ROME (AP) – Rescue teams և The Vatican condemns the recent deaths of migrants stranded by unnoticed trafficking ships amid mourning that Mediterranean countries are choosing not to send ships to rescue them.
The aid group Alarm Phone tweeted that despite the fact that on Wednesday the plane carrying an overcrowded ship in northern Libya was asked for help, “only non-state actors were actively searching the boat in the troubled sea.”
By the time the charitable rescue boat arrived on Thursday evening, the boat had capsized and all 130 passengers were believed to have drowned.
The headline “Abandoned and buried in the sea” was the headline of a photo of the sea on the front page of the Vatican newspaper on Saturday, published by L’Osservatore Romano.
On Sunday, Pope Francis lamented the newspaper’s cancellation of “his moment of disgrace.”
“Let us pray for those who can help but who prefer to look the other way. “Let us pray for them silently,” he told the public in St. Peter’s Square.
The presence of a dangerously crowded boat was first announced by calling the Alarm Phone helpline on Wednesday.
Alarm Phone reported that the ship was in contact for 10 hours on Wednesday. It says it has “repeatedly conveyed its GPS position և the difficult situation to the European և Libyan authorities և to the wider public.”
In an interview with the Associated Press, Frontex told the Associated Press that it had warned the Italian, Maltese and Libyan authorities after one of its patrol planes spotted the ship.
“Although Frontex spotted the wrecked ship from the sky, only non-state actors were actively searching for the wrecked ship at sea,” Alarm Phone said in a Twitter statement.
The rescue ship Ocean Viking, operated by the charity SOS Mediterranee, along with three merchant ships MY ROSE, which requested aid from Italy and Libya, arrived on Thursday and found several bodies, one of which was drowned. instead of a rescuer, but no survivors.
Frontex spokesman Krzysztof Borowski blamed the bad weather for what happened.
“Unfortunately, the deadly weather in the area over the past few days has made it almost impossible to carry out a rescue mission,” he told Zoom on Saturday from Poland to Warsaw, where the EU agency is based.
According to the Ocean Viking log, the Libyan coast guard ship “Ubar” was supposedly going to help a boat.
When the Vikings of the Ocean arrived and found the bodies, he wrote in his diary that “there are no patrol boats” Ubar “in the vicinity, nor is there any connection with the” Ocean Vikings “.
Libya’s coast guard says bad weather combined with the need to rescue other migrants off the coast of Libya is hampering efforts to help shipbuilding. Ubari, which was delivered by Italy to the Libyan coast in 2018, rescued 104 migrants on Thursday and removed two bodies from a merchant ship off the coast of the country, according to Italian news.
Borovsky of Frontex says the traffickers were particularly reckless in operating the convicted ship in such conditions. “There were massive waves, two or three meters high (6.6 to 10 feet). “It was almost guaranteed that the rubber boat would turn into և people all end up in the sea.”
Italy has trained and equipped Libya’s coast guard, but has come under fire from aid groups who say the navy is in a violent North African country. The problem is not high. In addition, when Libyan coast guard rescues migrants from soft boats or fishing vessels, brings inhumane conditions to detention facilities, UN refugee agencies and human rights groups complain.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has been criticized for praising Libya’s coast guard during a recent visit to Libya.
Both Italy and Malta claim that charitable vessels are actually helping to ensure that migrants who pay smugglers in Libya reach European shores safely. Both peoples argue, largely in vain, that the EU’s partner countries should accept much more rescued migrants, many of whom eventually hope to find relatives – jobs in Northern Europe.
An inquiry sent by the Maltese Interior Ministry spokesman on Saturday was not immediately answered.
On Saturday, it was reported that another ship carrying 42 migrants was wrecked, but it could not be located. SOS Mediterranee Italy General Director Valeria Taurino told Italian state television Rai. Mourning the loss of life, Taurino said the charity called on Europe to “take on its responsibilities” and not to interfere with the work of NGO rescue boats.
Italy has repeatedly kept charitable rescue boats at the port for weeks for administrative checks after the boats brought the rescued migrants to Italian shores.
On Sunday, Italy’s coast guard said it was using a container ship in nearby Italian waters to help an overloaded fishing boat struggling in high waves and strong winds.
The boat, which was carrying at least 100 passengers, including children, was spotted on Saturday on a crowded bridge under a deck, the Coast Guard said in a statement. After the boat stopped working, it was transported to the Italian mainland, where it arrived at the port on Sunday. The exact number of survivors և nationality, presumably migrants, were not immediately available.
Renata Brito from Barcelona, Spain participated in this report.