight between December 14 and 15, killing more than 60 people, including women and children.

The boat reportedly issued a distress message to the Libyan Coast Guard requesting assistance. Yet, Alarm Phone, a migrant distress hotline that several of the migrants onboard called, said the Coast Guard refused to look for the vessel or render assistance.

On December 16, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) released a report that said strong waves inundated a boat carrying 86 migrants. According to survivors, the incident occurred off the coast of the Libyan town of Zuwara, causing 61 people to drown.

Adverse weather conditions cause waves over 8 feet high. A UN plane found the partially deflated rubber boat within the designated search and rescue area. Conditions along the route make it one of the most dangerous in the world for those seeking refuge, according to the IOM.

Flavio Di Giacomo, an IOM spokesperson, told The New York Post the route had caused the deaths of more than 2250 migrants this year. Libyan authorities have already intercepted and returned nearly 15,000 migrants to Libya this year. That’s down significantly from 2022 when the number of interceptions was more than 24,500.

Refugees from Africa and the Middle East fleeing war, hunger, and poverty have chosen Libya as a launching point across the Mediterranean because the nation fell into chaos after a 2011 uprising toppled autocrat Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and resulted in his death. However, human traffickers choose to operate out of the country for the same reason.

When Libya intercepts migrants, it places them in military-run detention camps. UN-commissioned investigators have reported that all manner of crimes against humanity take place in these centers and that the Libyan government has used the camps to extort ransoms from relatives to allow migrants to leave.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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