Surge in Migrants Crossing Mediterranean


Migrants from Eritrea are seen on an overcrowded wooden vessel during a rescue operation by the Spanish NGO Proactiva, off the Libyan coast in Mediterranean Sea August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Giorgos MoutafisOperations to rescue north African migrants have increased in the past weeks.  Thousands of migrants have been rescued on small wooden boats, adrift in the Mediterranean Sea off the  coast of Libya.  In the case of a recent rescue covered by Reuters, more than 20 boats of migrants were pulled from the water.

These migrants have nothing to do with the war in Afghanistan or Syria, in fact, nearly all of those rescued are from Somalia.

The vacuum left by the ousting of longtime dictator of Libya, Moammar Gadhafi, has cause the country to sink into lawlessness.  A struggle for power among numerous militias and the Islamic State have made Libya an easy route to the Mediterranean for those trying to leave Africa.

The rescue efforts have been lead by mostly, non governmental organizations like Doctors without Borders.  In this recent spike of migrant rescues, the Italian Navy has assisted.


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