News / Europe

Around 30 Migrants Found Dead on Boat Near Sicily

Photo released by the Italian Navy June 30, 2014, shows motor boats from the Italian frigate Grecale approaching a boat overcrowded with migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
Photo released by the Italian Navy June 30, 2014, shows motor boats from the Italian frigate Grecale approaching a boat overcrowded with migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
Reuters

As many as 30 corpses were found on a boat packed with migrants off the coast of Sicily, Italy's navy said on Monday after rescuing thousands of people trying to cross from North Africa over the weekend.

The dead are thought to have either suffocated on the overcrowded fishing vessel or drowned, the navy said.

The discovery on Sunday underlined the scale of the crisis in the southern Mediterranean, where hundreds have died in the past year making the journey to Europe, and tens of thousands more have been plucked from rickety boats.

More than 5,000 people were rescued this weekend, adding to the 50,000 migrants who have reached Italy from North Africa so far this year, many fleeing war and forced conscription as well as poverty and a lack of opportunity.

Italy has called on its European Union partners to do more to help manage the near daily arrivals, a phenomenon that has boosted voter support for the anti-immigration Northern League party in a country struggling to emerge from recession.

“We can't leave Italy and maybe Malta isolated. It's a European problem,” Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said on a visit to Rome, noting that EU interior ministers were due to meet in Milan next week.

“We may be able to work on finding a more appropriate solution,” he said.

The breakdown of order in Libya has made it virtually impossible to control the boats departing and, at the current rate, the figures should soon pass the record of 62,000 people who arrived by sea in 2011, the year of the “Arab Spring” turmoil across North Africa and the Middle East.

An Italian ship from the navy's migrant rescue mission Mare Nostrum, or “Our Sea”, was due to arrive at the Sicilian port of Pozzallo on Tuesday towing the fishing boat and carrying 566 survivors.

The navy said thousands of others rescued this weekend would arrive in other ports on Monday and Tuesday.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said last week the EU should take responsibility for rescuing migrants by investing more in regional border control agency Frontex.

Renzi has also urged the United Nations to intervene in Libya, where traffickers charge migrants more than $1,000 each for the risky passage.

European Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the commission was making available to Italy 4 million euros ($5.5 million) of emergency funding and was looking at ways to contribute more.

“This new death toll clearly illustrates that smugglers and criminals have no respect for human lives and we must urgently increase our efforts to fight their deadly activities,” Malmstrom said.

Northern League leader Matteo Salvini, whose party says Mare Nostrum is a burden on taxpayers and encourages immigration, attacked Renzi and Interior Minister Angelino .

“Thirty more deaths on the consciences of those who defend 'Their Sea'. Stop the departures, help them at home, now! Renzi and Alfano have blood on their shirts, don't they?” he said on Facebook.

Mare Nostrum is Europe's biggest search and rescue mission and costs around 9 million euros a month.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid