The rescue ship Ocean Viking completed a 23-day mission this week, plucking 356 migrants, mainly African, from Libya’s perilous waters, after a major stand-off with European nations.
About 40 people are feared dead or missing after the latest wreck of a boat carrying migrants bound for Europe off the coast of Libya, while about 60 people may have been rescued, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday.
Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar’s forces ruled out a UN call to return to the negotiating table, with his spokesman saying a military solution is the best way to resolve the conflict.
African refugees being held in squalid conditions in detention in Libya will be evacuated to Rwanda under an agreement reached with Kigali and the African Union, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday.
The death of several migrants, mostly from Bangladesh, when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea after it left Libya hoping to reach Europe, brings to the fore the continuing plight of migrants.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s announcement that six European Union (EU) countries had agreed to take in some 150 migrants from a rescue ship that Italy had blocked from docking is a welcome development that has helped resolve the latest standoff over immigration to Europe across the Mediterranean.
Libya’s Government of National Accord has protested at what it said were “untruths” in UN envoy Ghassan Salame’s latest report on the conflict in the North African country.
Forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said they launched air strikes early on Tuesday against an airbase in third city Misrata held by government loyalists.
Flights were temporarily suspended on Saturday at the Libyan capital’s sole functioning airport after it was hit by a rocket as two civilian flights were landing, airport authorities said.