SHAFAQNA – Pope Francis expressed sorrow over recent deaths of migrants from Africa in the Mediterranean Sea in Sunday’s Angelus among thousands of the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square, and appeal to the international community to act decisively and promptly so that similar tragedies might be avoided.
“We have received in recent weeks dramatic information on shipwrecks loaded with migrants in Mediterranean waters” declared Pope Francis. “I express my sorrow at such tragedies and assure the departed and loved ones of my thoughts and prayers” he added.
While Tripoli took responsibility for relief off the coast of Libya and the Italian and Maltese authorities severely restricted the possibilities for action by NGOs, June was the deadliest in recent years in this region zone: 564 victims identified by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), even if departures are in free fall.
“I urgently appeal to the international community to act decisively and quickly to to avoid such tragedies being repeated, and to guarantee security, the respect of the rights and the dignity of all “, insisted Francis.
Since his election as pope, he has repeatedly spoken of migrants according to his criteria “to welcome, accompany, promote, integrate”. On 21 June, during the press conference, on the plane that brought him back from Geneva, he recalled the duty of welcoming countries, while emphasizing the need for development in Africa and also underlining the virtue of “prudence” proper to governments. “A country must welcome as many refugees as it can, and it can integrate, that is to say educate and give work” had explained.
This week, the Italian bishops’ conference issued a harsh statement after a Spanish NGO found, on the remains of a canoe, a survivor and two corpses apparently forgotten by the guards Libyan Coast.
“We do not pretend to offer cheap solutions. But (…) we unequivocally warn that to save our humanity from vulgarity and barbarism, we must protect life. Every life. From the most exposed, humiliated and trampled “, can we read in this communique bishops, Naaju reported.