The Libyan coast guard has detained more than 500 illegal migrants from Africa, including more than 100 Sudanese, during the past days. The migrants had tried to cross the sea to Europe in rubber boats.
Activists among Sudanese communities in Libya informed Radio Dabanaga that the coast guard intercepted a total of five rubber boats in separate incidents in the Mediterranean from Monday to Wednesday. Among the illegal migrants who were forced to return to the Libyan main land were 160 Sudanese, according to the activists.
Malik Mohamed Salih, an official in an anti-illegal migration and voluntary return programme for Sudanese in Libya, told Sudan Tribune that there was a significant number of women among the detained Sudanese migrants. He warned that more attempts from migrants to reach Europe from Libya can be expected during the summer as the sea becomes more safe for the rubber boats used by human traffickers.
Sudanese people are regularly detained by authorities and attacked in El Zawiya, Sabratha and Misrata in Libya, an activist added. Three Sudanese reportedly have been detained by Libyan militiamen since Monday.
He appealed to the Sudanese in Libya “to exercise caution and do not risk to migrate to Europe via boats”, adding that the Sudanese nationals renew their request to the Sudanese government to be rescued from Libya and brought back to their homeland.
“The government has not responded to our initiative, aimed at encouraging the Sudanese in Libya to voluntarily return,” Malik told Radio Dabanga in June.