Friday, April 15, 2011

MIGRATION UPDATE - 6: AN ISLAND WITH A HEART

Image:  Wikimedia Commons

During the week in which Mr Berlusconi suggested that Italy leave the EU because of that organisation's failure to help in the North African migration crisis and even the Holy See weighed into the argument by criticising the EU, there has been yet another tragedy at sea and Italians, in their reaction to it, have shown themselves at their best.

At around dawn on Wednesday a fishing boat which had sailed from Libya with about 250 people on board was being guided into Pantelleria harbour by the Italian Coast Guard.  Suddenly the scafista or people trafficker who was steering the boat made an abrupt turn - presumably to avoid being taken in for questioning himself - and hit a rock.  At that point many of the migrants on board panicked and jumped into the sea.  Two women drowned  and a third person is still missing.  The Italian military battled for hours in rough seas and saved over 100 people, including six children.

Now one of the migrants, Kamil Fuamba, who is of Congolese origin, is in hospital on Pantelleria with his five children at his bedside.  Mr Fuamba's wife was one of the women who drowned and, as she is to be buried on the island, he has asked to be allowed to remain there with his family so that they can all always be near her.  The Mayor of Pantelleria, Alberto Di Marzo, has granted this request.  He has already allocated the family a home and has promised to find Mr Fuamba a job as a house painter, the work he did in his own country.  Meanwhile the kind inhabitants of Pantelleria have taken toys, clothes and other gifts to the children who are in hospital.

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said yesterday that the migration emergency is over but the ensuing humanitarian crisis remains to be resolved.

5 comments:

Claude said...

What a moving story! Such a sad tragedy...yet, it's so uplifting to hear of the generous compassion of the Island people and their mayor. May God bless them all. They are all in my heart and prayers. Merci pour nous tenir au courant, Pat!

The Addicted Baker said...

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rosaria said...

Oh this one pulls at our heartstrings.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Tears in my eyes :(

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Claude, Rosaria and LindyLouMac. Yes, I cried when I became aware of this story. Hi, Addicted Baker. That is very kind of you. Thank you.

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