At least 196 migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast by the SOS Mediterranee, a humanitarian organization on Saturday.
In four different operations, the rescued migrants were from Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Syria, and Eritrea.
Among the rescued were 28 women, at least two of whom were pregnant – and 33 minors, including two children under the age of five.
Officials are waiting to find out where they’ll be able to disembark. Libya is a key gateway for Europe-bound migrants. Migrants departing in overcrowded boats from Libya, Morocco and Tunisia to Italy, Spain and other parts of Europe have increased in recent months.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) say the number of people who have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean nearly doubled in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
Over the years, the European Union has collaborated with Libyan forces to stem migration, in spite of grim conditions in detention centres in Libya.
International agencies have repeatedly denounced the return to Libya of migrants intercepted at sea.
Oil-rich Libya was torn by conflict after the toppling and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, but last October, rival groups signed a truce, setting in motion a UN-led process that saw a new transitional government in place.
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