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New York

Tue, 10 Dec 2019 01:58 GMT

81 Migrants Rescued by Charity Ship off Libya Coast


7Dnews London

Sun, 11 Aug 2019 21:35 GMT

Another 81 migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast on Sunday August 11th by French charities SOS Mediterranean and MSF, joining 130 others aboard the ship the Ocean Viking, an AFP reporter said.

The young men, mostly Sudanese, who had left Libya late on Saturday in a blue rubber dinghy, clapped and cheered as the ship came into view. Sunday's rescue was the third in as many days. 

Jointly operated by SOS Mediterranean and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the ship has been patrolling international waters some 50 nautical miles off the coast of Tripoli. 

SOS Mediterranean search and rescue coordinator Nicholas Romaniuk told an AFP reporter on board the rescue ship, "We're the only ones in the area, the Libyan coastguard don't respond" to distressed migrant vessels. 

The ship Open Arms, operating in the same area by Spanish charity Proactiva, counted 160 migrants, of whom 121 have been aboard for 10 days while waiting for reluctant EU states to take them in. 

Romaniuk said fair weather conditions would likely encourage more departures from Libyan shores. 

A further incentive is that a three-day Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, which kicked off on Sunday, may reduce the presence of authorities patrolling Libyan beaches. 

Middle East Africa