Home ENGLISH LIBYA: Authorities Arrest 81 Migrants From Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia

LIBYA: Authorities Arrest 81 Migrants From Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia

epa04428211 Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa rest after being rescued by the Libyan coastguard when their boat sank three natutical miles off the Libyan coastal town of Guarabouli, 60km east of Tripoli, Libya, 02 October 2014. According to media reports the Libyan coast guard has recovered at least ten dead bodies from the water, and rescued between 80-90 people though according to the survivors there may have been as many as 180 passengers onboard when the boat sank. EPA/STR

Authorities in eastern Libya said they have arrested 81 migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia who had escaped from smugglers after failing to reach Europe.

An official from the department for countering illegal migration in the eastern city of Benghazi, Ahmed al-Arifi, said migrants were reported to authorities by an imam at a mosque on the coast to the south of the Libyan city of Benghazi.

Al-Arifi said they were arrested in the Zueitina area at a camp of illegal migrants.

Libya is the main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea, with nearly 120,000 crossing the central Mediterranean in 2017. Almost all leave from western Libya, though departures dropped sharply in July 2017 when some armed factions began blocking crossings.

Most of the migrants are from West African countries, though some East Africans enter Libya through Sudan.