Senate to investigate death of Nigerians at Mediterranean

Senate to investigate death of Nigerians at Mediterranean

RARDUJA | Media10th November, 2017

The Nigerian Senate has resolved to investigate the circumstances, which led to the deaths of 26 Nigerian Women at the Mediterranean sea.

The women, some as young as 14 are also suspected to have been sexually abused and murdered before their bodies were brought to the southern Italian port of Salerno by the Spanish ship Cantabria.

Italian authorities are investigating the deaths and have already charged two men, one of them an Egyptian and the other a Libyan.

Nigeria has also asked the United Nations to begin an immediate investigation into the incident and bring the perpetrators to book.

The Senate on its part has mandated its committee on Diaspora to commence investigation into the incident.

The house also observed a minutes silence for the deceased girls during plenary on Thursday.

The Senate also wants the Nigerian Government to “come together and put resources to reduce and eliminate unemployment as this is a major cause of illegal immigration.”

Human trafficking and smuggling has become a big business in sub-saharan Africa run by cartels.

The business has been thriving in the last decade largely because of the desperation of many young Africans to seek greener pasture in Europe.

People-smuggling gangs charge each migrant around $6,000  to get to Italy, $4,000 of which is for the trans-Saharan journey to Libya. Many migrants have reported violence, including torture and sexual abuse by the gangs.

UNICEF said women and unaccompanied child migrants rely on people smugglers to get to Europe, often under a “pay as you go system”, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation, trafficking and violence, including prostitution and rape.

Last year, a record 181,000 migrants crossed between Libya and Italy, the U.N.’s migration agency reports.

More than 4,500 people drowned, and at least 700 were children, UNICEF said.

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