Latest Tragedy in the Mediterranean Claims over 100 Lives – UN Refugee Agency

Human Wrongs Watch

1 July 2018 — Expressing “deep sadness” over the deaths of more than 100 refugees and migrants when their boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea, the United Nations refugee agency has called for greater international efforts to avoid further tragedies.


UNHCR/Alfredo D’Amato| An overloaded boat of refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe, as seen from the deck of an Italian Coastguard ship, in the Mediterranean Sea. (file photo)
“[We are] concerned about the increasing number of people dying on the central Mediterranean route and [are] calling for concerted international efforts to avoid further tragedies,” said the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a news release on Saturday [30 June 2018].

According to the UN agency, about 123 individuals were on board the rubber boat – which survivors said was “unseaworthy and overcrowded” – when it sank off the coast of Tajoura in Libya on 29 June.

Only 16 people could be rescued by the Libyan coast guard.

“This is the hardest day of my life. I didn’t know whether to save myself, my children or my friends,” a survivor told UNHCR once safe.

Among those deceased are 70 men, 30 women and three babies. Over 80 bodies are said to remain at sea.

In the news release, UNHCR also said that on the same day, some 300 refugees and migrants were disembarked by the Libyan coast guard at the Tripoli Naval Base, including 15 children and 40 women.

UNHCR and its partners were present at both disembarkation points and provided urgent medical and humanitarian assistance to the survivors, before they were transferred to detention facilities by the authorities.

According to estimates, in the first half of 2018, over 1,130 people have perished trying to make the perilous sea crossing from North Africa to Europe. (SOURCE: UN).

Read also:

Two Shipwrecks Add to ‘Alarming Increase’ in Migrant Deaths Off Libya Coast: IOM

Over 200 Migrants Drown in Three Days in Mediterranean — Death Toll for 2018 Passes 1,000

EU Establishment Appeases Italy and Other Anti-Migrant Governments in Bid to Salvage Bloc’s Survival

EU’s Political Survival Means Ignominy of Taking ‘Guantanamo’ Option

‘NGO Rescue Ships Will Only See Italy on Postcards’ — Italy’s Salvini Vows to Keep Ports Closed all Summer

EU Leaders Compromise to Share Refugees and Establish Migrant Centers on ‘Voluntary’ Basis

UN Migration and Refugee Agencies Appeal for Region-Wide Action by European Union over Mediterranean Tragedies

Migration Set to Overshadow Eurozone Reform Debate at EU Summit

2018 Human Wrongs Watch


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