Rescue ship carrying 606 migrants docks in Sicily

The UN refugee agency UNHCR says the total of migrants arriving in Europe by sea this year is 142,180; 107,982 of them through Italy. A ship carrying 606 migrants rescued at sea, off the Libyan coast, has docked in Sicily.Rescue ship Aquarius, which is operated by NGO SOS Méditerranée picked up the migrants as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. The people rescued, who include 241 children and 11 pregnant women, come from around 20 African and Middle-Eastern countries, including Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia and Yemen, the organistion said.The group said that some of the migrants are malnourished and that many of the sub-Saharan African women claim to have suffered sexual abuse.Fifty had fled to Libya from war-torn Syria, only to find more violence in Libya. Entire families of Syrians are now aboard the Aquarius, and include two women in the ninth month of pregnancy.Italy is struggling to cope with the influx of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, although numbers presently remain well below the 2016 level. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says the total of migrants arriving in Europe by sea this year is 142,180, 107,982 of whom entered via Italy.Having docked in Palermo, the migrants now face a long screening process, aimed at establishing who among them can legitimately claim asylum.NGOs accuse EU governments of not dedicating adequate resources to the rescue effort, as people-smuggling gangs continue to exploit migrants in Libya.

Source:Libya Today

October 14, 2017 07:30 UTC


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