A nine-months-pregnant woman and six babies are among the 265 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea in two operations recently. The migrants, who were flagged off the coast of Africa floating on boats, were rescued to safety by the NGO Open Arms. They were brought ashore in two batches of first 96 and then 169 migrants. While some were said to be escaping Eritrea, others were fleeing Libya where human trafficking is reportedly rampant.
The rescued migrants supposedly form part of the European migrant crisis, which is marked by people taking the Mediterranean route to the European Union (EU). According to The Independent, many migrants from the rescue mission were suspected to be suffering from malnutrition and hypothermia. The health of compromised individuals are of prime concern. “They have to sleep in the open air, it’s really cold. It’s not a good place for adults and it is even worse for babies,” a rescue co-ordinator told the media outlet.
See the tweet below:
Second rescue of mission 79 #OpenArms completed.
96 people, located adrift in a precarious wooden boat on high seas #Med, are already safely onboard, assisted by our medical team.#life #hello2021
📷 @joanmateuparra pic.twitter.com/M8UYZuMefq
— Open Arms ENG (@openarms_found) January 2, 2021
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About The European Migrant Crisis
Reports suggest Open Arms is currently the only organisation involved in rescue mission operations of migrants into the EU. Spokespersons claimed that Malta, a country in the central Mediterranean near Sicily, denied permission to dock rescue boats on their land despite being nearby. Italy has reportedly been contacted for permission.
Al-Jazeera states that most of these refugees are either escaping poverty, marginalisation, or persecution in their home countries, which is why they take the Mediterranean route to the EU. Many have even reportedly been denied asylum in recent years. The migrant crisis has been recognised as a humanitarian cause, with many activists asking for a resolution to be reached in the matter.
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Many Missing At Sea: Reports
Migrants sailing on the Mediterranean have been spotted in crowded makeshift boats and without life-jackets. On social media, rescue operations claim that though people are being brought ashore to safety, many seem to be lost at sea.
‼️ Today 79 migrants were intercepted and returned to #Libya by the coast guard.
Eight others are reported lost at sea.
At least 340 migrants attempted to flee Libya in the past two days.
Over 260 of them were rescued by #OpenArms. pic.twitter.com/Vira486Uwg
— Safa Msehli (@msehlisafa) January 3, 2021