Another set of Nigerians just lost their lives as a boat carrying about three dozen migrants drowned in the Mediterranean sea, off the coast of Libya on Saturday, June 13, 2020.
Several people are still missing after the shipwreck. A U.N official told the Associated Press (AP) that the migrants were bound for Europe.
Safa Msehli, a spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said among the missing were two children and that the migrants hailed from Chad, Nigeria, Egypt and Sudan.
At least 20 migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya.
The shipwreck occurred off the coastal town of Zawiya, which lies about 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
“The search continues to recover the bodies,” Msehli said.
She added that the migrants had no life jackets, the boat was in poor condition and had capsized shortly after setting off.
An independent support group for people crossing the Mediterranean, called Alarm Phone, received a call from a relative of a migrant who fled Libya, to the effect that a boat was in distress.
Libya, which descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, has emerged as a major transit point for African and Arab migrants fleeing war and poverty back home.
Most migrants make the perilous journey in ill-equipped and unsafe rubber boats.
In March, the IOM that its estimated death toll among migrants who tried to cross the Mediterranean, passed the “grim milestone” of 20,000 deaths since 2014.
In recent years, the European Union has partnered with the coast guard and other Libyan forces to prevent migrants from making illicit trips.