After last October, nearly 400 African immigrants died in two consecutive shipwrecks off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy launched solo, with minimum support of the European Union (EU), rescue operation Mare Nostrum. So far this year, the Italian Navy has rescued 67,696 people trying to cross the Strait of Sicily crammed aboard barges.
But not always on time. Of the 5,000 migrants rescued during the past weekend, 30 were found dead aboard an old wooden fishing boat just 30 meters long occupied by 600 fellow sufferers.
It is unknown whether the 30 immigrants died of suffocation or drowning. A boat Operation Mare Nostrum arriving Tuesday Pozzalo port to tow the boat with 566 dead bodies and survivors still aboard. The rest of the migrants rescued on Saturday and Sunday were being transferred to various ports.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, announced that Italy will provide four million euros in aid to cope with this emergency. Malmström said that ” these new deaths clearly illustrate that traffickers and criminals have no respect for human lives and we have to immediately increase our efforts to fight its deadly activities.”
The prime minister Matteo Renzi last week called greatest contributions to the Frontex agency, which controls the borders and urged the United Nations to intervene in Libya, where people traffickers charge $1,000 for the voyage to Europe. The fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 triggered the influx of migrants across the African country.