Monday, June 17, 2024

Only since the beginning of this year… has the UN been concerned about migrants trying to cross the “death trap”.

Date:

More than 2,500 migrants have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe since the start of 2023, an official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced on Thursday.

“As of September 24, more than 2,500 people are dead or missing,” said Rubin Menegtivela, director of the UNHCR office in New York, during a Security Council meeting dedicated to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. That represents a nearly 50 percent increase compared to “1,680” people during the same period in 2022.

“Without public opinion, lives are being lost on the ground,” he asserted.

He pointed out that “the journey to West or East Africa and the Horn of Africa and Libya and the starting points on the coast is one of the most dangerous journeys in the world.”

He added, “Refugees and migrants traveling overland from sub-Saharan Africa face the risk of death and serious human rights violations at every step.”

According to statistics announced by Ruffin Minisdiola, between the beginning of the year and September 24, 2023, a total of 186,000 migrants arrived in Southern Europe (Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta), including 130,000 for Italy, “an increase of 83 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

In terms of countries of departure, between the beginning of the year and August 2023, more than 102,000 migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia, and 45,000 from Libya.

Of this number, 31,000 were rescued at sea or intercepted and disembarked in Tunisia, and 10,600 are in Libya.

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Referring to the recent influx of large numbers of migrants to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the official stressed that “Italy cannot respond alone to the needs” of these migrants.

UN refugee agency to “establish a regional mechanism for the evacuation and redistribution” of migrants arriving by sea. Menaktivela reiterated the High Commissioner’s call, which raises disagreements among EU member states.

For his part, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia, who requested the meeting, denounced the EU for its role in the “death trap” in the Mediterranean.

The ambassador said: “We have the impression that the European Union is waging an undeclared war against migrants because they have no other, safe route.”

“The European Union only cares about the migration issue when it comes to Ukrainians,” Nebenzia added, expressing her regret that other migrants do not enjoy “the same level of solidarity”.

As for French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere, referring to Russian contributions to UNHCR’s budget, he said, “Russia is not, as always, when it comes to responding decisively to humanitarian crises.”

He added, “Wagner’s presence in the Sahel region contributes to the instability of the region, which fuels terrorism and leads to the migration of residents.”

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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