Another batch of Nigerians just died while crossing the sea to Italy
As you read this, another set of Nigerians just lost their lives while crossing to Italy illegally through the Mediterranean sea.
When an Italian navy ship docked in the northern port city of Genoa on Sunday, June 2, 2019, it had 100 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea, in its bowels. Most of them were Nigerians.
Some of these Nigerians didn’t make it from the Mediterranean alive.
Among the migrants were 23 minors and 17 women–a few of whom were pregnant– Italian news agency, ANSA, reports.
AFP reports that the migrants were rescued on Thursday from a smaller boat in distress off Libya’s coast.
The migrants who arrived in Genoa were from Libya, Cameroon, Somalia, the Ivory Coast, Mali, and Nigeria, according to ANSA.
Dying at sea
Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, says the migrants would be transferred to five other European Union nations and camped by the Vatican.
Since taking office last year, Salvini has vowed to stop migrants from arriving Italy, AFP reports.
Mr. Paolo Cremonesi who is the director of emergency services at the Galliera hospital, says the migrants told stories of suffering while they were at sea for two days and that people on the dinghy with them died.
Nigerians have been making the dangerous trip to Italy through Libya and the Mediterranean, for years.
A short history of Nigerians fleeing through Libya
In November of 2017, Italy held a mass funeral for 26 Nigerian women who drowned while crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
“It is very likely that these girls were victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation”, Director of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Federico Soda, said at the time.
Some reports say the girls were sexually molested before being hurled into sea to drift ashore.
According to the IOM, more than 160,000 economic migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2017 through the Mediterranean.
Of this number, the IOM says, 3,000 passed away.
345, 544 migrants arrived Europe through the same dangerous route in 2016, according to the IOM.
Every year, Africa loses a chunk of its population fleeing its shores for greener pastures abroad.
More than 70 percent of these migrants are Nigerians.
The federal government of Nigeria has been bringing back plane loads of Nigerians from Libya since 2017.