Creating new perspectives since 2009

Libya: border guards find bodies of 6 black Africans in desert

August 1, 2023 at 11:38 am

African irregular migrants stranded near the Libya-Tunisia border about 170 km from the capital Tripoli, await under high temperatures on July 30, 2023 [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

Libyan border guards have found the bodies of six African migrants in the desert, according to the Interior Ministry.

The news comes just one week after a video circulated online of a Libyan border guard giving water to black African migrants who had been dumped in the middle of the desert by Tunisian authorities.

Two days earlier Libya’s Interior Ministry said that the bodies of five black African migrants were recovered during a routine patrol along the border.

Then in mid-July, Libyan border guards said they rescued 80 migrants left in the desert without food or water in the town of Al-Assah 150 kilometres west of Tripoli.

Border guards say they were exhausted, dehydrated and left in temperatures of 40 degrees.

Conditions were particularly bad last week, when a heatwave with highs of 50 degrees hit the Middle East and North Africa.

READ: Italy releases migrant rescue boat

Tunisian police and military have been rounding up black African migrants in the country, mainly in the port city of Sfax, and dumping them on the border with Algeria and Libya.

According to a recent report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW), many of them had been beaten severely, some had been tortured and the women subject to sexual violence.

In February President Kais Saied made an inflammatory speech about black migrants in the country which led to violent mob attacks, landlords kicking them out of their homes and bosses kicking them out of their jobs overnight.

Despite this, the EU has signed a migration deal with Tunisia, under which it will give the North African country a large aid package in exchange for authorities stopping migrants crossing the Mediterranean and heading for Europe.

The deal has been widely slated for taking place whilst the Tunisian government forcibly dispels and violently attacks black African migrants in the country.