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Ninety migrants are feared drowned after a boat capsized off the Libyan coast, says the UN’s migration agency.
“Ten bodies are reported to have washed up on Libyan shores,” the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement.
Three survivors said most of those who drowned were Pakistani nationals. An IOMspokesperson said Pakistanis were increasingly trying to make the perilous crossing to Italy.
Libya is a popular transit route for migrants trying to reach southern Europe by sea.
Many are packed into unseaworthy vessels by smugglers who then abandon them to their fate in the Mediterranean Sea.
“According to IOM records, some 29 Libyans were rescued or intercepted in all of 2017, but we estimate the true figure to be much higher,” said Olivia Headon, an IOM official.
In 2017, 3,138 Pakistani migrants arriving by sea to Italy from Libya, but IOM reports that the numbers this year are alarming with an estimated 240 reaching Italy in January, compared to just nine in January 2017.
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Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.
Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.
“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”
It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”
The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
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