By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 22 September 2014:
Another unseaworthy vessel carrying illegal migrants en route to Europe has sunk off the coast . . .[restrict]of Libya. This time, 10 bodies were found, 55 people were rescued and 35 are believed to be missing.
The raft, said to be carrying 95 people, was found about 50 kilometres off Libya’s eastern coast on Sunday by the Italian Coast Guard. After alerting Italian authorities, boats were sent to the scene, but rescuers were only able to pull 55 people to safety.
According to the UN refugee agency, around 130,000 illegal migrants have made it successfully to Italy in 2014, compared with 60,000 last year, although are believed to be an underestimate. Because of the breakdown of order in Libya, it has become nearly impossible to regulate traffickers who are making big money – $1,000 per person – over the desperate situations of those willing to risk making the dangerous journey.
The rescue comes just one week after the Libyan Coast Guard found a capsized vessel off the coast of Tajoura carrying 250 people, around 200 of whom are believed to have perished at sea.
The same day, Amnesty International released a statement calling the EU’s response to the refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa “shameful” and urged EU leaders to open up settlement and humanitarian admission programmes and to facilitate family reunification in order to ensure safe and legal routes to Europe for refugees trying to reach its shores. [/restrict]