One year ago, just a few days after more than 300 people drowned off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy launched the Mare Nostrum operation to ensure search and rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean. Since then, Mare Nostrum has saved around 150,000 people.
“Everyone was horrified at the loss of lives off Lampedusa one year ago. Italy did something about it. Now this life-saving Mare Nostrum operation is at stake. Refugees, many fleeing war in Syria and oppression in Eritrea, cannot stay in lawless Libya and it is not possible for them to reach a safe place legally and safely. If Mare Nostrum ends without being replaced by a well-resourced operation whose priority is to save lives, more people will die in their attempt to reach our shores. A European effort is urgently needed, if the EU is really serious about putting an end to the deaths in the Mediterranean,” said ECRE’s Secretary General Michael Diedring.
Read the full article online via the ECRE website here: ECRE and UNHCR Concerned over the ending of Mare Nostrum without European rescue initiative to replace it.
Further news and social media coverage of this story are available via the following links:
The Independent – UK axes support for Mediterranean migrant rescue operation
Amnesty International – Is there ever a justification for leaving people to drown in the Med?
The Independent – European governments must come to the rescue of asylum-seekers