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In Under 24 Hours, Nearly 7,000 Individuals Arrived On An Italian Island

In under 24 hours, nearly 7,000 individuals arrived on an Italian island in a fleet of fragile boats. The boats packed with migrants and originating from Tunisia, inundated the small southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Wednesday.

Hilda Workman
Sep 14, 20233265 Shares66639 Views
In under 24 hours, nearly 7,000 individuals arrived on an Italian islandin a fleet of fragile boats. The boats, packed with migrants and originating from Tunisia, inundated the small southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Wednesday. This overwhelmed the Coast Guard's capacity to intercept the smugglers' vessels and posed a significant challenge to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's commitment to curbing illegal immigration.
Adding to Italy's far-right leader's political pressure, France and Germany also pledged to reject migrants who arrive by sea on Italian shores. This move goes against the rules of the European Union's asylum system, as these migrants attempt to head north in search of employment or to reunite with family members in various northern European countries.
Commencing early on Tuesday, a continuous stream of rickety iron boats, lacking seaworthiness and stability, arrived one after another. To onlookers on Lampedusa, a picturesque island known for fishing and tourism, it seemed almost like a procession. In a little over 24 hours, approximately 6,800 migrants made their way to the island, a figure that exceeds the island's permanent population by several hundred.
The surge in numbers was triggered by a bottleneck in Tunisia's ports that lasted for several days due to rough seas, preventing smugglers from launching their boats, according to Italian authorities.
Given that the island's only migrant facility could accommodate approximately 450 beds, authorities were forced to take swift action to transport the migrants. They utilized commercial ferries or coast guard vessels to transfer them to Sicily or Calabria, located at the southern tip of mainland Italy.
Francesca Basile, a spokesperson for the Italian Red Cross stationed in Lampedusa, noted that they were undertaking a significant effort to provide "essential services" for the 6,000 migrants at the Lampedusa center.

More Than 120,000 Sea Arrivals Recorded This Year

According to Italy's Interior Ministry, more than 120,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea this year. Among them, over 11,000 are unaccompanied minors. The majority of these migrants traverse Italy on foot, by bus, and on trains as they aim to reach northern Italy.
Andrea Costa, the president of Baobab Experience, a non-profit organization that assists migrants in transit in Rome, reports a significant increase in migrants from South Sudan, Sudan, and Eritrea arriving during the summer.
Volunteers from Baobab offer these migrants a hot meal every evening on a street in Rome. Most of these migrants spend a few nights in Rome before catching a bus heading towards Ventimiglia, a town on the border with France.
In the past 48 hours, around 7,000 people have arrived in Lampedusa, which has always welcomed them with open arms. However, we have now reached a point of no return and the island is in crisis. Europe and the Italian state must step in immediately with a rapid support operation and swift transfer of people.- Mayor Filippo Mannino said to Italy's RTL 102.5 radio
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