World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


New Year tragedy: hundreds feared dead in Mediterranean

10 January 2018 – A little more than a week into the New Year, reports reveal that close to 200 migrants or refugees have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean Sea – with up to 100 unaccounted for since Saturday, the United Nations migration agency said Wednesday.

“It's very distressing that during the first 10 days of 2018 we have seen close to 800 migrants rescued or intercepted off the Libyan coast, with more lives lost at sea,” said Othman Belbeisi, Chief of the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Libya Mission.

“More has to be done to reduce irregular unsafe movements of people along the Central Mediterranean route,” he added.

By contrast, at a time when Mediterranean migrants' death dropped sharply, IOM recorded only 26 on the Mediterranean Sea lanes in December.

While January 2017 had witnessed some 254 deaths, this week's reports suggest that the start of 2018 may be even deadlier.

IOM reported on Tuesday that 81 Mediterranean Sea deaths of migrants or refugees were recorded in the first eight days of the year – five in Western Mediterranean waters off Spain and Morocco, the rest between Italy and Libya.

In the latest, and third deadliest, shipwreck in the Mediterranean since Saturday, the Libyan Coast Guard rescued three rubber boats with 279 migrants – 19 women, 243 men, 13 boys and four girls – in an operation lasting at least 12 hours.

According to survivors, and a press release by Libya's Coast Guard, about 100 people on board remained missing.

IOM was present at the disembarkation point in Tripoli and provided the survivors with food and water.

IOM's Christine Petré reported that the boats departed from the coastal towns of Azzawiyah and Al Khums – with most of the survivors hailing from African countries, including Senegal, Mali and Nigeria. The Libyan Cost Guard reported that eight are from Bangladesh while two are from Pakistan.

The UN migration agency continues to provide support and direct humanitarian assistance to the survivors of this latest tragedy, many of whom now are at Libya's Tajoura detention centre.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN Rights Office On Syria: The “Monstrous Annihilation” Of Eastern Ghouta

Since the Syrian Government and their allies escalated their offensive against opposition-held Eastern Ghouta on 4 February, there have been more than 1,200 civilian casualties, including at least 346 killed and 878 injured, mostly in airstrikes hitting residential areas... Ninety-two of these civilian deaths allegedly occurred in just one 13-hour period on Monday. More>>


Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>


Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>

80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC