Mediterranean migration: who will be the next Gambian to die?

Thursday, October 06, 2016

At least 28 migrants have been confirmed dead off the coast of Libya, and a lot more still missing when a congested wooden boat carrying more than a thousand was rescued on Tuesday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said.

According to IOM, at least 50 migrants died from Monday to Tuesday and 10,000 were rescued when more than 20 big boats took off for Italy.

According to the French news agency, AFP, many died of suffocation in a three-level boat on Tuesday. Smugglers are taking advantage of the good weather at sea pushing as many boats as possible. 

Graphic photos from the newspapers showed dead bodies lying on top of each other. In a three-level boat, the conditions down the other levels of the boat could not be captured. But the photographer Mr Messinis acknowledged how devastating it was.

On Monday alone 6,055 migrants were rescued.  It was the biggest operation in a day.  An Italian ship has rescued 725 migrants from a single rubber boat, said the Italian and Libyan officials.

Many smugglers are rushing against the approaching winter when the weather is usually bad.

The present figures show the death toll to have reach 3,100. The number that has made it to Italy this year has also increased to 142,000, according to IOM.

The majority, according to IOM, come from African countries such as Nigeria, Eritrea, Guinea, Gambia, Sudan, Ivory Coast and Somalia. 

Author: Alagie Jinkang
Source: Picture: African immigrants