Another tragic accident has occurred in the Mediterranean Sea as at least 55 people have drowned while attempting to cross from Libya to Europe. The rubber boat was carrying 60 people and had departed from Garabouli, a small town east of Tripoli, on Tuesday morning.
This latest accident is part of a series of deadly incidents in the last few days, where migrants have lost their lives while attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Human rights organizations have long protested the lack of preventive search and rescue patrols by countries around the Mediterranean.
The situation in Libya is extremely concerning, with migrants in the country often subjected to kidnapping, abuse, arbitrary detention, and exploitation by criminal groups and trafficking networks. This has led to many taking the dangerous sea crossing, which is considered the deadliest maritime route in the world.
Since the death of dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011, Libya has been in a state of civil war, and its territory remains divided among warring factions. This has made it a major transit point to Europe for tens of thousands of African migrants who often pay smugglers to help them make the dangerous crossing.
In total, 661 people have died in the central Mediterranean this year, including those who have gone missing and are presumed dead. The deaths of migrants have become normalized, and this normalization is a dangerous thing. The lack of preventive measures and search and rescue patrols must be addressed urgently to prevent further loss of life.