More than 100 migrants died this month when crowded rubber boats were wrecked off the coast of Libya, the MSF aid agency quoted survivors as saying.
The two vessels set out from the Libyan coast on September 1, each carrying scores of people, mostly African, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a statement.
One boat’s engine failed later and the other began to deflate, it quoted a survivor as saying. Some survived by clinging to floating wreckage.
A survivor told MSF “European rescuers” came by aircraft and dropped life rafts, but migrants remained in the water for hours.
“On our boat, 55 people survived. Many died, including families and children. They could have been saved if rescuers came earlier,” MSF quoted the unidentified survivor as saying.
Sudanese, Malians, Nigerians, Cameroonians, Ghanaians, Libyans, Algerians and Egyptians were on board the wrecked vessels.
Many survivors were brought to the Libyan port Khoms the following dayby the Libyan coastguard, MSF said.
The agency said they faced further ordeals in Libya.
“Many survivors are mourning the loss of relatives. Instead of receiving the support they need, refugees and migrants are arrested and detained in deplorable living conditions, without basic safeguards or legal recourse.”
It added: “MSF reiterates its call to end arbitrary detention of thousands of refugees and migrants across Libya.”