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Migrants - page 2

Eu, migrants: deal to 32,000 of the arrivals

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Backwars step about migrants’ redistribution. Yesterday, Eu’s 28 member decided to reshuffle about 32,000 people instead 40,000 (arrived in Italy and Greece in 2015), like set last 26 June by the European Commission. To these, over 20,000 refugees, Syrians and Eritreans, will be received.

The tough negotiation between 25 and 26 June looks very far. The position taken by the President of the EU Council Tusk opposed to the President of Commission Juncker a month ago were probably a dramatise. As well as the quotas, proclaimed at the time as “compulsory”, are nothing more than “voluntary”.

Therefore about 20,000 migrants miss. Meanwhile, in October, about 32 thousand people arrived in Italy and Greece will be relocated to other countries. In addition to the announced “no” from Austria and Hungary, surprised the “yes” of Ireland to receive 600 people. To the top, however, there are Germany with about 10,000, France with almost 7000, with Netherlands about 2000.

On the refugees’ redistribution, numbers are different. As well as Italy, Germany and France, the UK, Austria and Spain, in addition to the presence of non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Norway, have specially decided to accept Syrians and Eritreans.

In addition to the loewst agreement, the 28 countries have not delivered yet on the quotas for 2016. The Italian Minister of the Interior Alfano believe that this deal is “good for Italy”. But this speech clashes Prime Minister Renzi’s words a months ago to Eu Council assembly: “If you do not agree on the distribution of 40,000 migrants, are not worthy to call Europe. If you want the voluntary, Keep it”. What has changed in the meantime?
Giacomo Pratali


Immigration: 150,000 arrivals in 2015

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Italy has received 7,000 migrants more than 2014. Greece 76,000. Despite Frontex operation, number of deaths in the Mediterranean has risen to 1,900. The Iom report helps us to understand this crisis.

More than 700 immigrants landed on the Sicily shores weekend are just the latest wake-up call to a crisis for Italy and Greece. The figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of the Interior, certify a tragic exodus which will grow in the coming months.

The arrival in Europe of 150,000 migrants is a substantial number, but cannot be described as “an invasion,” considering that Europe is home to over 500 million people, according to Soda. “Lebanon, a country of 4 million people, is hosting 1.5 million Syrian refugees and Turkey is hosting about 2 million”, Oim report said.

According to the survey, migrants arrived in Europe by sea in 2015 are more than 150,000: 74,000 and in Italy (around 7000 more than a year) and almost 76000 in Greece (six times more than 2014). “Over 1,900 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean so far this year, over twice the number during the same period in 2014. But the number of fatalities has started to decrease since May. This is probably due to the large presence of European Union (EU) / Frontex ships in international waters. The enhancement of the EU’s Operation Triton has enabled maritime forces to save more migrants lives in the Channel of Sicily. For Italy, the main countries of origin during the first half of 2015 were: Eritrea (18,676), Nigeria (7,897), Somalia (6,334), Syria (4,271), Gambia (3,593), and Sudan (3,589). These nationalities were also among the top 10 at this time last year. ”, Oim underlined.

Beyond Italy, the dinamic routes explaine the exponential growth of the immigration, especially Syrians and Iraqis, in Greece Islands: “One major difference has been a significant drop in the number of Syrian nationals arriving in Italy. (There were about 12,000 during the same period in 2014.) Syrians are now primarily using the Eastern Mediterranean route through Turkey and Greece. An estimated 22,582 Syrian nationals reached Greece between January and May 2015”.

Resuming on the Italian istance, Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome, confirmed that immigration is an European issue: “Italy is affected by mixed migration flows, which require different operational responses. The country is experiencing the arrival of not only a significant number of asylum-seekers, but also a large proportion of job-seeking migrants. Irrespective of nationality, both types must be individually screened to determine their status. The boats transporting men, women, and children attempting to reach Europe also often carry vulnerable people, such as victims of trafficking and violence, unaccompanied children, and pregnant women”, he ended.
Giacomo Pratali


Southern Asian countries will help Rohingya

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en di

Southern Asian countries will donate a fund for the several Rohingya arrived in Indonesia, Malesia and Thailand in the recent months. So they receive Un’s requests. More than 4600 boats have tried to reach these countries since May: at least double than 2014.

ALast May, Indonesia and Malesia announced to give a temporary asylum to about 7000 migrants who arrived to their coasts. But the emergency has not stopped yet. And this is an humanitarian emergency which concerns thousand of women and children.

As reported by United Nations, the elements about this geopolitical context are awful, even if the International Press is focusing only about immigration in Mediterranean Sea: “Such perilous journeys, whether by land, sea, or air, have become a global phenomenon”, said António Guterres, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, Peter Sutherland and William Lacy Swing, Un Higher Commissioner for Refugee said.

Again: “88,000 migrants had tried to migrate by boat in Southeast Asia since 2014. “Nearly 1,000 are believed to have perished at sea due to the precarious conditions of the voyage, and an equal number because of mistreatment and privation at the hands of traffickers and abusive smugglers”, they underlined.

Rohingya are detached in two parts. Majority, the Muslim faction, who is persecuted by the Buddist Myanmar. The other part are Bangladeshi who run away from poverty. Now more of them live in refugee camps in Indonesia, Malesia and Thailand, after a long journey from Rakhine (North Myanmar) to the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.

Through a creation of a humanitarian fund, United Nations hope to decrease all crime against Rohingyas: “Women are raped. Children are separated from their families and abused. Men are beaten and thrown overboard, We are deeply concerned at reports that boats full of vulnerable women, men and children are unable to land and are stranded at sea without access to urgently needed food, water, and medical assistance”, Un statement reported.
Giacomo Pratali


Immigration: 2,900 people rescued

BreakingNews @en/Europe di

About 2900 people saved in 21 procedures in Mediterranean Sea. These are the numbers of missions organized by the Italian Coast Guard and Minister of Transport.
To intervene, as part of the Triton, assisted by the European Union, CP906 ship courses and two class 300 patrol boats of the Coast Guard, and a Spanish military ship. Also engaged in rescue ship Euro Italian Navy, a unit of the Guardia di Finanza, an English Irish militaries, and the Moas ship Phoenix, now indispensable for the Italian authorities in many rescues conducted since April.

6000 landings during last weekend, homeless shelters are collapsing

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About 6,000 migrants are rescued in the Mediterranean and arrived in Sicily in the first weekend of June. Thanks to satellite calls from dinghies, the italian Coast Guard was able to coordinate the many relief efforts. While Frontex, which made use of military boats of different European nationalities, run very well. Just as important were the aid provided by NGOs, such as MSF or Moas, which has rescued more than 2000 people.

Whereas the British newspaper The Guardian claims that at least 500,000 migrants will land on Italian shores by the end of 2015, despite the Italian and European authorities try to stop any alarmism, situation is dramatic.

Palermo and Trapani have received 860 and 548 people each one. These numbers are set to rise in the coming hours. If the rescue at sea have worked through cooperation at the European level of military vessels in the Mediterranean, mainly British, Irish, German and Swedish, places such as Caritas or shelters seem close to collapse.

“In Palermo there is no enough capable bridge structure. We are in an emergency especially in view of the number of people ready to leave Libya. It will be a summer of fire. We put the volunteers in the field and do not pull back,” he reported in La Repubblica Don Sergio Mattaliano, Director of Caritas of Palermo.

40 % of migrants, Syrians, Sudaneses and Eritreans, after initial reception, seeking money to leave for big cities like Rome, Milan, Turin or Bologna. Like in Greece, many of them have to plan to reach Germany, Sweden and Norway. Others, including a large part of minors, remain inside the shelters, only to be routed to other centers located throughout Italy.

Moas has also involved. It haven’t never rescued so many migrants like in these two last days: “This was the single largest back-to-back operation in which M.Y. Phoenix was involved. Within minutes of locating one overcrowded vessel, we spotted another and then another. This kept happening until we found ourselves involved in the rescue of five boats carrying more than 2,000 migrants (6400 since last August) between them”, Ret’d Lt Col. Ian Ruggier who was coordinating efforts on board M.Y. Phoenix said.

“Since proving our capabilities, we have received a huge amount of support from people all over the world who have refused to sit back and watch desperate people drown. Now, our effort also seems to have inspired a number of other organisations to offer their own vessels to the cause. This is a great example of civil society responding to a global problem. We are incredibly proud of what we’re witnessing”, MOAS founder Christopher Catrambone said.
Giacomo Pratali


Moas, Xuereb: “Immigration in Mediterrean sea is an International issue that requires a Global solution”

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Immigration has become an International issue. The European Union and Onu try to find a solution to this emergency because Italy and Malta can’t be left alone. To talk about these questions, European Affairs has interviewed Martin Xuereb, Director of Migrants Offshore Aid Station (Moas).

When and why was Moas founded?

“Moas was setup in 2014 in Malta. The idea came to Regina and Christopher Catambrone after that 400 migrants drowned close to Lampedusa during the summer of 2013. After the visit of the Pope in Lampedusa, again in 2013, when he made an appeal to help these people in any possible way, Regina and Christopher had the spark. They started thinking about an organization to save lives in Mediterranean context because none deserves to die out at sea. I became involved in February of 2015, when they proposed this project to me to help, aid and save migrants’ lives”. We are a private entity and we depend on the donations people make. We hope that our message, that life is precious no matter who the person is, ispires others to donate.


What’s yours working activity?

“We started this project last year. We went out at sea where after a 16-day operation we saved 3000 people. We came back in September and October. At the end of October, we started thinking about an operation in 2015. Now, one thing that is very different from 2014, it’s our partnership with Msf. They have taken over and provided host rescue assistance. Moas has a 40 metre boat (Phoenix). Again, it’s two Remote Piloted Aircraft and two RHIBs (rigid-hulled inflatable boats) that can react and fly if there is higher requirement of information: they are coordinated by the Rescue Coordination Center. Then, we have two dinghies that can be deployed if there is a boat out at sea that needs assistance. The choice to take migrants on board is taken in coordination with the Rescue Coordination Centre. When migrants are on boats, Msf, with their doctors , nurses and logistics thing will take over to provide them with medical care and to feed them”.


How are competences learned during humanitarian rescues on the high seas important?

“Searching rescue is very challenging. You need capability, knowledge and attitude to most risk. Obviously, you need to work for the love of it, but more importantly you need to be able to do professionally rescues because we are dealing with people’s lives”.
What were results in the last year?

“3000 people were saved in 60 days of operation in 2014. In 2015, starting from May 2nd, we have rescued 1,441people, from unseaworthy boats in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. MOAS carried out six separate rescue missions, providing shelter and lifejackets to 106 children, 211 women and 1,124 men on board the 40-metre (130 ft.) vessel M.Y. Phoenix”.


What institutions and entities you are collaborating with?

“First of all is Rome’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre. Then, we are receiving the support of the Rescue Coordination Centre in Malta. They have the responsibility to coordinate rescue missions and we are happy to receive tasks from them. Their relationship is very positive. They’re very much aware of our capability, of the fact that we do not only have boats out at sea, but we also have drones and clinic on board. While like every other boat out there, we have legal obligation to assist boats in distress: we have made it our mission. The difference between us and merchant ships is that our mission is that of saving lives.
After European Council tripled Triton’s funding, have immigration became an European issue?

“I think that this is an International issue that requires a Global solution. We are saying that Europe should not be weak. We would want to see a wider perspective. I need to say this because everyone needs to be aware that most of the rescues are being conducted in International waters. Why should Italy take responsability by itself when rescues are conducted in International waters? Rescue missions should be coordinated by someone else. We think that people should come to the rescue: not only states, but also private companies and entities. As Moas, in conjunction with Msf, we want to bring on the table a new modus operandi”.
Giacomo Pratali


Moas: more than 1400 migrants saved since beginning of May

BreakingNews @en di

The search and rescue charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) helped rescue 1,441 people in just 12 days in back-to-back sea rescues from unseaworthy boats in the central Mediterranean Sea.
After starting its season on May 2, MOAS carried out six separate rescues, providing shelter and lifejackets to 106 children, 211 women and 1,124 men on board the 40-metre (130 ft.) vessel M.Y. Phoenix. Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) provided post-rescue assistance including medical care.

The vessel was expected to return to its home base in Malta for restocking earlier on Thursday, May 14th, however the crew decided to continue at sea as it detected an aging wooden boat with 561 people on board, including 60 children. Hundreds of people, mostly from Eritrea, were at risk of suffocation crammed down below the deck of the 18-metre (59 ft.) wooden boat.

Speaking about the latest rescue, MOAS founder and crew member Christopher Catrambone said: “Our search and rescue crew has never seen anything like it. People just kept coming up from the hold in an endless stream of humanity.”

“Some of them have told us terrible stories of persecution and escape. These people have no freedom. They have nothing,” Catrambone said, adding that rescued migrants reported poor conditions and treatment from their time spent in Libya.

As part of the operation, M.Y. Phoenix cooperated fully with Rome’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre and other vessels in the area, transferring a number of migrants to merchant vessels and in one case also to the British warship MHS Bulwark. In this case, M.Y. Phoenix transferred 188 people with 15 different nationalities who were rescued earlier from two separate dinghies.

M.Y. Phoenix is currently on its way to Messina (Italy) to disembark 407 people who are currently receiving medical attention.

The MSF team onboard reports that the health status of people is generally good due to being rescued early in their journey. This year, the M.Y. Phoenix is operating close to Libyan coast and flying two Schiebel Camcopter S-100 drones inside Libyan airspace, allowing MOAS to locate and rescue people sooner.

The largest rescue ever carried out by M.Y. Phoenix came just one day after the European Commission presented the European Agenda on Migration with new proposals to address the migration crisis in the Mediterranean.

Solutions include the shared responsibility for asylum seekers across all member states and preventing deaths at sea.

Close to 3,600 migrants were rescued from overcrowded boats sailing from Africa to Europe over the past 48 hours, Italian officials said Thursday. Relatively calm sea conditions typically encourage more crossings.

Mohamed, a 23-year-old from Somalia, shared his harrowing tale: “On the boat it was very difficult. There is no space and no captain that knows how to drive the boat. People get really scared, especially when the waves are big. We are not even sure of the direction we need to take. The smugglers point in a direction and tell us to keep going that way.”

In 2015 alone, 1,826 migrants are thought to have died while crossing the Mediterranean already so far this year. However, the statistics are unreliable as many of those who made the attempt have vanished, according to new research released by VU University Amsterdam early this week.

The surge in migrants crossing the Mediterranean has prompted the EU Security Council to draft a resolution that would grant European countries to use military force to seize suspected smuggling ships on the high seas or in Libya’s territorial waters. The resolution will be discussed during the EU ministers’ talks on Monday, May 18.


Immigration: waiting for Un Security Council

Defence/Europe di

A new military plan seems in Mediterranean context after Eu choice to triple Triton funding.

United Nations will call a straordinary Security Council on 18th May, following 1500 migrants died since the beginning of 2015 in the last two months. After the latest European Council, wherein “Triton” are been tripled, Eu is waiting for this assembly to enact a military action against pontoom coming from Libya. Summit will be opened by Federica Mogherini, Eu High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Meanwhile, the number of landings is increasing day by day. Italy and Malta have received 300 and 98 migrants in the last two days. Moreover, Catania Public Prosecutor’s Office is inquiring into supposed shipwreck of 40 people, reported by some witness on board ship and Save The Children, happened on the night of Tuesday 5 May 2015.

Giacomo Pratali


Migrants: Renzi-Ban Ki Moon summit

Defence/Europe/Policy di

The Italian prime minister leaned on the UN Secretary General for international police operation against the boats from Libya.

“Stopping human traffickers in order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe is an absolute priority, and we count on UN support for this”, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said during the summit with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon EU High Foreign Representative Federica Mogherini. They met on board the San Giusto in Sicily Channel because “I want to physically show him what Italy is doing”, Renzi reiterated.

Migrants slaughter and many landings planned in the coming months made this meeting necessary. After more funding to Triton operation, set last Thursday by the European Council, Italian premier, supported by France, Great Britain and Spain, wishes for an “international police operation” aimed at destroying vessels.

Ban Ki Moon told about an “humanitarian emergency which entire International Community have to answer defending the asylum right. While regarding to Lybian context, Un Secretary General said that “there are no alternatives to dialogue on Libya. Special UN representative Bernardino Leon and his team are following to work with the Libyan sides involved to help them reach together a compromise”, he ended.
Giacomo Pratali


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