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10,000 MIGRANTS RESCUED FROM MEDITERRANEAN IN LAST 7 DAYS

 

http://worldmaritimenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Italy-Saves-Over-2000-Mediterranean-Migrants.jpgThe Italian Authorities, Italian Navy & Coastguard are currently being swamped by migrants attempting to reach Europe from North Africa. They are having to be rescued from sinking ships, rickety unsafe boats, rubber dingies and rafts: all overcrowded with hundreds of men women and children. Last year, it is estimated that close on 200,000 migrants made this perilous jouney but with weather improving over recent weeks, this flood of desperate humanity has increased to such an extent that 10,000 migrants have had to be rescued in the last 7 days alone.

 

Official estimates suggesting at least 31,500 migrants have entered Italy and Greece since the start of the year as increasing governmental instability and violence in Africa has prompted a surge in numbers fleeing to Europe. Another 900 are believed to have drowned on the crossing, including 400 people aboard a boat which capsized on Monday.

 

Up to 70 migrants, including young children, rescued from a dinghy in the Mediterranean after a gas cylinder on their boat exploded, arrived in Sicily today requiring urgent medical care. Italian authorities arrested 15 people after they were accused by fellow migrants of killing 12 other migrants – all of whom were Christian – out of “religious hatred”. The men who were arrested, including one minor, were all Muslim and the matter is under investigation.

 

Part-REF-TS-Par8149920-1-1-0.jpgAccording to interviews with the four survivors of the most recently capsized boat conducted by the Organization for Migration (OIM), which follows the issue closely, their inflatable boat left Libya on Sunday with 45 people on board and was at sea for four days before the boat capsized and men, women and children were thrown into the sea.

 

Another Italian ship, the Fiorillo, arrived in Sicily having rescued 301 people on board, and the Dattilo had at least 592 following six separate rescue operations that took place over two days. Last year, an international maritime force patrolled all of the Mediterranean and rescued any group of migrants they found. Then the EU decided that such an efficient rescue service only encouraged more migrants to attempt the crossing. That rescue plan was replaced by a much smaller force – operated within 30 miles of the Italian coast. It is obvious that this scenario is only contributing to an increased casualty list. The Italians are doing their best to cope but they are under-financed, do not have sufficient assets to effectively cover such a wide maritime area and quite simply – the burden of such an ‘international problem’ should not be dumped on Italy, her navy & coastguard services.

 

 

The problem of desperate people trying to escape to Europe from African & Middle East war, conflict & starvation will only increase over future months. How many more people will be allowed to quietly drown before the international community responds effectively?

 

 

 

 

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