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Massacre of children in the deadliest sea tragedy ever. European shame

Hundred. A horrific number resonates among the figures emerging from the account of yet another sea tragedy, this time off the coast of Greece. There were indeed many children on board the fishing boat that sank yesterday in the Aegean Sea, according to survivors of one of the worst European disasters resulting from EU migration policies and the criminalization of non-governmental organizations involved in sea rescue operations.

Hundreds of people have disappeared in the waves – at least 600 deaths are feared – when the large vessel capsized. According to testimonies collected by Greek authorities, the migrants numbered between 700 and 750.

So far, 83 bodies have been recovered.

Meanwhile, an aerial photograph contradicts the reconstruction provided by the Greeks, who claim that the potential shipwreck survivors did not intend to be helped. The photo, instead, demonstrates that the migrants, many with their arms raised, were requesting help for hours: there were already six deaths from thirst on board, including two children.

But the data provided by Save the Children remains, which has spread the news of the possible presence of 100 small victims in the hold of the boat, the most devastating. Never before has such a serious massacre of children been recorded in the numerous journeys of hope that have ended in tragedies.

In general, yesterday’s shipwreck is the deadliest incident off the European coasts since the peak of the migration crisis in 2015.

“It is one of the largest rescue and relief operations ever in the Mediterranean,” said Nikos Alexiou, spokesperson for the Greek Coast Guard, to the state broadcaster ERT TV, strongly asserting that “Greek patrol boats will not stop searching for survivors.”

“We fear that the children on board did not survive; we have never witnessed such horror,” said the statement of condemnation from UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children.

And so, the intense blue of the Aegean Sea, like that of the Mediterranean, is increasingly tinged with red, stained by the blood of the many victims of shipwrecks for which people continue to turn a blind eye out of convenience, selfishness, or simply cultural and political laziness.

And it can only get worse.

That is why Focus on Africa Magazine will continue to report all the news about this and the inevitable new tragedies that will unfold due to the lack of willingness to rescue, as denounced by the opposed NGOs that try to save lives at sea. Despite everything.

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