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City of Banjul
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Gambians among 800 migrants rescued in Mediterranean Sea

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He told The Standard in an exclusive interview yesterday: “We were rescued in rough seas by the Italian navy at around 11pm on Thursday but I cannot tell you the number of Gambians. All I can tell you is that many Gambians have been rescued together with other nationals and what I heard in the news here is that we are close to 800 people. Libya is a hard country but thank God we were able to make it to Italy. It is a journey that still remains untold because people go through very difficult and different experiences. I want Gambians back home to pray for us.”

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Meanwhile, the Italian coastguard said on Saturday that it rescued at least 520 people from five boats in Libyan waters late on Thursday, in response to distress signals from the boats headed towards Sicily. An additional 171 people were also rescued during the overnight mission in the waters north of Tripoli. The Italian navy’s response comes a day after Libya’s navy also announced it rescued 105 migrants from a boat that broke down off the coast of Garabulli, 50km east of the capital. This brings the total number of reported rescues over the weekend to 796 people. There were no details on their nationalities. According to statistics, almost 8,000 people arrived on European shores in the first six months of 2013, and 35,000 in the second half of the year. This year, at least 65,000 people took the risk in the first half of the year, and more than 150,000 people have landed since. The migrants making the perilous journey usually hail from poor or conflict-ridden countries in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

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