UN reports scores of migrants rescued at sea between North Africa and Europe
tratto da United Nations' News Centre
6 December 2011 – The United Nations refugee agency said today it has received information that the Moroccan navy rescued 53 people on board a stricken vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, adding that four people were found dead in the boat, while at least one person is known to have drowned. The boat was found a few kilometres offshore from the town of Dar Kebdani in northern Morocco last week, according to Melissa Fleming, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva.
Among the passengers were several children under the age of 10 and a number of pregnant women. The dead included a Congolese woman and her daughter, who were identified in the morgue by UNHCR staff. They were both registered refugees. The passengers said that a Congolese refugee, a young man, is known to have drowned, but has not been recovered.
In a separate incident, two boats carrying 80 people which set sail from Greece were rescued by the Italian coastguard yesterday after a week at sea. The passengers – mainly Afghans – were found dehydrated, having run out of food and water, Ms. Fleming said.
UNHCR has also been informed that a boat that departed from Libya last weekend was rescued by the Maltese armed forces and found to have been carrying 44 people, many of them Somalis.
The Libyan coast guard has reported that up to 400 people have been rescued from boats off the country’s coast in recent days. Migrants and refugees are once again attempting to use Libya as a transit route to Europe, according to UNHCR.