Tag Archives: Libyan Army

IOM Reports Migrants Were Forced by Libyan Soldiers to Board Boats

The International Organization for Migration has interviewed migrants who reached Lampedusa who witnessed the migrant boat carrying 500-600 people that sank just off the Libyan coast this past Thursday or Friday.  IOM reports that persons who were preparing to leave Libya on a second migrant boat witnessed the accident involving the first boat.  “Migrants … told IOM that after seeing what had happened to the first boat, many of them who had been waiting on land [preparing to board the second boat] changed their mind about making the sea journey to Italy. However, they claim that Libyan soldiers and officials forced them onto a waiting boat by firing their guns indirectly.  Although this is the first time that IOM has been told of migrants being forced by Libyan officials to get on a boat, many have told IOM that they did not have to pay for their passage to Lampedusa while others say they have paid a nominal fee. However, they say that they been stripped by officials and soldiers of their savings and possessions, including mobile phones….”

Click here for IOM press briefing.

Click here for article.


Filed under Italy, Libya, Mediterranean, News