There have been reports in recent days from the UNHCR and others about at least two boats that are believed to have left Libya over the past 10-14 days carrying persons from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and possible other countries. Family members and friends of people who are believed to be on the boats have been calling for assistance in searching for the boats. Reuters reported that “[o]ne of the boats was reported to have left Libya on March 22 with 335 people on board. Italian media said 68 people on the other boat had almost certainly died during the journey, although there was no official confirmation. The top Vatican official in Tripoli, Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, said 10 bodies of African migrants were at the capital’s morgue on [4 April]. … He said there were reports of ‘many more bodies’ of migrants washed up on the shores of Garaboulli, some 40 km from Tripoli.” Father Mussie Zerai, who is based in Rome, “said he had last spoken to migrants on board the smaller boat, an inflatable, by satellite phone on 26 March before the line went dead. ‘I have meanwhile had no contact with the larger boat, but family members of those on board have called us from Canada, Sweden and Switzerland to tell us they left.’”
There have been confirmed deaths among migrants who have left Tunisia in recent weeks. At least 27 bodies had been recovered as of last week in Kerkennah. The dead were probably on board boats that sank on the 13th and 27th of March off the Tunisian coast.
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UPDATE: If you have information about a family member or friend who may be on a boat or if you are seeking information, please consider contacting the Agenzia Habeshia per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo in Italy at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .