Italy: 640 migrants landed in Lampedusa including a baby found dead

AA / Paris / Ümit Dönmez

Some 640 migrants landed in two days in Lampedusa, in southern Italy, including a baby found dead on a boat, according to information reported on Friday by the Italian news agency ANSA.

The same source specifies that a total of twelve boats arrived, on November 9 and 10, on the Italian island which is located between Malta and Tunisia, indicating that one of them was transporting the body of a sick baby, died of hypothermia. The agency also notes that the baby’s mother wanted him to be treated in Italy.

ANSA also specifies that, on the night of November 9 to 10, three boats carrying 31, 36 and 51 migrants respectively, were rescued by Italian coastguards and that these three makeshift boats had left Sfax, a coastal town , located in eastern Tunisia.

It was during the rescue of the boat carrying 36 migrants, including 9 women and 3 babies, that the coastguards discovered the lifeless body of the infant from Côte d’Ivoire and barely 20 days old.

The Italian press agency adds that this boat was also carrying the bodies of two burned people.

According to ANSA, Filippo Mannino, the mayor of Lampedusa, sent a letter to the new President of the Italian Council Giorgia Meloni asking her for an emergency meeting.

“I keep getting calls from the police to inform me of the presence of corpses. I feel like I’m watching a war bulletin and what worries me is that it’s becoming a daily occurrence, in the indifference of Europe”, lamented Mannino, pointing out the “insufficiency of human and financial resources” to provide assistance to exiles landing on the island.

– A tense context on the issue of migrants

Italy is reporting a sharp increase in entries to its territory by sea this year, according to Interior Ministry data, with 88,100 people arriving on its shores since January 1 against nearly 56,000 and 30,400 over the same period of 2021 and 2020.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), since the beginning of the year, 1,269 migrants have disappeared in the central Mediterranean, considered the most dangerous sea route for exiles.

Since the first census carried out in 2014, there have been nearly 20,000 dead or missing.

As a reminder, relations have been tense for a few days between Italy and France regarding the reception of the migrant rescue boat “Ocean Viking”.

The ship of the NGO “SOS Méditerranée”, with 230 migrants on board including 57 children, was finally able to dock at the port of Toulon, in the south of France, this Friday morning.

This is a first for France in the migrant crisis, Paris explaining that the migrant rescue boat docked “exceptionally” and under a “right of humanity”.

The 230 migrants will be placed in a “waiting area” on the Giens peninsula for a maximum of twenty days.

Two-thirds of the migrants will be hosted by nine countries of the European bloc, subject to fulfilling the conditions for asylum seekers.

Exiles who do not fulfill them will be sent back to their countries of origin.

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Italy: 640 migrants landed in Lampedusa including a baby found dead