Almost 9 000 migrants rescued at sea after fleeing Libya over Easter weekend

The International Organisationfor Migrants (IOM), a UN aid agency, says nearly 9 000 predominantly African migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean this past weekend.

IOM's Flavio di Giacoma explains that majority of migrants are from West Africa and departed from Libya.

The main countries of origin are Nigeria, Guinea, Gambia, Bangladesh, Ivory Coast and some Eritreans as well.

Flavio di Giacoma, spokesperson of the International Organisation for Migration

The migrants leave their countries of origin in pursuit of greener pastures, but many become victims of violence and targeted human rights violations in Libya, Di Giacoma advises.

The situation in Libya is too dangerous and unstable.

Flavio di Giacoma, spokesperson of the International Organisation for Migration

The migrants set from Libya on unseaworthy boats in an attempt to reach southern Italy and a gateway to Europe, without a plan.

Some of them are so afraid to stay in the country. For them the only chance to save their lives is to try the sea-crossing to arrive to Europe.

Flavio di Giacoma, spokesperson of the International Organisation for Migration

We have seen an increasing number of migrants arriving to Italy.

Flavio di Giacoma, spokesperson of the International Organisation for Migration

According to di Giacoma, false information from people-smugglers and the warm weather conditions and calm seas resulted in the mass Mediterranean crossing.

He explains the UN's migartion agencies are working to develop programmes in Africa's poor countries to help improve economic opportunities and raise awareness about the dangers of migrating to Libya.

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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Almost 9 000 migrants rescued at sea after fleeing Libya over Easter weekend


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