Migrant deaths in Mediterranean since January hits 1000

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The number of migrants that have lost their lives undertaking the risky sea journey across the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach Europe has now surpassed the 1,000 figure in 2018 alone.

This comes following the drowning of more that 200 migrants in the past four days, including babies.

Over the weekend, the Libyan coastguard rescued 16 survivors; young men from the Gambia, Sudan, Yemen, Niger and Guinea.

The coastguard also managed to intercept several small vessels heading towards the open sea, returning nearly 1,000 migrants to shore.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) transferred the migrants to detention centers, where they were provided with humanitarian assistance.

According to the migration agency, the Libyan coastguard has returned some 10,000 people to shore so far this year.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing will travel to Tripoli this week to see first-hand the conditions rescued migrants face and those returned to shore by the coast guard.

He said the UN agency “is determined to ensure that the human rights of all migrants are respected as together we all make efforts to stop the people-smuggling trade, which is so exploitative of migrants.”

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