from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) – SOME 116 African refugees and migrants have finally been allowed to disembark in Italy after five days of being stranded in the Mediterranean Sea.
The individuals from Libya were rescued last Thursday but could not be allowed to disembark in any territory after a crackdown by European authorities on irregular migration.
On the day they were rescued, over a hundred people disappeared at sea off Libya in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean.
Charlie Yaxley, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), welcomed the landing.
“The passengers saved aboard the Gregoretti have been allowed to leave the ship,” he confirmed.
While he welcomed the landing permission, Yaxley said the initially uncertain fate of the rescued refugees and migrants was unnecessary.
“It is now important that states agree on a predictable approach in the future so that this situation does not happen again,” the envoy said.
Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Union (EU) Commissioner for Migration stated that in addition to Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal will host the men and women.
Last week, UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration) stressed to EU Member States to allow temporary and predictable landing of persons rescued at sea.
Hundreds die at sea each year in search on improved economic opportunities in Europe.
– CAJ News