Europe will deal with dictators to avoid migrant deaths

(AGI) Palermo, March 4 - Ten immigrants have died in anothershipwreck in the Strait of Sicily. The Italian Coast Guard hasrescued 941 people

Europe will deal with dictators to avoid migrant deaths
(AGI) Palermo, March 4 - Ten immigrants have died in anothershipwreck in the Strait of Sicily. The Italian Coast Guard hasrescued 941 people during the last 24 hours in operationscoordinated by the Rome-based National Rescue Centre. The groupof immigrants, which includes 30 children and over 50 women, isnow being transported to Sicily. They say they come from Syria,Palestine, Tunisia, Libya and Sub-Saharan Africa. One pregnantwoman in need of urgent medical attention was taken on a CoastGuard cutter to the Island of Lampedusa. The bodies of the 10victims were recovered by the crew of the Coast Guard's"Dattilo" CP940 cruiser after receiving a report from the OOCCougar tug-boat in service at the Libyan offshore oilplatforms. A rubber dinghy capsized 50 miles north of theLibyan coastline. 121 survivors were rescued and put aboard theDattilo together with the 10 dead and 318 immigrants picked upin a previous operation. The Dattilo is sailing towards theport of Augusta (Syracuse). In a different rescue operation, acargo vessel rescued 183 people while the Coast Guard's"Fiorillo" CP904 cutter picked up 319 more. The Coast Guardrequested the deployment of a Navy vessel participating in theEU's Triton operation. The rescue efforts involved fivedinghies and 2 boats. The Fiorillo patrol boat, carrying 314immigrants, is heading to Porto Empedocle (Agrigento). Thegroup includes 30 minors and 50 women, several of whom arepregnant although, unlike the one taken to land for urgentmedical attention, these are apparently in good medicalcondition. The European Union, in order to uproot the problemof illegal emigration, will have to cooperate with thecountries from which the migrants flow, even if they aredictatorships, said Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner forInternal Affairs and Immigration Policies. "The fact that wecooperate with dictatorial regimes in the framework of theKhartoum and Rabat process (EU agreements with Africancountries) does not legalise them. We do not give themlegitimacy, democratic or political. But we have to cooperatein the field where we have decided to combat smuggling andtrafficking of human beings; we cannot ignore that in some ofthose countries lie the very roots of the problem. We mustengage them and make them shoulder their responsibilities but,I repeat, without thereby legitimising the regimes", said MrAvramopoulos. (AGI).