According to reports from an Italian media, Thirty-one migrants, including nine women, drowned off the coast of Libya during an attempted crossing to Italy as told by survivors who managed to complete the journey.
A dinghy carrying 53 migrants capsized on Friday evening, and witnesses said 31 of those who had been thrown off it drowned in the accident. Some of them are believed to be Nigerians.
The twenty-two survivors, who come from Nigeria, Gambia, Benin and Senegal, said the dinghy had capsized after three days at sea. They were rescued by a passing merchant ship and taken to Lampedusa Island, the reports said.
Italian Interior Minister Angelo Alfano called for human traffickers who shuttle migrants across the sea to Italy to be stopped on Sunday, after 31 boat people drowned during an attempted crossing.
“The traffic of human beings must end. We need to stop the merchants of death. The deaths off the Libyan coast and the terrible stories told by the survivors show the need for a real collaboration between countries to stop this string of tragic events,” Alfano said.
He called for “the network of collaboration to be strengthened with the countries where the migratory flows begin” and slammed “the wicked commerce of men who place their trust in the death merchants, who are but cynical profiteers of a state of emergency.”
The United Nations says thousands of people have drowned in recent years trying to reach Italian shores and 40 have died so far this year.