According to IOM, “the continued loss of human life calls for an urgent change of approach to the situation in Libya and the central Mediterranean”.
At least 11 people drowned when a rubber dinghy carrying two dozen migrants to Europe capsized off Libya, the United Nations migration agency said.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the tragedy took place near the western town of Zawiya on Sunday. The Libyan coast guard has saved the lives of 12 migrants, he said in a message on Twitter.
“The continued loss of life calls for an urgent change of approach to the situation in Libya and the central Mediterranean,” IOM tweeted.
🚨 At least 11 migrants drowned this morning when an inflatable boat capsized off Zawya, #Libya, while 12 survivors were rescued by the Coast Guard.
The continued loss of life calls for an urgent change of approach to the situation in Libya and the central Mediterranean.
– IOM Libya (@IOM_Libya) May 2, 2021
These migrants were to be taken to a detention center.
Sunday’s deadly shipwreck was the last along the central Mediterranean migration route. Last month, at least 130 people were presumed dead after their boat capsized off the coast of Libya in one of the deadliest maritime tragedies in years along the busy route.
Libya sank into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew and killed longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.
In the years following the uprising, Libya became the main transit point for people traveling to Europe.
Since 2014, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have died at sea trying to reach Europe from Africa.
More than 17,000 of them are in the central Mediterranean, described by the UN as the most dangerous migration route in the world.
There has been a spike in crossings and attempted crossings from Libya in recent weeks. Around 7,000 migrants bound for Europe have been intercepted and returned to Libya so far this year, according to the IOM tally.
Smugglers often embark desperate families in ill-equipped rubber boats that stall and sink along the perilous central Mediterranean route.
Thousands of people drowned along the way. Others have been intercepted and sent back to Libya to be left at the mercy of armed groups or confined to squalid detention centers.
Human rights groups and United Nations agencies have denounced the inhumane treatment suffered by people in Libyan detention centers, claiming to have suffered beatings, rapes and insufficient rations.
The European Union has reportedly spent more than 90 million euros ($ 109 million) to finance and train the Libyan coast guard to stop the crossings.
An Associated Press investigation found that the EU sent more than 327.9 million euros ($ 397.9 million) to Libya, largely through UN agencies.