The sea of Sicily is an open-air cemetery now. Yet another tragedy happened the night between Thursday and Friday. Three boats sank in just three days. Thus, those waves that promise salvation to so many innocent people become murderers every day. A boat full of migrants capsized. Forty-five people lost their lives. Their bodies have been recovered. An Italian Navy ship called Vega intervened to save 135 people, whereas dozens of people are missing, according to estimations. About “one hundred” migrants have not been found yet after the sinking of another boat a few hours earlier, off the coast of Libya, in which more than 30 people died, including a six year old child. The Coast Guard has rescued a five year old boy affected by hypothermia.
There are seventeen rescue operations planned for today, coordinated by the Port Captaincy of Rome, as part of Eunavformed, the operation activated by the decision of the European Council to counter the migrants trafficking and save lives. 2 thousand people on board 16 dinghies were rescued with the means of the Coast Guard, the Navy, non-governmental organizations, and four tugboats and a cargo diverted to relief efforts.
Yesterday alone had been rescued more than 4 thousand people in 22 rescue operations. In three days 6 thousand people have been said from death. Today, a tugboat with 890 migrants (more than a hundred of whom are women and children) is expected to reach Catania.
It is a manslaughter on a daily basis in the Mediterranean Sea, right next to Italian shores. More than one thousand bodies have been recovered in the last five months of 2016 alone and about 33 thousand migrants landed in Italy, in this exodus from the African continent which ends, too often, in a tragedy. Especially after the Balkan corridor has been closed and Idomeni refugee camp has been dismantled in Greece, causing the displacement of at least 9 thousand people who had resisted in the camp for months, waiting to cross the border with Macedonia.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, in Japan, where he partook in the final G7 conference, said that “it is inappropriate to talk in times of emergency.” Migration Compact, an agreement for a joint European Union strategy for external action on migration, “paved the way and this is the one to follow,” he said. We are now expecting the phase of realization, to start working together with the countries from the Sub-Saharan strip, which are the countries of origin of the largest number of migrants and which are interested in cooperating with the European Union, such as Nigeria.
Matteo Salvini, from the Northern League, has asked an urgent meeting with the President of the Council of Ministers: “Faced with 4 thousand people saved yesterday, the drowned, and over 40 thousand people who have landed since the beginning of this year, we cannot stay silent and without doing anything”, he has declared. “We want to present our proposals. We refuse to witness this silent disaster”.
Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, said that migrants come not only from the African continent, and not only by the sea. It poses once again the urgent problem of their redistribution in Europe. “Now that many migrants have arrived in Greece, Hungary, and Austria, it is not a matter of fact that Italy will be among the countries from where migrants will be relocated; perhaps it will have to accept more people.” Europe’s answer is “slow,” Alfano said, whereas “terrorism, smugglers, and traffickers” are quick.” “The greatest risk for the EU is collapsing on the front of repatriation of illegal immigrants.”