Saturday, May 07, 2011

Camp of the Saints: From Libya With Love

Lampedusa refugees #18

Still more boatloads of refugees have arrived on Lampedusa from North Africa, on top of the 800+ that I reported last night.

Before trying to get a sense of the numbers involved, it’s important to note that most of the additional cultural enrichment has come to Lampedusa directly from Libya — that is, none of the new arrivals can be repatriated under Italy’s agreement with Tunisia. They all must be fed, clothed, and housed at the Italian taxpayer’s expense, and they are also more likely to be disruptive than Tunisians, since most of them have fled dysfunctional cultures in failed states south of the Sahara.

The latest report describes a single boatload of 700 enrichers headed for Lampedusa, and another 250 bound for Malta:

Boat Carrying 700 Immigrants Rescued in Channel of Sicily

(AGI) Palermo — A boat carrying about 700 immigrants was sighted in the Channel of Sicily, 35 miles off southern Lampedusa. It was announced by sources of the port authorities.

Three patrol boats of the Coast Guard, two vessels of the financial police and one helicopter were sent to its rescue. So far, no major risks have been reported. Another boat with 250 people on board, sighted 50 miles off the island this afternoon, is currently heading to Malta and is being monitored by a trawler.

Another report cites a craft with 250-300 migrants:

Fishing Boat Tows Migrant Vessel to Lampedusa Safety

(AGI) Lampedusa — The island of Lampedusa is being reached by yet another migrant boat. Total landings stand at 842 in 48 hours. According to coast guard sources, the 15-metre vessel, spotted 50 miles off the island by, is being helped to shore by a Mazara del Vallo fishing boat. Strong northerly winds are hindering tow operations but the boat is deemed safe. The boat is estimated as carrying 250-300 sub-Saharan migrants.

A third article recapitulates the 48-hour total of 842, noting that one boat held 187 refugees, and a second boat 655. All are described as sub-Saharans:

842 Land on Lampedusa

(AGI) Lampedusa — Maxi night landings on Lampedusa. Some 842 migrants arrived in two boats. The first carried 187 passengers, among whom there were 19 women and one child. The second vessel transported 655 non-UE migrants, including 82 women and 21 children. All of them are sub-Saharan natives who crossed from Libya. Another vessel, carrying about one hundred migrants, has been stopped in Tunisia national waters and returned to that country by Tunisian patrol boats.

Notice that Tunisia is allowed to stop the boats and force them to return, but the Italians are not.

An overloaded vessel containing 600 people failed to make it, sinking before it left Libyan coastal waters:

Migrant Vessel Sinks Off Tripoli Shores With 600 Onboard

(AGI) Roma — According to UNHCR a boat carrying 600 migrants sunk just off the coast of Tripoli owing to its excessive cargo. The news was reported by the UN agency’s Laura Boldrini.

“Unfortunately this confirms that the Libyan government has no problem putting its people at risk, on dangerous vessels, just to put pressure on destination countries. These people are just being sent to their deaths”, Boldrini says.

Notice that the UN is well aware that the tsunami of refugees results from a deliberate policy of the Libyan government. Muammar Khaddafi promised to revenge himself on the EU by opening the floodgates of black Africans, and he has done exactly that.

The Italian interior minister says that the only way to stop the enrichment is to end the war in Libya:
Maroni: War in Libya Must End or Migrants Will Keep Coming

(AGI) Cermenate — Italian Interior minister Roberto Maroni spoke straightforwardly about the immigration situation. “The war in Libya must end as soon as possible,” he said, calling for a solution, “otherwise refugees from that country will keep on coming to Italy on a daily basis”. He said so speaking on the sidelines of an event for the donation of assets seized from the ‘ndrangheta mod in Cermenate, in the province of Como.

Mr. Maroni is being optimistic. The end of the Libyan war is necessary, but not sufficient, to end the flow of refugees.

If the war were to end without deposing Col. Qadafi, the terms of the cease-fire would have to be generous enough to assuage the Colonel’s thirst for revenge and induce him to once again clamp down on the departure of migrants from the shores of Libya.

On the other hand, if the war were to end with the installation of the rebels in power, the EU would have to sweeten the pot sufficiently to persuade the new rulers not to allow all the malcontents and riff-raff to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.

The best way to ensure an end to the flow of migrants would be for the Italians to make it more painful (or even deadly) for them to set sail than it would be for them to stay in Libya. However, there is no sign that Italy will diverge from the EU’s asylum guidelines anytime in the near future.

So, for the time being, the cultural enrichment of Italy will continue.

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Drawing on the numbers given above, I calculate 700 + 250 + 187 + 655 = 1792 additional migrants since the last reported batch of numbers. Some of these figures may be duplicates from previous landings — given the different sources, it’s hard to determine whether all of these numbers were for new sightings.

However, it’s reasonable to assume that at least 1,000 more refugees were added to the total since the previous report. Meanwhile, the MSM is still sticking with the total figure of 25,000, which has been out of date for at least a month. I make it more like 32,000 or 33,000, with no more than about 2,000 having left Italy for any reason.

Something has to give, and soon.

Hat tip: C. Cantoni.