Migrants Have Been Rescued in the Mediterranean Sea
IOM spokesperson Joel Millman said on Friday that 2,139 migrants were rescued on May 18 alone through more than a dozen different operations in Mediterranean worldwide waters. One body was recovered.
Since the beginning of the year, Italy has seen the arrival of more than 45,700 migrants on its coasts, an increase of more than 30 percent compared with the same period last year, according to an assessment provided by the Interior Ministry (excluding Thursday arrivals). Thousands people turned out to march against racism and other forms of intolerance toward migrants and foreigners.
The rescue operations involved two ships operated by the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Sea Eye and Jugend Rettet, and a Spanish vessel participating in the EU’s EUNAVFOR mission in the Mediterranean, the coast guard said.
The onset of warmer weather has encouraged even more human traffickers based in Libya to launch overcrowded, unseaworthy dinghies or small wooden boats, leaving the migrants to the mercy of the deadly Mediterranean Sea.
According to worldwide organisations, between 800,000 and one million people – mostly from sub-Saharan Africa – are now in Libya hoping to make the perilous Mediterranean crossing to Europe.
Some 5,000 refugees bound for Italy have been rescued in waters off the coast of Libya between Thursday and Saturday morning by Italian and Libyan coastguards, statements from both countries say.