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UN agencies urge return of EU countries’ search, rescue vessels into Mediterranean

UN agencies urge return of EU countries’ search, rescue vessels into Mediterranean

The UN migration and refugee agencies have made a joint call for a “new approach” among countries to solve a migration crisis affecting Libya and the route across the Mediterranean toward Europe.

The International Organization for Migration and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees are urging a return of EU countries’ search and rescue vessels into the Mediterranean, AP reports.

The agencies are also seeking extra support for the Libyan coastguard so long as it does not return migrants to the instability-wracked country.

UNHCR spokesman Charlie Yaxley said on Thursday that the agencies also want Libyan authorities to release people held in detention centers and have these “replaced with community-living or open centers.” The call follows airstrikes that killed dozens of migrants in a detention center in the town of Tajoura on July 3.