The UN considers “unacceptable” the increase in migrant victims in North Africa and the Mediterranean

The UN considers "unacceptable" the increase in migrant victims in North Africa and the Mediterranean


The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has warned that the latest migratory tragedies both in North Africa and in the Mediterranean are “unacceptable and avoidable” and has called on the various governments to offer safe alternative routes to long journeys through the desert and sea.

The deaths this week of at least 20 people in southern Libya, near the border with Chad, have once again exposed the risks of an increasingly frequented route. The IOM has documented more than 2,000 casualties in the Sahara desert since 2013, but fears the real number is considerably higher.

The intensification of gold mining in northern Chad a decade ago has also triggered incidents in which smugglers abandon migrants to their fate or get lost in the middle of the desert. The last 20 victims would have died of dehydration.

The head of the IOM mission in Libya, Federico Soda, stated that this latest case “is another wake-up call for the international community as a whole, a reminder that we are far from achieving the objective of ‘not letting no one behind’, the mantra of the 2030 Agenda”.

The head of the IOM in Chad, Anne Kathrin Schaefer, also hopes that it will serve as a “call to action”, so that there are “minimum standards of protection” for migrants and refugees and “urgent” assistance in a desert area “extremely remote”.

Between January and March of this year, more than 45,000 migrants were registered at various points in northern Chad and, according to an IOM survey, 32 percent were headed for Libya, despite the fact that the latter country remains mired in political and social chaos and there are no minimum guarantees in terms of Human Rights.

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