Seven Bodies Of Migrants On Capsized Boat Found Off Italy

File: This grab from a video taken by Local Team shows migrants rescued for days by NGO Proactiva Open Arms charity ship, being rescued by a Spanish patrol boat after throwing themselves in the water to try and swim to the nearby Italian island of Lampedusa in a desperate move after days stuck on board, on August 20, 2019. 
LOCALTEAM / AFP

 

Rescue authorities found the bodies of seven migrants, including five women, after their boat capsized off the Italian island of Lampedusa, coastguard officials said Sunday.

A patrol boat recovered the bodies of three of the women and customs workers found two more washed ashore after a vessel with some 150 people aboard went down Saturday, the coastguard said.

Another two bodies were found Saturday on the beach at Cala Galera on the south side of the island.

Survivors had said late Saturday around 20 people were missing after coast guards reported rescuing nearly 150 migrants when their vessel overturned around 1.5 miles (1.8 kilometres) off the coast.

READ ALSO: A Decade Of Plane Crashes In Residential Areas That Shook The World

The coastguard said rescue operations had been complicated by rough seas “but also owing to a large number of people who fell into the water simultaneously”.

Italian media reported one Eritrean man and a Libyan man as saying they had lost their wives.

The public prosecutor in the Sicilian port of Agrigento announced an investigation had been opened into the incident.

The SOS Mediterranee and Medecins sans Frontieres NGOs said meanwhile Sunday that 213 migrants rescued in recent days in the Sicilian port of Messina by humanitarian vessel Ocean Viking had disembarked

Spanish NGO Open Arms, which Thursday rescued 73 migrants in a separate operation, meanwhile urged European governments to authorise “immediately” the migrants’ disembarkation in a safe port, citing a “critical” situation.

“We continue to demand that people’s rights, established under international conventions and maritime law, be respected,” tweeted Open Arms’ chef de mission Riccardo Gatti.

Ocean Viking made similar demands as both NGOs warned there was an urgent need for a coordinated urgent response to deal with the “humanitarian catastrophe” in the region.

AFP

Human Trafficking: Kingpin, Mered Medhanie, Extradited To Italy

MigrantsA 35-year-old Eritrean suspected to be the main-man of the operation to smuggle migrants from Africa to Europe has been extradited to Italy.

Reports say the suspect, Mered Medhanie, who is commonly referred to as ‘The General’, was flown to Rome on Tuesday, after he was held in Sudan in May.

According to BBC, Britain’s National Crime Agency said he was suspected to have masterminded the transit of a boat in October 2013, which sank near Lampedusa, an island in Italy.

At least 359 migrants were reported dead when the boat conveying passengers who were mostly Eritreans and Somalians capsized.

Italy Rescues Nearly 1,800 Migrants In Mediterranean

italyItalian vessels have helped rescue nearly 1,800 migrants from boats trying to reach Italy from north Africa in the last 24 hours, the navy said on Friday, indicating that numbers are rising, as the weather warms up.

The navy said 1,759 migrants were rescued in 10 operations involving the Italian navy, coastguard and finance police, the European Union’s external borders agency Frontex and the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.

The Italian frigate Grecale was taking the migrants to the Sicilian port of Augusta, where they were expected to arrive on Saturday morning, a navy statement quoted by Reuters said. It gave no details of their nationalities.

The latest arrivals picked up in the Strait of Sicily will bring the total of migrants reaching Italy by boat so far this year to more than 30,000, slightly higher than in the same period of 2015.

Humanitarian organisations say the sea route between Libya and Italy is now the main route for asylum seekers heading for Europe, after an EU deal with Turkey dramatically slowed the flow of people reaching Greece.

Officials fear the numbers trying to make the crossing to southern Italy will increase, as sailing conditions improve in warmer weather.

More than 1.2 million Arab, African and Asian migrants fleeing war and poverty have streamed into the European Union since the start of last year.

Most of those trying to reach Italy leave the coast of Libya on rickety fishing boats or rubber dinghies, heading for the Italian island of Lampedusa, which is close to Tunisia, or toward Sicily.

On Wednesday, however, Italy’s coastguard said it had rescued 42 migrants from a sailboat off the coast of Puglia, in the southeastern heel of mainland Italy.

Hundreds Of Migrants Drowned In Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean SeaThe Italian coastguard says hundreds of people are feared to have drowned after a boat carrying up to 700 migrants capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.

But after a couple of days at sea, in the dark of night on Saturday, the ship was in distress in the Mediterranean and sent out an SOS.

As rescuers approached, the migrants, perhaps 700 people on board, moved to one side of their boat, hoping to be saved. Their movement caused the large, multilevel boat to capsize, sending the desperate crowd plunging into the frigid water, their chance of survival slim.

While the shipwreck was an accident, human traffickers facilitate risky trips like this, risking people’s lives by putting them on rickety ships in unpredictable waters.

So far, 28 people have been rescued and 24 bodies retrieved.

The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, said the latest sinking could amount to the largest loss of life during a migrant crossing to Europe.

Italian naval and coastguard ships, the Maltese Navy and cargo vessels, along with three helicopters, are all involved in the rescue operation, 130 miles (210km) off the coast of Lampedusa and 17 miles (27km) from the Libyan coast.

Some were rescued on Sunday, said Flavio Di Giacomo, spokesman for the International Organization for Migration.

Mr Giacomo told CNN that 49 survivors were recovered and being taken to Sicily.

But the Italian Coast Guard, which is leading the rescue operation, reported that 28 survivors and 24 bodies have been recovered so far in the area about 110 kilometers (70 miles) north of Libya.

At least 900 other migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean this year.

Network Africa: Seeking Justice And Creating Wealth From Electronic Waste

This edition of Network Africa looks at the tempers flaring at Nigeria’s National Conference, where there has been a threat of walkout.

Eyebrow raising details spring up during the Oscar Pistorious in South Africa, while hundreds of people get the death sentence in Egypt.

We also bring you a new perspective to all the things you may have tagged trash, as we focus on electronic waste and the wealth in recycling.

 

Network Africa: Trading Terror, Corruption, Xenophobia For A Trip To Space

Omar SamraNetwork Africa on this edition starts off from Nigeria where the House of Representatives, concerned about the increase in the number of Nigerian students killed abroad, has mandated a joint committee to conduct a public hearing on the matter and report back to the House in two months.

Raising the motion, the Chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, says Nigerian students have become endangered species in different parts of the world, leading to the House urging Nigerian embassies in Ghana, Malaysia, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa to ensure all pending cases are thoroughly investigated.

Oscar Pistorius Trial

It appears to be a 50 /50 chance for the Paralympics star as a key Police ballistics expert says Oscar Pistorius was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he shot his girlfriend, as the athlete’s trial continued in South Africa.

The prosecution says he intentionally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, after an argument. Mr Pistorius denies murdering her, saying he thought she was an intruder. The latest account lends support to the defence team’s insistence that the shooting was not premeditated.

Our South Africa correspondent, Betty Dibia, tells us specifically about the happenings on day 11 of the trial which was the very first time the mother of the deceased showed up since the proceedings began.

Also from South Africa, President Jacob Zuma is being slammed by critics for using way too much money to give his home a makeover.

The amount which is 23 million dollars was state-funded and was for a security upgrade to his private home that included a swimming pool, cattle enclosure and amphitheatre.

As a consequence, he might have to repay costs for some of the unnecessary renovations.

Rest of Africa

The plans of 2 men were foiled when  Kenyan police arrested them, when they suspected them of having links to  Somali Islamist militant group after they were tracked and found to have six large bombs that may have been aimed for use in the area of the port city of Mombasa.

The search for greener pastures almost claimed the lives of 596 people as the Italian Navy was able to rescue the people off the Italian coast on Monday (March 17), 62 of whom were children.

The migrants, mainly from Eritrea, were huddled onto two different boats and were spotted by the Italian Navy ships off the coast of the southern island of Lampedusa.

Meanwhile, two Egyptian army officers and five jihadist militants have been killed in a gunfight that erupted during a raid North of Cairo.

The Brigadier and Colonel, both bomb disposal experts, took part in the raid on a warehouse in Qal-Yu-Bi-Ya province along with police and Special Forces.

The militants were from Ansar beit al-maqdis, which has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks. The Al-Qaeda-linked group, which is based in the Sinai Peninsula, is believed to have killed more than 200 security forces and government personnel since the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in July.

A Trip To Space

Despite the tension in Egypt, however, some people are realizing their dreams of going outside of the planet. Egyptian adventurer and mountaineer, Omar Samra will soon become the first Egyptian to travel to space after winning the Axe Space Academy competition.

Samra is among 23 winners of the competition who are set to be sent into orbit in early 2015, in a journey he says has been a lifelong dream.

Tunisian Navy Rescues Over 90 Migrants Off Djerba Coast

Tunisian naval forces have rescued over 90 African migrants off the coast Djerba on Wednesday after their vessel got into trouble on route from Libya to Europe, Tunisia’s defence ministry said.

The boat was taking on water near the Tunisian island of Djerba when it was intercepted, the ministry said.

All 98 migrants on board were rescued. It was not immediately clear which countries they came from.

African migrants frequently try to reach Europe from Libya’s coast, and the southern Italian island of Lampedusa is just 113 km (70 miles) from the coastline of North African neighbour Tunisia.

In October, more than 300 people drowned or were feared dead after a boat packed with migrants sank off Lampedusa, one of the worst disasters in Europe’s struggle to cope with heavy immigration.

Libya’s security forces are not well equipped and are often unable to stop smugglers who have profited from the country’s chaos since the uprising that led to the death of its leader, Muammar Gaddafi, nearly three years ago.