[QODLink]
Middle East

African migrants detained in Libya

About 200 African migrants, mostly from Ethiopia and Eritrea, detained west of Tripoli en route to Europe.

Last updated: 02 Jun 2014 00:50
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The migrants were hidden in boxes inside a vehicle to be smuggled out of Tripoli [AFP]

About 200 migrants, mostly from Ethiopia and Eritrea, have been detained in Zawiya west of Tripoli as they tried to cross to Europe while hidden in vehicles, Libyan officials have said.

"Two hundred migrants, including 160 men and 40 women from Ethiopia and Eritrea, were captured. They were hiding in soap boxes," Nassir al-Shebani, head of legal affairs in the west brigade of Zawiya area, said.

The people were hidden in boxes inside a vehicle to be smuggled outside the capital.

Many migrants from sub-Saharan Africa head to North Africa to escape desperate conditions in their own countries, hoping to find work there or risk a perilous journey to Europe.

The Mediterranean can be treacherous in the autumn and winter months, making spring and summer the best time for small boats with ill-equipped crews to cross the sea.

Italy alone rescued 4,000 migrants from boats trying to reach European shores in early April. At that point 15,000 migrants had already arrived there by sea since the start of the year.

Western powers say instability in post-Gaddafi Libya may have encouraged human traffickers to exploit the country's lawlessness.

Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the number of migrants passing through Libya has risen sharply and the country's coastguard and army are ill-equipped to stem the tide.

217

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.