How will the Church Resond? First Refugees From Libya Arrive on the Italian Island of Linosa

The following press release came from IOM today.  Ask the Lord to mobilize His Church.  This is how diaspora mission works.  We must be ready in and out of season.

First Migrants From Libya Arrive on the Italian Island of Linosa, says IOM on March 28, 2011: "IOM Press Note
Monday 28 March 2011

First Migrants From Libya Arrive on the Italian Island of Linosa- Nearly 830 African migrants from Tripoli and Misurata in Libya who arrived on the Italian Island of Linosa between 26-28 March are today being transferred to Sicily.

The migrants are mostly from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, but there are also some sub-Saharan Africans. This is the first group of migrants fleeing Libya to arrive in Italy since the onset of the Libyan crisis more than a month ago.

IOM staff say 80 women and 12 children are among the passengers. One woman gave birth to a healthy baby assisted by an Italian medical team. The woman was immediately transferred by helicopter to Lampedusa for medical assistance.

The vessels were intercepted by the Italian coastguards and taken to the small Island of Linosa some 40 kilometres from the island of Lampedusa, where more than 6,000 Tunisian migrants are currently hosted in increasingly difficult conditions."

IOM staff on Lampedusa say the Italian authorities avoided sending the new arrivals to Lampedusa not only because of the overcrowding and lack of facilities on the island, but also because of growing tension among the island's inhabitants, unhappy over the increasing numbers of migrants.

The new arrivals are likely to be first sent to a migrant reception centre at Porto Empedocle in Sicily before being taken to the Mineo reception centre, near Catania.

The arrivals from Libya present a new challenge to the Italian government which is still trying to find accommodation for thousands of migrants currently hosted on Lampedusa, Puglia and Sicily. More than 18,430 Tunisian migrants have arrived on Lampedusa since February, nearly 1,580 at the weekend.

In 2008 the Italian government signed a friendship treaty with Libya which led to a drastic reduction of irregular immigration. However, the continued violence in Libya has seen a temporary suspension of the agreement.

The Italian government has sought increased assistance from the European Union to help it deal with increasing populations of the migrants and asylum seekers.

For more information, please call Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Rome, Tel: +39 34 708 98 996, Email: 


For additional information:

Jean-Philippe Chauzy Tel: 41 22 717 9361 - Mobile: 41 79 285 4366, Email : 

Jemini Pandya Tel : 41 22 717 9486 - Mobile : 41 79 217 33 74, Email :

Jumbe Omari Jumbe Tel: 41 22 717 9405 - Mobile: 41 79 812 77 34, Email:

ISDN Line : 41 22 788 38 61

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