More than 10,000 migrants have been rescued and 28 found dead in the Strait of Sicily over the last two days.
Last night, 4,665 people were saved by the Italian Coast Guard, with 28 bodies counted in the last 48 hours. In addition, three babies born on the Dattilo boat, heading towards the Sicilian city of Catania. The infants are reported to be in the hands of the health care personnel of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The Maltese port authority, speaking in Il Fatto Quotidiano confirmed that, “The infants are currently in good health.”
The rescued migrants were found on board 27 rubber boats, 5 small boats and one large boat close to Libya’s coast. Two days earlier, a further 10 bodies had been recovered, bringing the overall death rate for the last three days to 38. Among the rescued migrants were many women and a number of unaccompanied children, reported Il Sole 24 Ore. There are still a dozen of rescue operations in the Mediterranean currently underway.
Despite much diplomatic activity within Europe, the number of migrants arriving in Italy via the Mediterranean this year are broadly equal to those recorded in 2015, with most arrivals hosted in the Northern region of Lombardy. While statistics for this year remain a work in progress, the bulk of Italian arrivals in 2015 originated from Eritrea, Nigeria and Somalia, with others coming from Sudan, Gambia, Siria and Mali, a report published in La Repubblica recorded. The main port of entry is in the Italian island of Lampedusa between Tunisia and Malta.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commented on the migrant crises with a statement to La Stampa during his visit at the Vatican, urging Europe to listen to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s appeal to a “shared solution on the migrant crisis”, as the risk of terrorist groups exploiting human trafficking for attacks in Europe remains high.