#AceWorldNews says seven people have drowned as part of a collective of 200 migrants trying to swim from Morocco’s mainland to Ceuta, a Spanish enclave attached to Morocco’s northern coast, according to the Spanish daily, El Pais.
Potential migrants make frequent attempts to cross the border separating the two, often risking their lives to access the territory which lies just 15 km over the sea from Spain.
Meanwhile, over 1,000 people were rescued from rafts near the Italian island of Lampedusa by Italy’s navy. The country is another major migrant point of entry into Europe and over 200 died in October last year alone, only a kilometre from the coast.
Sea crossings tripled last year, thought to be prompted by regional instability, including civil war in Syria.
Lampedusa (Photo credit: Dorli Photography)
AFTER LATEST LAMPEDUSA TRAGEDY, BAN CALLS FOR ACTION TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS
Following reports of a second ship capsizing off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the international community to protect the rights of migrants and take action to prevent such tragic incidents.
“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened to hear reports of the loss of lives as another boat carrying migrants capsized yesterday off the coast of Italy, only a few days after the tragic incident near Lampedusa which had already claimed more than 300 lives,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/?nid=7196“>statement.
According to media reports, at least 27 people died and 221 were saved on Friday after their boat capsized near Lampedusa.
The incident occurred just over a week after more than 300 migrants, mostly Ethiopian, lost their lives when their boat caught fire half a mile from the coast, leading the vessel to capsize in the same area.
“The Secretary-General calls on the international community to take action to prevent such tragedies in the future, including measures that address their root causes and that places the vulnerability and human rights of migrants at the centre of the response,” the statement said.