Several hundred migrants are believed to have died after perhaps as many as four boats capsized in the Mediterranean. The boat, or boats, were heading to Italy, it is being reported, carrying people from Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia. The vessels are believed to have left for Italy from Egypt and Somalia’s ambassador to Cairo told BBC Arabic that 400 refugees had drowned. Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, said there had been a “migrant tragedy”.
But what is sure is that we are again with a tragedy in the Mediterranean - exactly one year after the tragedy we had, not in the Egyptian but in the Libyan waters.
Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni
The Italian coastguard said they knew nothing about the reported disaster. However, they were involved in the rescue of 108 migrants from a semi-submerged rubber dinghy. Six people died in the incident. A further 33, including 10 children, were brought to safety overnight off the eastern coast of Sicily. It comes as a report by academics accused EU policymakers of “killing by neglect” by reducing search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean. “The numbers will not stop coming because they have no choice but to try and reach Europe,” said Sarah Tyler, head of communications for Save The Children International.
What they are leaving behind is not a life that is worth living, many children have told me.
Sarah Tyler, Save the Children International