Tragedy in Lampedusa: A Day of Mourning

“Condolences to the families who have lost their dearest ones in the Lampadusa disaster. Time for urgent action to ensure this never happens again.” Yemane G.Meskel, Director, Office of the President

A great loss, tragic and heart braking. R.I.P
A great loss, tragic and heartbreaking

By TesfaNews,

The Eritrean community in Italy have declared Sunday 6th of October 2013 to be a day of mourning through out the Eritrean Communities in Italy following scores of Eritrean migrants death after their boat caught fire and sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

Eritreans, friends and well wishers can visit the nearest Eritrean Community centers in town and express their condolences.

International media reports suggest that the boat which set off from Libya was carrying about 500 migrants from Eritrea, Somalia and Ghana.

Sources close to TesfaNews indicates that the Eritrean Embassy together with the Eritrean communities in Italy are closely following the matter on the ground to ascertain the exact number and details of Eritrean casualties.

Observers, however, agree that the task of identifying Eritrean identity among the hundreds of victims would be a daunting task for the team as most of these immigrants, including the Ghanaian and Somalis, embarked their journey either without valid document or assumed an “Eritrean identity” just to get an easy passage to the European country.

Yesterday, the Eritrean Foreign Minister H.E. Osman Saleh in his official statement at the United Nations High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development expressed his utmost shock and sadness following these tragic losses. He said,

“… International migration is not without its own problems or perils, as we heard this morning of the tragic and sad incident in Lampedusa (Italy). I wish to extend my condolences to the families of the victims. Many migrants are facing death, violence, horror, abuse, exploitation, and are becoming subjects of organ harvesting by organized criminal elements. Human trafficking ought to be combated in all its manifestations and we need to cooperate and build a common front by fully implementing the United Nations Global Plan of Action on Human Trafficking…”

It is another sad incident and loss but let their Soul Rest in Peace!
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60 thoughts on “Tragedy in Lampedusa: A Day of Mourning

  1. As your name TESFA indicates it clearly, let this tragedy be the end, with good hope and prayers let us unite and hold hands, lite our candles and give time for silence. With good hope (Tesfa) and open heart:

    " May God bless their souls to rest in peace, and at this hard times soften the hearts of their family and loved ones! "

    Thank you for sharing and posting it on time. Please let us know if there is any fundraising event initiated.

    1. Thank you Tewelde T.

      I believe this time the Eritrean government should do its utmost in identifying the missing and dead so that to formally inform their respective family back home in a fashion similar to our martyrs. It will be heart breaking if those filthy Opportunist ‘activists’ and ‘pseudo-opposition’ lay their hands on any kind of details of the deceased and posted on the internet as they do not mind to shutter the hearts and minds of Eritrean families as long as they scored some cheap political point against the government. Government need to show leadership in this matter.

      1. Govt' Or clique. Are you guys addict to this madness or you are just associating
        Dogmatic behavior with blind nationalism!!! We are losing generation that we could not be able to regret and cure!!!!

      2. PFDJ was the one that tried to play politics with this. Initially, using the govenment's mouthpiece EriTV, they called the victims "illegal African migrants". But when the pressure mounted they sent Yemane Monkey to send a coldolences letter. If the government had its way they could have treated this tragic incident as if it didn't happen, the same way they treat any major incident afflicting Eritreans.


  3. ..
    New Calls for Smuggling Crackdown After Migrant Boat Accident

    By Lisa Schlein (VOA),

    GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — United Nations agencies are calling for international action to crack down on traffickers and smugglers following Thursday’s Lampedusa boat tragedy. The U.N. refugee agency says the disaster, which reportedly has claimed hundreds of lives, should serve as a wake-up call to do more to protect the victims.

    Survivors of the Lampedusa tragedy said around 500 Eritreans left from Libya 13 days ago. Some 111 bodies have been recovered and divers are continuing to search for an estimated 200 people who remain missing.

    While Italy is mourning the dead, authorities and aid agencies on Lampedusa are focusing on helping the survivors. U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said 155 people reportedly have survived. She said all were Eritreans, with the exception of a Tunisian man believed to be one of the smugglers. She said Italian police have arrested him.

    Among the survivors are 40 unaccompanied boys aged between 14 and 17 and six women. Fleming said they were exhausted and in a state of shock. She said the survivors have been moved to a nearby reception center. She said the center was overcrowded as it held 1,000 people who recently arrived on other smugglers’ boats.

    “There are Syrians there. There are Palestinians there and there are some Africans there. We are going to be meeting with the survivors of the accident today. And, as part of UNHCR’s role, we will be advising them on asylum procedures. We have additional staff arriving this morning. IOM (International Organization for Migration) colleagues are also helping out and the Red Cross is providing psychological support to the traumatized survivors,” said Fleming.

    Survivors reported the engine of their boat stopped as they were approaching the Italian coast early Thursday morning. They said several fishing boats passed them by without offering help before the Italian Coast Guard came to their rescue.

    The U.N.’s human rights office said boats that did not answer distress calls at sea are breaking the International Law of the Sea. The agency is appealing to the Italian authorities and the International Community, especially the European Union to do more to prevent a repeat of this situation.

    U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she was concerned about the increasing rates of smuggling and trafficking of migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean and in the Gulf of Aden. Her spokesman, Rupert Colville, said this indicates the desperation of people living in Eritrea, Somalia and other countries stricken by insecurity and conflict.

    “It is critical that the international community engages further in improving the human rights situation on the ground so as to address the root causes and create sufficient improvement so that people will not feel the need to put their lives at risk by undertaking such dangerous journeys,” he said.

    The International Organization for Migration reports at least 20,000 people have perished at sea over the past two decades. This year’s toll is 100, not including the victims from this latest tragedy. The IOM said people paid smugglers between 1,200 and 2000 euros to be taken from Libya to Italy in rickety fishing boats-a trip that often ends in disaster.

    1. This all problems came after the dictator Eritrean regime also i claim UNHCR is just a symbol they can't do any thing to Eritrean refugees in Sudan and Ethiopia thus way people take this risk because they never get any hope from UNHCR because we never see or hear in this world refugees to sit in camp more than 10 years really this people is joking by our life i can say many things the corruption of UNHCR BUT IT IS WASTING OF TIME SO my strong advice and my claim is the UNHCR to work well because this is a question of humanity we Eritrean leave our country we can't to live by freedom not willing of living in west any way at last i hope all this organization to take action and to save all Eritrean refugees in the whole the world

  4. ..
    Candle Light Vigil: To those who perished in Mediterranean Sea

    The Eritrean Community in San Jose and environs will hold a candle light vigil, remembering all Eritrean and other immigrants, who lost their young lives in this tragic event, in the Mediterranean Sea, this week.

    Please come to our Community Center to remember those who perished and share our sorrow one another, by lighting candles, observing this unusual tragedy!

    Our Community Center will prepare candles for the event.

    Address: Eritrean Community Cultural & Development Center
    435 Park Ave San Jose, CA 95110
    Date: Tomorrow, Saturday, October 05, 2013
    Time: 7:00 – 8:00 PM

    May these young souls Rest in Peace!
    Our Condolences to their Family and Friends!

    San Jose & environs


    1st- My condolence goes to those families members and friends who perished their loved ones on the high seas of the Mediterranean,

    2nd- this reminds again of the early 80’s when so many of our SISTERS were being hijacked on the border of Sudan and were sold to some Middle Eastern countries EXCEPT the wrath of Shaebia and other god fearing Eritreans with in Sudan caught-up with the xweyane Tigry Nesterab wedi keshi, is collaborators, and paid the ultimate price. It was one of the most successful acts and saved hundreds if not of thousands of lives, and

    3rd- EriTV and other media outlets must have an aggressive campaign against these people who are committing such heinous acts and must expose them into the public eyes.


    Finally I strongly encourage the Eritrean gov. to crack down against those who are in business of trafficking with-in-and-out of the country, expose them in a public media, and make them pay a heavy price…

    1. Afafaf you don't know what haqqi is. I wish some one cloth to you was in that boat so you can feel the pain he rest of us are feeling. On the other hand I don't think you have any soul afafaf

    2. Haqi
      If you are truly haqi this has been said long long time a go to the Eritrean regim it's time now for action to get rid of the dictator because it is not in his priority to save this young lives in the desert or in high seas
      The question is why are they risking their lives and the answer is the catastrophic policies of isayas Afwerki so pls it is time for change !!!!

  6. Never mind those who are shedding false tears for the latest accident in the high seas. Actually, I wouldn’t even entertain their phony and pretentious
    “ኣንታ እንታዩ ወሪዱና”፧ ሃየ!
    “ሎምስ በዚሑ”! ሃየ!
    “ደቅና እንዳጠፍኡስ ኮይኑና ትም ጥራይ”፧ ሃየ!
    “እቲ መንግስትናኸ እንታይ ይገብር ኣሎ”፧ ሃየ!
    እንታይዶስ ምንታይዶ ዘህተፍትፉ ዘለዉ ሰባት፡ እቲ ሕቶ “ኤርትራውያን ድዮም ወይስ ኣይኮኑን”፧ ኣይኮነን ዘገድስ! እንታይ ደኣ ዕላማኦም እምበር።

    So regardless, how many of those who perished may have been Eritreans, I can’t speak for the non-Eritrean victims of this unfortunate accident, but for those few Eritreans, they have no one to blame except themselves and those who are quick to shed crocodile tears are those who helped create this problem by enticing, cajoling and helping these irresponsible kids to do something illegal by the encouragement of the Meron Estifanos, Elsa Chirums, Selam Kidane and their likes.

    These kids could not have acquired all the necessary funds to accomplish their illegal activity, by working in Eritrea for we are told over and over that these “poor kids were escaping that dreadful national service”!

    We know it is their cohorts (the ones who are pretending to be more saddened than the rest of us) who send them hard currency to help them commit the illegal border crossing in the first place.

    So, while it is sad, very sad, that these kids plan in life (whatever it may have been got cut short) and had met their untimely death, the Eritrean government has nothing to do with it, and blaming the government and people of Eritrea would not cut it – no matter how “Holier than Thou” one attempts to be.

    In the final analysis, the criminals are those pretenders who are placing these gullible kids into peril by making themselves as “Human right” advocates and milking every dime from their handlers.

    Shame on those criminal human traffickers who are enticing these unfortunate kids to commit certain illegal activities while they are enriching their coffers from the various NGOs that they serve.

    1. abiden

      98% are eritreans
      no one give you right to judge who is truly sad who is not
      nebsi tmhar eyu zbehal…it is creazy that you are having arguments with the dead
      why are the youth fleeing is the issue not how or where
      you seem too concerned about your backside than anybady

      1. Antum lebamat yhwat 'chugraf'si haharima teiwiy" ybehal. Unofficial translation of the Tigrigna proverb meaning " bullwhip yells after each hit " as if innocent. Please be ashamed to point fingers at any one at this hard moment of us all as an Eritrean family. Do you have human soul or political soul? Think thoroughly, think of the tragedy, what about if you were there, if you were one of them, whom would you blame? There is time for everything, time to morn time to celebrate. Keep and follow our Ancestors values, when you see the human remain stop walking and talking harsh, pull off your hat , stand & bow and keep your silence. Pray for a while if you are a believer… SHHHHH…….

    2. Ata nskha tezaribe ilka dikha, suq bel tm afaka Ixo. 10-20 amet ab agelglot kxenhu ente reaywom n'Abeyti ahwatom, bzey hadar bzey qolu bzey harnet. Nabra merirwom. Hanti baelom kgebrwa z'khielu gn "Life Jacket" mkhdan iya. Ahwatey aykonun maletka ente khone, nskha wn ensisa ikha, sebna aykonkan.

    3. Abedan, go serve at the national service for 10+ years and them come tell us if your decision to escape such indefinite service was made by you or your relatives in US/Europe!

  7. Poor disollutioned PFDJ supporters. Why don't you ask your government why they still refer to our brothers and sisters as "illegal African immigrants". While Italy was mourning the victims and the Italian flag was flying at half, non of the regimes news outlets desired report anything. Now 48 hours later we see small outbursts from the them, it is all crocodile tears!

    This was a tragedy in all its form, but it looks like it might be the turning point…. Many supporters (especially those that newly have returned from summer visit to Eritrea..) have at last opened their eyes and now this just cements the true colours of this dictatorship. It never was and never will represent us the people of Eritrea!!

    Tesfanews, time to see the truth and facts on the ground. Side with your people before it is too late. With your news outlet you have a big responsibility and will definetly be accountable and questioned thereafter when Eritrea is free again.


    1. abrahale.

      mr desperado….you are on a constant prowl looking for the next 'incident' or 'opportunity' to spew your propaganda, aren't you?? Don't think your can fool anyone with your phony bleeding heart and fake sympathy.

      You are a shamless opportunistic individual. You ought to hang your head in shame.

      1. Daniel how is your investert in adi going, hope you can move and enjoy the lack of everything down there. MUST be frustrating to listen to your DIA telling you what u have tried to get into your head for so long.

        I didn't need to do anything this time my bro, PFDJ is digging its own gave and we (including u) all know it. How do you explain the silence and disrespect they have shown our people..

        1. Well Mr smart ass Abrahale,

          If Government of Eritrea is responsible for your woows and since you live in the west, with its unlimited opportunity, how comes then we don't see you in the Forbes 100 richest list? surely mr armchair professor, since you think there is a magic formula to transfer oneself from Zero to 100 on a stroke how come you don't apply that to yourself and lead by example rather than remain faceless nobody?

          As for this tragedy, it all boiled down to incident that occurred within the boat. And you have been preaching the demise of GoE forever, and you will carry on to do so until you are 99.

          And have you been going around interviewing people who have been vacationing in Eritrea or is it just fragment of your wishful imagination? Buddy, you sure have lost your marble. For your info, statics shows year on, number of visitors to Eritrea is on the increase so that blows hole in your fabrications. Just cos you are unable to go home, no need to get bitter.

          1. Guess your investment if any have been depleted, sorry about that man. But compared to what most Eritrean families are paying/sacrificing yours is peanuts…

            Anyway, how comes when the whole world is talking and writing about our dead people but NOT our own government. One minute they pretend to care and demand investigation from UN and next minute they can't aknowledge the tragic death of our people. Why????? If they are Eritrean yesterday when they defended us from ethiopia, when they sacrificed their time and youth digging and building your villas.. How come when they die the regime can't recognize them then????

          2. Abrahale,

            Having been the subject of ridicule by forumers, for the past few months you have been laying low. True to form, now there is this incident you have crawled out of the woodwork to maximus on the suffering of others. You are nothing but an opportunistic vulture circuling a curcasse.

            What is more, a little education in econmics…As the world implyies investment is a long term ventre not a get rich quick scheme. For a man obbsess with the word, at list I though you would know that. I guess your ignorance is deep rooted.

            keep perpetuating your hate until it consumes you alive like a cancer. As for GoE, they don't even know you exist let alone matter…kkkkkkkkkk

          3. And by the way Abrahale…I thought you have come here to commiserate about the lose of live. Do you need to talk about as trival matter as 'investment'?

            This alone shows how phoney you really are….fool!!!!!!!

          4. abrahaly are you jelous about investment> what is your problem. investment helps a country not an individual. if you were clever you would have invested in your country. but you are just jelous. go to hell

  8. abrehaley
    Regardless if there is democracy or not Africans will be immigrated to the place they feel the grass on the other side is greener that the grass they are sitting on. This has nothing to do with democracy rather than economy. You should ask yourself why Ghanians, Nigerians and other Africans are illigaly immigrating to Europe or USA.

    1. Dude, you can not compare those countries with ours!!!! Even a look at the percentage per population migrating tells you more than any facts. The rate of migration from ours compared to the population we have shows that there lies a much bigger cause and has very little to do with economy. You all know this but are trying hard to justify the cruel regimes policies…. Not anymore, DIA has lost the people forever now. Just a matter of time and we will be free.

  9. This is sad deki ere we need to find a solution and find a way to change the direction we are heading, which is dying in adi guanna.RIP deki ere who perished in the sea and I cry for you and challenge every Eritrean to work for change and end this tragedic journey. God bless you deki ere and bless our beloved country Eritrea and its people.

    1. The brutal truth is, since dawn of time Humans have always migrated from point A to B in search of a better life. The fact that this incident ended in a very tragic circumstance doesn't make it a new or exceptional phenomena. If we are serious about finding a permanent solution to the Problem, first we need to be honest and admit the real cause of it. For me it has nothing to do with, freedom of speech, constitution, democracy…e.t.c but everything to do with economics and standard of living.

      1. No one asked you to explain or give history on migration etc… My question was and still is : does a government that doesn't recognize the death of hundreds of its citizens nor report on their tragic end respectfully, does this government represent the people????? How???

        1. Compelled too, cos there people like you who are in despearate need of education Abrahale.

          And as for you second question our culture we are dignified and humbled people. If you wish to see grand gesture, gimmick and showmanship, I suggest you tune to an American Affair. There you will see the whole shibang!

          Oh gosh are you for real?

          1. Daniel,

            Please listen to the same wise advice you gave me a few days ago when I was trying to talk sense to a nutcase, and simply ignore this moron (who's audacious enough to call others "morons").

            And like I'd asked on another thread, TesfaNews administrator, please ban this "Abrahale" scum trying to politicize such a tragic loss of lives.

          2. Point taken Etr,

            In this desperate times, this lowlife (withholding name) thought he would come out of his slumber and play on people's emotion. Can you comprehend how twisted he really is Etr??

            Mehret yewredelu is all that can be said.

          3. is that all you have to say Etr! Ageb bel! Find a place for your nut case, moron and other insults! Today It is time to mourn, search for your soul !!! If you are to be defined educator, your words show luck of culture, value and integrity.

        2. abrhaley you have to accept that the lamapadusa tragedy is not only eritreans. it is Ethiopians, Eritreans and Somalis. so why should the government say Eritreans whene they are from Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. In simple word, they are Africans. in clear message afircans amonnnnnnnnng them eritreans has to be the expalantion. so the government saying Africans is nothing wrong, until it gets it right who is who. Eritreans are also Africans. what do you want. You are here to make hair splitting not care about who died. Ethiopians are giving witnss that they came as eritreans. now we are going to find out that [email protected] of the 300 dead are going to be Ethiopians. so are you going to be sorry for the Ethiopians. forget about eritreans we will take care of them. we are sorry for any life lost in this trajic event. but you are trading, joking, mocking and talking nonsense. you go to hell stupid trader, business man, trafikker and hypocritic.

  10. Abrhale = Abraham,

    Good to see you back after many months of self-restraint. But, still like before, we don't allow you to litter the forum with threats and hateful comments aimed at Eritreans and their leadership. Its all about how careful you choose your wording.

  11. it is sad! heart breaking to see these young Eritrean risk everything to leave their country. As long as the root problem which forced these people still exist; this is not the first time and wont be the last. This is not a natural disaster; it is human made disaster……………………….

  12. Ermias
    Can mourning keep our lost ones alive? How about stopping next death mediterranean boat trip? Lets wait & see, as always Eritrean Government saving Eri ppl will do something about it.

  13. Here is my take; I blame the following individuals or groups for the misery of Eritrea and Eritreans especially the youth:
    1) Isayas Afeworki :- He has shown us and the whole world time and again that he failed miserable as a post-indepence leader. He didn't act as a seasoned states man in Eritrea's daily affairs. His ill conceived policy did not work and he did not try to ammend it. He did not confront in a wise way the political games of his "enemies".
    2) Meles Zenawi:- He created a very hostile policy against Eritrea after he lost Badme in a court of law. He abrogated international law.
    3)The US/EU/UN:- They failed to abide by their own rule. They encouraged Ethiopia to do whatever it liked to do. They teared off the rule of law that they preach day in and day out.

  14. 4)The Opposition:- They wonder aimlessly; divided along religious, and ethnic lines giving false hope to the youth.
    5) PFDJ cheerleaders:- Guayla and feel good groups have contributed in a very negative way to the situation in Eritrea. They gave a false image of Eritrea. Their dances have been broadcasted by EriTv and the youth think that "Sidet is always feel good "
    6) The brutal Rashaida and Arab Bedeouins: The nationless animals criminality is beyond description.
    The list goes on….

    1. Don't spend your time blaming each other, go home and do something for your country specially those who support the government if you think they are doing the right job and Eritrea is progressing why do you guys waste your time, go home with your kids " Hager ziserih ember ziwati 'n ni Isayas zekabatirin aytidelin eya" Eritrawiyan nay saesiet tirah konikum. This time( Eritrean < Agame), this is the result of tiebit and hade seb mimlakin eyu

  15. Ayda,

    First of all even Somailians and Ethiopians are also our brothers, We don't need anybody to die be human. But you have to know at the end of the day somebody have to pay the price of these innocents??

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