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11 Nov 2013 description

JOHANNESBURG, 11 November 2013 (IRIN) - The shipwreck that claimed the lives of more than 350 mainly Eritrean asylum seekers off the Italian island of Lampedusa last month has focused Europe’s obsession with irregular migration on the area of the Mediterranean separating southern Italy and Malta from North Africa. But this treacherous stretch of sea represents only the final leg of a lengthy journey filled with hazards.

18 Oct 2013 description

JOHANNESBURG, 18 October 2013 (IRIN) - Migrants have been losing their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean on unseaworthy, overcrowded vessels for years, but until two weeks ago, their deaths rarely generated headlines. The sheer scale of the tragedy that occurred off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa on 3 October, however, was hard to ignore.

08 Aug 2013 description

The Maltese authorities must urgently allow a boat carrying 102 sub-Saharan Africans to disembark those on board, Amnesty International said.

The private vessel 'MV Salamis', which rescued the group stranded at sea and reportedly includes pregnant women, one injured woman and a five-month-old baby among its passengers, was stopped by the Maltese navy before it entered Maltese territorial waters last night. The group is currently stranded off the Maltese coast.

11 Jul 2013 description
report Voice of America

Henry Ridgwell
July 10, 2013

LONDON — Malta has been forced to cancel the forced return of dozens of Somali migrants to Libya, after an emergency ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. The EU has criticized the attempted repatriation, but Malta has accused its European partners of a lack of solidarity. It comes after the Pope visited an Italian island earlier this week that's received thousands of migrants.

05 Jul 2013 description

ROME, Italy, July 5 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency said on Friday that an estimated 8,400 migrants and asylum-seekers landed on the coasts of Italy and Malta in the first six months of this year. The majority arrived in Italy (7,800), while Malta received around 600 migrants and asylum-seekers.

"Those making this journey mostly departed from North Africa, principally Libya – around 6,700 people. The remaining 1,700 crossed from Greece and Turkey, landing in southern Italy's Apulia and Calabria regions," a UNHCR spokesman said.