UN agency urges investigation into shooting migrants at Libyan disembarkation point

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 29, 2020
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TRIPOLI, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday urged an investigation into the shooting of three migrants at a disembarkation point in western Libya.

"UNHCR deplores the tragic loss of three lives and calls for an urgent investigation following a shooting at Al Khums disembarkation point in Libya last night, following the interception of a boat by the Libya Coast Guard," UNHCR said in a statement.

The shooting occurred after more than 70 people were disembarked from a vessel, the statement said.

"This incident underlines starkly that Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation," said UNHCR's Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, Vincent Cochetel.

"There is a need for increased search and rescue capacity on the Mediterranean ... in order to increase the likelihood of rescue operations leading to disembarkations in safe ports outside of Libya. There is also a need for more solidarity between Mediterranean coastal states," Cochetel added.

The commissioner estimated that more than 6,000 refugees and migrants have been rescued at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard and returned to Libya so far this year.

It also said that there are 47,859 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with the commissioner in Libya.

Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, which made it a preferred point of departure for migrants to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe. Enditem

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