The Libyan authorities announced on Tuesday that 230 migrants heading for Europe had been rescued in two operations off the Tripoli coastline. According to the Libyan Navy, the migrants were in rubber dinghies and had issued distress signals before being rescued.
In the first operation, 103 migrants were picked up. Another 127 were saved on Monday evening. Their nationalities were not disclosed by the authorities, but they are known to be from Africa.
The navy said that the Department for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) will follow this up as part of its humanitarian role. The department provides temporary accommodation for migrants and ensures their repatriation to their home countries.
The ongoing turmoil in Libya has seen it become the most important exit point for African asylum-seekers fleeing poverty and conflict, and trying to get to Europe. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced last year that the Libyan Coast Guard had rescued 11,891 asylum-seekers from the open sea in 2020; 381 others were drowned and 597 are still missing.