Economic desperation has pushed migrants to their untimely death at the Mediterranean. Last week reports came in that about 500 illegal migrants from Africa died at sea as they were being smuggled from Libya to Italy.
The shipwreck is considered one if not the deadliest of previous cases. The sad news of the death of illegal migrants has become common place in Africa. So much so that the gravity of the ugly incidences are casually felt. These unidentified dead migrants are speculated to be about 500. It is speculated also that they may largely be from sub-Saharan Africa, Egyyt and Somalia.
“Due to the overcrowding, the large boat sank.” – UNHCR
The boat was overloaded and as a result capsized at the Mediterranean sea. It is reported that they were being smuggled into Italy by sea through Libya. In recent times Libya has been over-flocked by migrants ready to cross over to Europe. A reliable source says the boat sank after the smugglers attempted to add more people to the boat. Some migrants were transferred from the smaller ones to the already “overburdened” boat.
Records have it that the “death toll of just half the size would bring the total number of mortalities in the Mediterranean in 2016 to over 1,000 – more than a quarter of last year’s record tally.” The incident recorded about 41 survivors. These were those yet to be transferred into the big boat and those who luckily escaped death by swimming and finding their way into the smaller boat. The 41 survivors were later rescued by a Filipino merchant ship.
The quest of these drowned people will not be far from seeking greener pastures. Constantly Africans in desperate need of a positive socio-economic transformation succumb to various illegal and dangerous means of changing location. They face untold hardships on the way. Some others lose their lives.
Reports also show the prospects that Syrians might flock down to Libya as well to make a cross over to Europe. At this there is a wide emphasis urging Europe to review its stand on closing up their borders.