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Pope Francis prays for shipwreck victims, calls for diplomatic intervention against migrants death at sea

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Pope Francis has urged the international community to find diplomatic and political solutions to prevent the loss of lives of migrants at sea.

The pope who expressed his sadness on Sunday over the 41 migrants who drowned recently when their boat capsized off the coast of Italy, said that they are among the nearly 2,000 people who have died this year in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe from North Africa.

According to the Vatican News, the Catholic Pope described these tragedies as an “open wound of humanity.”

The migrants had departed from Sfax in Tunisia, but their boat sank after a few hours before they could reach Lampedusa island.

The recent drowning of the 41 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea shows the terrible price that many people pay for irregular migration.

The survivors who were rescued by a cargo ship and taken to Lampedusa island in Italy said they had left Sfax, a key point in the migration crisis, on a metal boat with 45 people, hoping to reach Europe.

But a huge wave flipped their boat over after six hours of sailing and they had to hold on to inner tubes and an empty boat nearby.

A monitoring aircraft saw them and told the nearest merchant vessel to help them.

This is one of many accidents that have happened in the central Mediterranean this year, the busiest and most dangerous migration route in the world.

The International Organization of Migration says that more than 1,800 people have died or disappeared while trying to cross the sea in 2023.

Many of them are escaping from poverty, violence, and persecution in their home countries, such as Guinea, Ivory Coast, Egypt, and Tunisia.

They often fall prey to smugglers who make them pay a lot of money for unsafe and crowded boats that are not ready for the rough seas and weather conditions.

The European Union and its member states have not been able to agree on a common and humane way to deal with the migration issue.

Some countries, such as Italy, have welcomed and hosted thousands of migrants and refugees who arrive on their coasts, but others have been unwilling or hostile to share the burden and offer protection.

The EU has also been working with countries where migrants come from or pass through, such as Tunisia, to stop irregular departures and fight smuggling networks.

But these efforts have not stopped or protected migrants who risk their lives for a chance of a better future.