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At Least 33 Migrants Drowned in Separate Incidents on Saturday

A rescue mission off the Libya coast, February 2017. Image via Getty.
A rescue mission off the Libya coast, February 2017. Image via Getty.

Calling attention to a new study finding that 3,116 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean Sea last year, two migrant boats capsized or sank on Saturday on their way from Africa to Italy, killing dozens. At least 25 people drowned off the coast of Libya after their boat capsized, and separately at least 8 women drowned in a smuggler’s dinghy coming from Libya, according to NPR.

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Libya is a common route for people fleeing war, poverty, and government oppression as well as human traffickers because in the wake of Moammar Gadhafi’s death, Libya lacks governmental structure to monitor its borders, MSNBC has reported. According to the study by the International Organization for Migration, most enter through Italy, which has threatened to reject rescue ships at their ports.

The Italian coastguard has reported that in both cases, the search for survivors is ongoing. The Associated Press reports that dozens may still be missing.

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It’s unclear from news reports where each group came from and why.

Jezebel has reached out to the German NGO Sea-Watch which reportedly sent a rescue operation to the scene of 25 deaths, the Italian coastguard, and the EU’s border management agency. We will update the post if we hear back.

Staff reporter, Gizmodo. wkimball @ gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

mortal-dictata
Mortal Dictata

The whole “migrant/Refugee crises” (they’re two separate issues usually conflated into one) has been nothing short of a disaster for years now as the EU just doesn’t have a collective response. Germany went “welcome them all” which saw a surge in numbers making the crossings despite the dangers while other nations, such as Austria, have begun building internal border fences once again.

There’s no plan for redistribution of those who manage to make it to Italy or Greece meaning most get stuck in makeshift slums or quietly given a ticket to the border so they’re someone else’s problem. We have no idea who the hell is actually making the crossings as most have no documents (most of the EU has an automatic asylum policy for Eritreans because it’s basically the North Korea of Africa so unsurprisingly many claim to be Eritreans) and there is a danger on the Greece route that foreign fighters with IS are making their way back this way.

The Far-Right is growing all across continental Europe as a result of this wave of mass migration and many refugees and migrants face hate attacks in their new homes. The Austrian Far Right are now in government, the AfD is just waiting for another German election (which is still without one due to talks going on for months now), and the Front Nationale in France haven’t disappeared despite their loss in the Presidential Election.

And this is all if the refugees and migrants manage to make the crossings.

Libya lacks anything regarding a state. Most of the jails are in the hands of various militias, there are multiple governments and most of them wouldn’t be called governments by outside observers, torture and human rights abuses are rife, and many of the attempted migrants who reach Libya are now being used as slave labour by the local population.