GENEVA, 24 April 2021 – The UN has accused states of doing nothing to save 130 people who died when their dinghy foundered off the Libyan coast.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday said authorities in Italy, Malta and Libya failed to offer help or organize a search and rescue operation despite their responsibility under international law to act to save lives.
Activists working to improve security and safety for migrants say Italian authorities declained to interviene, saying it was the responsibility of the Libyan coastguard.
According to the daming accounts, Italy said the weather was too bad for their coastguard to mount a search.
Libyan coastguard officials said they searched for the boat but could not find it, blaming limited resources, according to the Associated Press.
Ocean Viking, a ship operated by the charity SOS Mediterranee, finally found the wrecked dinghy, but too late to save any of the 130 migrants who perished in the tragic Mediterranean crossing.
ten bodies were found near the wreck of the capsized rubber boat.
No survivors were found and everyone of the 130 migrants on board are presumed to have drowned.
The UN migraaton agency (IOM) said the 130 migrants killed n this latest tragic incident add to the 350 people who have drowned in the sea so far in 2021.
IOM describes the death of the 130 as the largest loss of life in the central Mediterranean since the beginning of 2021.
“These are the human consequences of policies which fail to uphold international law and the most basic of humanitarian imperatives,” tweeted Eugenio Ambrosi, chief of staff of the International Organization for Migration.