The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Monday that more than 1,000 illegal migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast and returned to Libya in the past week.
“From July 25 to July 31, as many as 1,111 migrants were rescued or intercepted at sea and returned to Libya,” IOM said.
So far in 2021, a total of 19,393 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued, while 360 died and 570 went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, according to IOM.
Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.
Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.