Libyan coast guard intercepts Europe-bound migrants

Migrants are seen after they were rescued by a coast guard patrol after a boat accident off the Libyan coast in Garaboli town on June 2, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 05 June 2019

Libyan coast guard intercepts Europe-bound migrants

  • All of the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid
  • Libya had became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe

BENGHAZI, Libya: Libya’s coast guard said Tuesday it intercepted two boats carrying around 140 Europe-bound migrants, including women and children, off the country’s Mediterranean coast.
Spokesman Ayoub Gassim said the first rubber vessel had 92 African and Bengali migrants, including 11 women and four children. They were intercepted a day earlier off the coast of the western town of Garaboli, 60 kilometers east of the capital, Tripoli.
Gassim said the second boat with 44 Moroccans and an Egyptian was intercepted Tuesday north of the Bouri offshore oil field, around 105 kilometers from Tripoli.
All of the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid and then taken to a refugee camp in the Tajoura district of eastern Tripoli, he said.
Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi.
Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants, with European assistance.


Syria Kurds hand over four Daesh-linked children to Germany

Updated 19 August 2019

Syria Kurds hand over four Daesh-linked children to Germany

  • They included a boy and two sisters who had lost both parents, and a fatherless girl infant
  • A spokeswoman for the German foreign ministry confirmed the handover to staff from its consulate

SIMALKA CROSSING: The Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria on Monday handed over four children linked with the Daesh group to Germany, their first such repatriation to the European country, an official said.
“The autonomous region handed over four children from Daesh families to a delegation from Germany,” said Fanar Kaeet, a foreign affairs official with the Kurdish authorities.
They included a boy and two sisters who had lost both parents, and a fatherless girl infant who was repatriated for health reasons, Kurdish authorities said.
All are under 10 years old, they said.
A spokeswoman for the German foreign ministry confirmed the handover to staff from its consulate in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan at the Simalka border crossing.
“I can confirm that four children who were in custody in northern Syria were able to leave Syria,” she said.
“The children were received on the Iraqi-Syrian border by staff of the consulate in Irbil and will be given to family members,” the spokeswoman said.
“From there, the children and their family members will, we believe, travel to Germany.”
Syria’s Kurds have spearheaded the US-backed fight against Daesh in Syria, and in March expelled the extremists from their last patch of territory in the war-torn country’s far east.
Even as they fight remaining sleeper cells, thousands of alleged Daesh fighters and family members are being held in their custody.
These include hundreds of suspected foreign fighters in their jails, and thousands of their alleged family members in overcrowded camps.
Western countries have been largely reluctant to repatriate their nationals.
But France and Belgium have brought a handful of orphans home, while the United States last year repatriated a woman with her four children.
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kosovo have repatriated dozens of women and children.
Daesh overran large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” there, but offensives in both countries have seen them lose that territory.
A dozen children of alleged jihadist fighters have been repatriated from Iraq to Germany since March.