5 June 2018

Africa: Migrants Continue Perilous Journeys to Europe, but Numbers Fall

Photo: le pays
esclavage libye

Tunisia's Defense Ministry says at least 46 migrants have died after their boat sank off the country's southern coast and 67 others were rescued by the coast guard on Sunday.

The rescue operation was ongoing, the ministry said in a statement. The migrants were of Tunisian and other nationalities.

In a separate incident, nine people, including six children, died Sunday after a speedboat carrying 15 refugees sank off the coast of Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, the Turkish coast guard said in a statement.

Reducing the flow of migrants into Italy is one of the aims of the anti-immigrant League party in Italy and its leader Matteo Salvini, who was sworn in as the country’s new interior minister on Friday.

Salvini and his party have promised to block the arrival of boat migrants from Africa and to deport up to 100,000 illegal immigrants per year.

"Italy and Sicily cannot be Europe's refugee camp," he told a crowd of supporters in the port town of Pozzallo, a migration hotspot.

"Nobody will take away my certainty that illegal immigration is a business... and seeing people make money on children who go on to die makes me furious."

Meanwhile, Spain's maritime rescue service said it rescued 240 people, with one person apparently drowning, while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa.

The service said it rescued the migrants from 11 small boats attempting the perilous crossing from African shores to Spain between Saturday and Sunday.

The International Organization for Migration, the U.N. agency for migration, reported last week that 30,300 migrants and refugees entered Europe via sea in the first 147 days of 2018.

The arrivals are at this point in 2018 less than half those seen last year and less than 15 percent of those seen in 2016 at the same point. IOM had reported 69,219 refugees had arrived from January through May in 2017 and 198,346 during the same period in 2016.

IOM said 655 people have lost their lives at sea since the beginning of 2018, at least 1,000 fewer than the recorded deaths in the same period last year.


Former UN Chief and Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan Dies At 80

Former United Nations secretary general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan died Saturday after a short illness at… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 Voice of America. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.