In Italy, around 700 migrants rescued at sea in the middle of the electoral campaign

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Hundreds of migrants have disembarked in Italy and hundreds more are waiting to board humanitarian ships. This new influx comes in the midst of a legislative campaign for which the far right is the favourite.

Around 700 migrants were rescued from Italy on Saturday, the Italian Coast Guard announced on Sunday July 24, which also recovered five bodies. Hundreds of other migrants are waiting to board humanitarian ships, a recurring influx every summer but which comes this year in the midst of a legislative campaign for which the far right is favored.

On the island of Lampedusa, 522 people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, including Tunisia and Libya, arrived overnight on fifteen different boats from Saturday to Sunday.

According to the Italian media, the reception center of this small rock closer to Africa than to Italy is overwhelmed. The Ansa agency indicates that there are currently 1,200 accommodation units, with a capacity of 250 to 300 people.

Migrants who manage to reach the shores of Lampedusa or Sicily travel on old overloaded boats, in poor sanitary conditions, often without life jackets, with little food and under a blazing sun.

The daily La Sicilia specifies that the final landing in Lampedusa saw boats with dozens, even hundreds of people on board, but also small inflatables.

Thus, after crossing the short arm of the sea separating Tunisia from the island, four Tunisians, including a woman, were stranded at night on the beach of Kala Pisana. Simultaneously, the Coast Guard intercepted a 13-meter vessel with 123 Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Egyptian and Sudanese men leaving Zaua in Libya.

most dangerous road

In addition, maritime rescue NGOs continue to recover hundreds of migrants lost in the Mediterranean.

Sea-Watch said on Sunday it conducted four rescue operations on Saturday. She said on her Twitter account: “On ‘C-Watch-3’ we have 428 people, including women and children, nine months pregnant and seriously injured patients.”

“The Ocean-Viking” of the NGO SOS Mediterranei said it had recovered 87 people, including 57 unaccompanied minors, trapped in “a crowded inflatable boat in distress in international waters off Libya”.

1. amonguh According to the Interior Ministry, 34,000 people arrived in Italy by sea, compared to 25,500 in the same period of January and July 22, 2021 and 10,900 in 2020.

The Central Mediterranean migration route is one of the most dangerous in the world. The International Organization for Migration estimates the number of dead and missing at 990 since the beginning of the year.

This seasonal increase in arrivals over the summer coincides with a turbulent political context in Italy this year. Prime Minister Mario Draghi, abandoned by the many parties that formed his government of national unity, resigned.

The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, dissolved parliament and set elections for September 25, for which the right and the extreme right are privileged.

On Twitter on Sunday morning, Lega (anti-immigration) leader Matteo Salvini denounced the arrival of “411 illegal immigrants in Lampedusa in just a few hours”.

“On September 25, Italians will finally be able to choose change: for security, courage and the return of border control,” he wrote.

AFP. with

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