30 Aug 2017 - 10:29
No migrant deaths in Mediterranean in last 20 days: UN
GENEVA: There have been no deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea in last 20 days, the UN Migration Agency said on Tuesday.
"Since Aug. 9, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has not received any reports of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. The total count for Mediterranean Sea fatalities has remained at 2,410 for 20 days," IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle said in a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday.
"Something is happening. We are not sure what is behind it all," Doyle said, regarding the cause for the absence of casualties in the past 20 days.
Doyle said the refugee flows from Libya to Europe had diminished in August.
Noting that 19 deaths had been recorded in Mediterranean so far in August, Doyle said that was a "sharp drop" from the 689 recorded in August 2015 and the 62 in 2016.
"Some 121,517 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through Aug. 27. This compares with 272,612 arrivals across the region through Aug. 27, 2016," Doyle said.
Noting that 134 refugees were rescued at sea off Tripoli on Monday, Doyle said 13,282 refugees had been rescued in Libyan waters so far in 2017.