Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Kerry, Ban announce 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

Italian navy rescues stranded immigrants

Latest update : 2008-08-11

The Italian navy has picked up 191 African immigrants stranded in the Mediterranean without food or water. One mayor says Italian sailors are becoming "taxi drivers" for traffickers.


A total of 191 African immigrants were rescued overnight by the Italian navy after drifting for three days some 60 nautical miles off the Libyan coast, without water or fuel.

UNHCR spokeswoman Laura Boldrini told FRANCE 24 on Thursday that most of the people stranded on the inflatable boat had come from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan, and were probably trying to reach Italy to request political asylum.

"I have just been told that a patrol boat from the Italian Navy is on its way to rescue them," said Boldrini. "That's excellent news because had the Libyan authorities tried to send a rescue team, it would probably have created panic on board with the risk of capsizing."
 
Despite recent efforts by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government to step up its fight against illegal immigration, there has been a sharp increase in the numbers of immigrants trying to enter Italy by sea in the last few days, partly due to favorable weather conditions. 

According to Italian customs officials, some 12,500 illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, have landed since the start of the year in Lampedusa, Italy’s most Southern island.

This massive number of arrivals has created a controversy about the role of the Italian navy in the rescuing of immigrant boats sent out in the Mediterranean Sea by traffickers.

"The security forces are becoming taxi drivers for criminal organizations," said Lampedusa’s mayor, Bernardino De Rubeis, on Tuesday.

 

Date created : 2008-08-08

COMMENT(S)