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Over 800 Migrants Set Sail for Italy in One Week as Numbers Rise

In the past week, around 800 migrants have attempted to reach Italy from North Africa as migrant transport NGO activity has resumed the flow of migrants in the Mediterranean.

The NGO ships account for facilitating 367 of the 800, many of whom were intercepted by coastguards. The France-based NGO Sos Mediterranée and its ship the Ocean Viking currently has 215 migrants aboard her, Il Giornale reports.
Another NGO, the Spanish-based Open Arms, also picked up 73 migrants from the Libyan coast this week, along with the Aita Mari which retrieved 79 migrants.
Tunisia has also become a hotspot for migrants to head for Europe. The coastguard on the island of Djerba collected 43 migrants who were on board a boat around 10 miles from the island. The vessel began its voyage from the commune of Houmet Essouk, but authorities quickly identified and intercepted it.
The Tunisian authorities noted that none of the migrants on the boat were actually from Tunisia. Over half of the migrants came from Ethiopia, and the rest originated from Eritrea and Somalia.
Following the exit of anti-mass migration former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and the League from the government in Italy, activity in the Mediterranean has dramatically increased.
No more than a month after the departure of Salvini, whose closed port policy drastically reduced the number of new arrivals and the number of drownings, ten NGO vessels are now operating in the Mediterranean Sea in the Search and Rescue (SAR) zone off the Libyan coast.
The main driver of the change in policy has been the leftist Democratic Party (PD) led by Nicola Zingaretti who made it clear he would reverse the anti-mass migration policies of Salvini.
Italy is not the only country to see a renewal of migrant numbers. Greece is also facing a new wave of migrants as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly threatened to allow millions of migrants into Europe


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