Heroic Rescue: 200 Somali and Ethiopian Migrants Saved from Trafficking Operation in Libya

In the city of Mogadishu, about 200 migrants mainly from Somalia and Ethiopia were rescued from a trafficking ring in a town in southeastern Libya. The army’s spokesperson, Walid Alorafi, revealed that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) carried out the operation and found migrants, including women, children, and older adults, who showed signs of torture and gunshot wounds.

These migrants were discovered in a secret location in Kufra village, where they had been kept captive for up to seven months with hopes of reaching Europe. After the rescue, the CID shared a video on social media showing the destruction of the building where the migrants were held. Another video depicted aid workers helping the injured migrants into ambulances.

“These people have been handed over to the anti-illegal immigration agency for formal procedures,” Alorafi mentioned, highlighting the poor health conditions of some rescued individuals.

Ibrahim Mohamed Mohamud, the second secretary of the Somali embassy in Libya, confirmed in an interview with the BBC that the recently saved group was under the custody of security agencies, making it hard to have official stats due to ongoing security operations.

This situation sheds light on Libya’s critical role as a transit point for migrants. Since the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has seen an influx of people from war-torn and impoverished regions attempting to cross the desert and sea to reach Europe.

According to the United Nations, Libya currently hosts over 700,000 migrants from 43 different nationalities, underscoring the nation’s migrant crisis, further exacerbated by its reliance on oil.

In March, the International Organization for Migration reported the tragic discovery of at least 65 migrant bodies in mass graves in southwestern Libya, exposing the continued challenges and risks faced by migrants in the area.

UN Special Envoy Abdullah Bathily, in a recent address to the Security Council, stressed the importance of regional collaboration to enhance migrant safety. He urged the Libyan government to urgently address the reported mistreatment of detained migrants in Sabha. Bathily has also handed in his resignation to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Data sourced from the BBC.

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