More refugees arrive in Italy's Lampedusa; Pope Francis asks world to think 'as a human family'

The refugees and migrants reportedly come from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Published: 09th March 2023 05:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2023 05:53 PM   |  A+A-

Relatives cry on the coffin of one of the victims of February 26, 2023 shipwreck at the local sports hall in Crotone, southern Italy, Wednesday, March 1, 2023. (Photo | AP)

By Online Desk

ROME: Some 885 refugees and migrants arrived on the southern Sicilian island of Lampedusa on Thursday, including numerous children and women, a report said.

The new arrivals took to over 1,300 the number of disembarkations on the tiny Mediterranean island in 24 hours, following the disembarkation of 470 people on Wednesday after being intercepted by the Italian authorities and accompanied to port, ANSA news agency reported.

According to the report, the arrivals all reportedly set sail from the Tunisian coastal town of Sfax. The disembarked refugees and migrants have been transferred to the island hotspot in Contrada Imbriacola ANSA report said.

The refugees and migrants reportedly come from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Of the arrivals, 20 had been rescued by the Coast Guard following a shipwreck in the Italian search and rescue (SAR) zone off Lampedusa. Rescuers also recovered the body of a young woman. 

Late last month, at least 70 migrants, including children, died after their boat sank in rough seas off southern Italy. The vessel broke apart while trying to land near Crotone on Sunday. Migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Iran were on board.

Countries should think 'as a human family': Pope Francis

Migrants are among the population groups deserving special attention, Pope Francis said on Thursday.

According to ANSA news agency, while meeting the participants in the conference of the ‘Cathedral of Hospitality’, Pope Francis repeatedly stressed the theme of hospitality, inviting them to “continue your formation journey, in order to be able to live the welcome and promote a culture of welcome”

Francis quoted several passages from his encyclical ‘Fratelli Tutti’ explaining that “in order to be able to operate, to be able to generate hospitality, one must also think about hospitality”. 

“Welcome – one of the quotations from the Encyclical – is an expression of love, of that dynamism of openness which drives us to pay attention to the other, to seek the best for his life”.

ALSO READ | Italy migrant shipwreck: How it happened, and unanswered questions

In another passage, according to ANSA, from ‘Fratelli Tutti’, the Pope renews his appeal to the countries of the world to think “as a human family” and not individually.

“Closed nationalisms – recalls Pope Francis – ultimately manifest this incapacity for gratuitousness, the erroneous persuasion of being able to develop on the sidelines of the ruin of others and that by closing themselves off to others they will be more protected. The immigrant is seen as a usurper who offers nothing. Thus, we naively think that the poor are dangerous or useless and that the powerful are generous benefactors. Only a social and political culture that includes free hospitality can have a future”. 

India Matters


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