The Community of Sant'Egidio expresses its sorrow and its condolences to the families of those that lost their lives for the umpteenth massacre of the sea in the Strait of Sicily: 29 confirmed dead, but perhaps many more. In addition to who knows how many more, from the beginning of 2015, due to the impossibility to provide relief over the 30 miles from the Italian coast fixed by operation Triton.
Since Mare Nostrum was cancelled, which enabled our Navy to go to near the coast of North Africa to operate the rescue of those fleeing from many countries of the South of the world, the "journeys of hope" have certainly not stopped. Because of unscrupulous people traffickers, who must be blocked, the refugees equally continue to leave on miserable and very expensive small boats. Except that no one talks about it and no one can help them in time to save their lives: "Removing the relief does not stop the massacres: the effect is only that of hiding them for all to see. Now we realize those wretched boats only when they come close to our shores. But then, as was the case on Monday, is painfully too late".
Until 31 December, thanks to Mare Nostrum, which has shown to the world the generosity and expertise of the Italian Navy and all other forces that participated in the operation, thousands of human lives were saved at a cost that is sustainable for a country like Italy.
The Community of Sant'Egidio launches a strong appeal to the Italian and European authorities. If there is left a little pity, it is necessary to act immediately in two different directions:
- To stop the massacres restoring Mare Nostrum immediately, which offered the possibility of operating aid with military ships able to navigate even with the seaway and not with simple patrol boats.
- To immediately establish a European system to allow regular and controlled entries, for humanitarian reasons, with a much lower cost for the refugees (who come to spend thousands of euro) and, above all, trips that do not involve the risk of life.