9 October 2018

Africa: Over 14 000 Migrants Drown En-Route to Europe

Tripoli — More than 14 700 migrants have died at sea trying to reach Europe over the past five years since the international community united to end further death at sea.

Among the victims are 1 777 people that have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the Mediterranean region during the beginning of 2018.

Confirmation of the tragedies came as the world marked the just-concluded National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Immigration. It is marked yearly since October 3, 2013.

I was marked since a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa claimed 368 victims, mainly Africans.

The fishing boat was carrying migrants from Libya. Many of the migrants were originally from Eritrea, Somalia and Ghana.

The vessel began to have engine trouble less than a quarter-mile from Lampedusa, causing the ship to begin sinking.

In an attempt to contact nearby boats, a blanket on the ship was lit on fire.

However, this fire grew worse when it ignited some gasoline and began to engulf the boat before it sank.

Federico Soda, Director of the International Organisation for Migration Office for the Mediterranean, said it was important to commemorate the tragedy.

"It must always be commemorated, together with all the other tragedies that unfortunately are still happening at sea," Soda said.

Thousands of African migrants die in the seas as they escape abject poverty and unemployment from their respective countries.

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