Passengers from two rubber dinghies that sank just miles from the coast of Libya have told rescuers that as many as 240 migrants drowned attempting to make the journey to Italy. The UN says that 2016 has already seen a record number of migrant deaths at sea.
In one of the disasters, the boat left the Libyan coast at around 3am on Wednesday but lost buoyancy several hours later, according to Flavio di Giacomo, a spokesman for the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM). When the European patrol boat arrived, the survivors, who numbered 27, told rescuers that about 100 people had perished underwater. Twelve bodies, including those of three babies, have been recovered. Continue reading Over 240 Migrants Drown in 2 Shipwrecks off Libya Coast→
LAST Saturday May 16th, 2015 as I pull into the parking lot of the venue to join my compatriots in celebrating Eritrean Independence I was astounded with dismay to encounter a handful people on the corner of the street with dim lights holding what appeared to be the old Eritrean flag and chanting something I couldn’t make a sense out of. On the ground not far from where these “protesters” stood lay two burial boxes , presumably to symbolize the migrants who drowned off of Mediterranean Sea in recent months. Continue reading Politicizing Human Tragedy A la “Eritrean Opposition” Style→
IN PART one of our series on the “The Traffic Racket,” we spoke about the dubious roles of Eritrean “activists” Mussie Zerai, Meron Estefanos, and Elsa Chyrum. We spoke about the role of misinformed journalists and sometimes outright biased activist-journalists like Dan Connell, who have been promoting the work of the activists to bring about regime change in Eritrea. Do these ties go deeper?
I MET Marlon, a Sudanese man who had walked across great expanses of desert to Libya, on the edge of Tripoli as he prepared to visit a remote beach at midnight and pay a hard-saved $2,000 to get onto an overcrowded, unseaworthy boat headed to Italy. He knew that the risk of death was high, so was trying to choose his boat carefully, to avoid the sort of fate that has made headlines around the world. He knew the risk too well: “My good friend paid the man and then disappeared, and then I learned that he had drowned when his ship sank,” he told me. “I want to get out of here, but not that badly.” Continue reading The Real Reasons Why Migrants Risk Everything for a New Life Elsewhere→
THE EU plans to allow only 5,000 refugees for resettlement by asylum seekers in response to the Mediterranean refugee crisis, reports the Guardian. Last year alone 150,000 people arrived in Southern Europe after surviving a trip across the sea.