In the latest instance of the capsizing of migrant boats, 150 people are missing and presumed to be dead. They were attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from libya to Travel to Europe and were in two migrant boats. Both the boats capsized and the toll is high. If confirmed, it would set a record of sorts because it would be the highest toll from a shipwreck in the Mediterranean this current year.

A representative of Libya’s coastguard revealed to a section of the media that the two boats carried 300 people. They capsized about 75 miles from Tripoli. It was possible to rescue 137 people and send them back to Libya.

The Guardian explains that those who want to cross over to Europe usually select the summer season because the Mediterranean Sea is calmer during that period. The number of people who gained entry into Europe by the sea route was nearly 37,555 in 2019. The corresponding figure for entry by land was around 8,007. These figures are as per data of the International Organization for Migration.

Their driving force is the desire to live better

The number of deaths on the Libya-Europe route this year was 164. It was less than last year but the UNHCR says the journey's dangerous. On a rough estimate, one in four people lose their lives at sea before they land up in Europe.

As far as history goes, the exodus from the shores of northern Africa to Europe started in 2011. It was when Libyan dictator Gaddafi was ousted. The authorities from Libya and Europe have tried to check this trend. However, the migrants continue to travel out by relying on dubious methods like overcrowded boats. To them, the Mediterranean Sea is the escape route.

The Guardian quotes a UNHCR representative as saying, “This horrific event highlights once again the dire need for a shift in approach to the Mediterranean situation.” It urges the authorities to take necessary action to save lives at sea. There is also a need to discourage people from falling prey to the boats. That can happen if there are safe, legal alternatives.

Deaths on the Mediterranean route are common

According to VOA News, a migrant boat capsized off the coast of Libya and up to 150 people on board are missing, feared drowned. Local fishermen and the Libyan coast guard managed to rescue 147 and two are in critical condition in hospital. It was a wooden boat going to Europe and overturned just east of the capital city of Tripoli. Earlier, in May, at least 65 people died when their boat sank off the coast of Tunisia.

People from different parts of Africa try to escape from poverty, violence, and inhumane lives. They are in search of stability and choose Europe. They are aware of the dangers involved in undertaking such perilous journeys but the desire to live better is their driving force.

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