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 Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid