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Migrant boat sinks off Tunisia, 83 drown

An African migrant who a government source said was rescued after the boat he was traveling in capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Tunisian coast, sits inside a local Red Crescent chapter in Zarzis, Tunisia, July 4, 2019

An African migrant who a government source said was rescued after the boat he was traveling in capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Tunisian coast, sits inside a local Red Crescent chapter in Zarzis, Tunisia, July 4, 2019

Eighty-three African migrants drowned and three survived when their boat sank two days ago off the Tunisian coast, the Coast Guard says.

The vessel went down in the Mediterranean two days ago, just hours after launching from the Libyan town of Zuwara. Fishermen saw four people clinging to pieces of wood and alerted Tunisian authorities. One of the four survivors later died at a hospital. The Red Cross says the boat was carrying too many people.

One of the survivors says the boat started filling with water while the migrants could still see lights on the shore. An urgent telephone call for help went unheeded because the caller was unable to tell Libyan rescuers the exact location of the boat. 

The survivor says he and the three others were in the water for two days before the fishermen found them. The sinking came on the same day an airstrike hit a migrant detention center outside Tripoli, killing 44. Libyan officials strongly deny a U.N. report that guards fired at the migrants when they tried to escape. 

The United Nations and human rights groups have decried treatment of mainly African migrants who try to escape poverty and violence by fleeing to Europe from Libyan shores.

Many picked up at sea are taken back to Libya and held in poor conditions in detention centers. Private rescue boats operated by charities have found themselves unwelcome in key European ports.

Comments

0 #1 Akot 2019-07-05 21:36
Africans risking lives to reach Europe say; "it's better dying trying, than remain in our countries with no hope, no future"!

Those -18 are considered children in Europe but not so in Africa where at 14, they are considered adults & have to take care/raise brothers/sisters, girls who have no chance to education marry/have babies at that age!

Most of those trying to reach Europe are from polygamy families with many kids & when 1 dies on the way out, another is sent to give hope to families!

Africans will keep on coming or sending -18 year olds, mothers from polygamy homes will risk to give kids better life!

Unless Europeans/Americans wake up to reality to situation in Africa..., they won't see an end to migration that has already turned their politics & societies up side down!
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0 #2 kabayekka 2019-07-06 01:19
It is unfortunate that the African Union is looking the other way over this problem in Libya and its vast African coast.

These are young African people who are determined to immigrate to Europe from Africa.

The AU must sit down and make out a fund to encourage the young to stay put in their countries as international refugees.

If their countries continue to mess up their human rights, the AU should mark them and temporary station them in near by other African countries with temporary visa.

They must not loose their lives unnecessary. African airways can be organized to provide them with transport on the African continent to live in safe countries until such a time that their countries become more civilized.
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