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Mediterranean Sea: A ‘Convenient’ Killing Machine

Posted by feww on April 20, 2015

Up to 900 migrants drown, only 28 rescued

Hundreds of migrants are believed to have drowned after their boat sank about 100km off the coast of Libya.

The 20-meter-long boat was carrying up to 950 migrants, and only 28 survivors have been rescued, according to the latest reports.

The sinking is probably the largest loss of life of migrants attempting to cross to Europe, said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), adding that the North Africa-Italy route was the world’s deadliest.

The EU voted last year to heavily downsize search and rescue attempts. The decision was reached after EU members said they couldn’t afford to house the refugees, and feared that it would encourage even more migrants to cross the sea.

Some 13,500 people arrived in the Italian waters over the past week (April 10 – 17), said UNHCR. “Their arrival exacerbates a growing crisis which has seen some 31,500 people cross Mediterranean waters to Italy and Greece so far this year, as war and violence intensify in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.”

As many as 1,700 migrants are now feared to have drowned so far this year.

An estimated 218,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean in 2014, while 3,500 others drowned, said UNHCR.

One Response to “Mediterranean Sea: A ‘Convenient’ Killing Machine”

  1. j.n. said

    Distress call from another ‘sinking boat’ –IOM
    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says it has received a distress call from a sinking boat with 300 migrants in the Mediterranean.

    Some 20 people are reported dead, an IOM spokesman said.

    The caller said about three boats needed help in international waters.

    EU ministers are due to meet in Luxembourg later on Monday to discuss the migrant crisis after hundreds of people drowned at the weekend when their boat sank off Libya.

    The person who made the latest distress call “said that there are over 300 people on his boat and it is already sinking and he has already reported fatalities, 20 at least”, the IOM’s Federico Soda wrote in an email reported by AFP news agency.

    The Maltese navy told the BBC that there were many new incidents involving rescues being co-ordinated off Libya by the Italians, but it was unclear if these included the one reported by the IOM.

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