In the last two weeks, at least 70 migrants have lost their lives or are missing in the central Mediterranean. The IOM, the United Nations Organization for Migration, reports this from Tripoli, according to which at least two shipwrecks have occurred off the coast of Libya and of which almost nothing is known.
“A boat carrying 25 migrants capsized on March 12 off the coast of Tobruk – says the IOM -. The authorities rescued six migrants and recovered seven bodies, while another 12 are missing ”. Tobruk is in the eastern part of Libya, towards the border with Egypt. The other shipwreck dates back to 27 February when a fiberglass boat “capsized four hours after leaving the port of Sabratha, due to very high waves. No survivors were found as 15 bodies, including a newborn, arrived on the beaches in the following days. About 35 migrants are still missing ”. Sabratha is on the opposite side of Libya, the western one, traditionally the most “beaten” by the migrant routes and exploited by traffickers.
These are the last two episodes of which we have news, a sign that the departures of migrants from Libya and Tunisia, but also from Turkey, towards the coasts of Lampedusa, Sicily, Sardinia, Calabria and Malta have never stopped except in days of rough seas. And on the other hand, it is enough to look at the daily statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior to realize that the landings, autonomous or after a rescue operation by humanitarian, military or merchant ships, continue. Since the beginning of the year 6367 migrants have landed in Italy, the last 104 just yesterday in Roccella Jonica; there were 6041 in the same period of 2021. In short, similar numbers that only the serious humanitarian emergency of Ukrainian refugees has canceled from the media but which represent people with stories of violence and oppression behind them, refugees from the forgotten wars of Africa and of the Middle East, or migrants fleeing poverty and hunger. Not just data, but real and real people.
The IOM numbers are as real as they are, precisely with regard to the dead and missing at sea in the central Mediterranean, calculates 193 loss of life from the beginning of the year to last March 12, to which must be added the 19 shipwrecked on March 12 off the coast of Tobruk, therefore 212 people. There were 1553 in all of 2021. The IOM also calculates that since the beginning of the year the so-called Coast Guard has brought back at least 3091 migrants, 117 of whom are minors; they had been 32,425 in all the previous year. “More than half of the deaths this year in the central Mediterranean – says the head of the IOM mission in Libya, Federico Soda – were registered near the Libyan coast. The IOM continues to ask for international cooperation to save lives and prevent the deaths of migrants ”.