European Union overseas ministers gathered in Luxembourg on Monday beneath strain to supply greater than phrases as our bodies had been introduced ashore in Malta amongst a whole lot feared drowned within the newest Mediterranean migrant tragedy.
The dying toll from Sunday’s shipwreck off the coast of Libya was unsure after officers stated there had been at the very least 700 folks on board, some reportedly locked within the maintain.
A whole bunch of kilometres (miles) to the east, one other vessel carrying dozens of migrants ran aground off the Greek island of Rhodes on Monday. Greek coast guards stated at the very least three folks had been killed.
European officers are struggling to provide you with a coverage that might reply extra humanely to an exodus of migrants travelling by sea from Africa and Asia to Europe, with out worsening the disaster by encouraging extra to go away.
A Bangladeshi survivor advised police there had been 950 passengers onboard, in keeping with Italian media. The vessel sank when passengers rushed to 1 aspect to draw consideration from a passing service provider ship.
Within the Maltese capital Valletta, coast-guard officers introduced ashore the 24 corpses discovered to date. Sporting white protecting fits, they carried the victims in body-bags off the Italian ship Gregoretti and deposited them in hearses as survivors seemed on from the deck.
Twenty-eight survivors rescued to date might be taken on the identical boat to the Sicilian port of Catania.
Europe‘s politicians face criticism from help and human rights teams that they’ve been abandoning these in want of assist to pander to anti-immigrant sentiment among the many electorates of their dwelling international locations.
An Italian search and rescue mission known as “Mare Nostrum” was cancelled final yr resulting from its price and home political strain, to get replaced by a smaller-scale EU mission known as “Triton”, with a smaller finances and narrower remit.
This yr greater than 1,500 folks fleeing conflict and poverty are estimated to have died within the Mediterranean, packed into rickety boats by human traffickers in a bid to succeed in a greater life in Europe. The deaths are up 15-fold in contrast with the identical interval of 2014.
“The repute of Europe is at stake,” stated Italian Overseas Minister Paolo Gentiloni. “I’ve been saying for weeks and months that Europe has to do extra, now sadly the fact has hit us within the face.”