First modification: 08/03/2021 – 05:36
The Ocean Viking of the NGO SOS Méditerranée together with the Sea Watch 3, of the organization that bears the same name, and the ship of the German NGO ResQship already have about 818 people on board, after rescuing them in several operations carried out in recent days in the central Mediterranean. The challenge now is to find a safe port for disembarkation.
The three humanitarian ships came together over the weekend in one of the latest rescue operations that lasted at least six hours and saved some 394 migrants traveling in a wooden boat across the Mediterranean. Now they await a permit to be able to dock in a safe port in southern Europe.
In what is the period with the highest influx of migrants, according to the EFE news agency, the Sea Watch 3, which has carried out five operations since last July 29, transports some 263 migrants, while the Ocen Viking carries about 555 migrants, a smaller number waiting on the ResQship.
Those rescued, the majority men, come from Morocco, Bangladesh, Egypt and Syria. SOS Méditerranée warned of the delicate situation of these people, including at least two pregnant women and 33 minors, 22 unaccompanied, all of them rescued on Saturday.
“Many suffer from sea sickness and some have fainted on our deck due to the heat and the ordeal they experienced,” said Francisca, the head of the medical team in charge of Ocean Viking, according to the EFE news agency.
🔴 Weiteres Boot in Seenot gefunden: 12 Menschen wurden sicher an Bord der # SeaWatch3 gebracht.
Noch immer sind mind. 3 Boote unterwegs, die sofort Hilfe brauchen. Worauf warten #Italien & #Malt? Wollen sie, dass noch mehr Menschen ertrinken, wie bereits über 1000 dieses Jahr? pic.twitter.com/2Tl0tgOqbd
– Sea-Watch (@seawatchcrew) August 2, 2021
Simultaneously, over the weekend, dozens of migrants, mostly from Tunisia, reached the south coast of Sardinia, located in central-western Italy, without help, according to the Associated Press (AP) news agency. .
It has not been reported whether during the operations of the last days there have been deaths or injuries among the migrants who undertook the hard crossing of the Mediterranean.
More than 970 migrants have died in the Mediterranean in 2021
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), since the beginning of 2021 it is estimated that at least 970 migrants have lost their lives trying to cross the sea to reach Europe, fleeing, among other things, from armed conflicts and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, with the desire to achieve decent living conditions.
“This year has seen an increase in departures on the Central Mediterranean migration route and in the number of interceptions and arrivals,” said IOM spokesman Paul Dillon during a UN press conference on 27 February. July.
The spokesperson also rescued the human side of this migratory wave and stressed the need for greater solidarity from the Member States of the European Union to “adopt a state approach to search and rescue” as soon as possible before “more innocent lives are lost. “.
DD violations. HH., Another latent factor in the Mediterranean
While the harsh waters of the Mediterranean continue to engulf hundreds of victims in its wake, the lives of migrants are also threatened by the European Union’s border and migration control policies and its coordination with the Libyan coast guard.
This is explained in the latest report by the organization Amnesty International (AI) called ‘No one is going to come looking for you: Returns from the sea to abusive detention centers in Libya’, documented and carried out during the first half of 2021.
According to the report, serious human rights violations, including sexual violence, are committed in Libyan detention centers against men, women, boys and girls intercepted during the crossing. AI denounces that European states are complicit in these crimes for financing Libyan operations in the Mediterranean, something that the IOM echoes:
“We remain deeply concerned about the operation of some of these centers and the process by which people are returned after being intercepted on their migratory journey through the central Mediterranean route,” said IOM spokesman Paul Dillon.
Meanwhile, the small Italian island of Lampedusa, one of the main ports that receives thousands of migrants, is a reflection of the tough community policies towards irregular migration through the Mediterranean. Survivors also face multiple challenges when reaching land, such as difficulty obtaining legal asylum status or moving through European territory, this in case the authorities do not prohibit the arrival of ships with migrants on board.
With AP, EFE and Reuters