Oduu Haaraya

Somalia’s president, prime minister and speaker of parliament have issued a joint condolence to the nation over an unconfirmed report that some migrants may have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on a trip from Libya to Italy

Doonii biyya Masrii irraa gara Itaalii osoo deemaa jirtuu dhidhimterraa warri hafan akka jedhanitti, walii galatti namoonni doonii san yaabbatan gara namoota 550 yoo ta’an, kan dhuman gara 500 ti. Oromoon doonii sanirra turan, 250’tti yoo tilmaamaman; walii galatti hanga ammaatti baqattootni Oromoo lubbuun baraaraman 9 qofatu beekkame. Taarreen maqaa isaanii kan armaan gadii ti.
1. Joorji ( Baale irraa)
2. Ibsaa Abdusalaam ( Dirre Dhawaa)
3. Abdalla ( Baale)
4. Muaz Hassan ( Bale)
5. Abdulfattah ( Baale)
6. Gammachis Hussen ( Bordoddee, Harargee Lixaa)
7. Umar ( bakki hin beekamne)
8. Ibrahim ( bakki hin beekamne)
9. Ibsaa ( Bakki hin beekamne)

By ABDI GULED, Associated Press

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia’s president, prime minister and speaker of parliament have issued a joint condolence to the nation on Monday over an unconfirmed report that some migrants may have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on a trip from Libya to Italy.Reports of the drownings are circulating among families and on social media but so far remain unconfirmed by coast guard authorities in Italy, Greece, Libya or Egypt.

Somalia’s state radio quoted the Somali embassy in Egypt when reporting the incident.

The joint statement from the Somali leaders said that 400 migrants, mostly Somalis, drowned when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea on a trip from Libya to Italy. But the Somali information minister later said that 200 drowned. Later reports said even fewer had drowned.

“It’s a painful tragedy which reminds us all how important it is for us to discourage our youth from embarking on such high risk journeys,” the leaders’ joint statement said.

Many people saw on Facebook the “I am Somali” page which a montage of photos of young people who it said were Somalis who had drowned. It was not possible to verify the identities of those in the post.

“Very painful, death of nearly 400 Somalian young men and women near the Egyptian coast … most of them are students in Sudanese and Egyptian universities,” said one post.

Another post read: “April 17, 2016 – black day.”

A Somali news website, Goobjoog News, carried an interview with Awale Warsame, who said he is a survivor of the incident.

“There were 500 passengers, mostly Somalis on the boat, but only 23 people survived,” he said. “Survivors, including me, had to use broken wood pieces from the capsized boat to float over waters before we were rescued. We had travelled from Egypt, especially Alexandria, on April 7th and the boat capsized on April 12 but we were rescued by a Filipino ship off a Greek island five days later.”

Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that his ministry had no information and officials are checking the reports.

Libya’s Coast Guards Spokesman Ayoub Jassem said he has no information on the migrants, and said that scores of boats leave the Libyan shores every day and they have very limited capabilities to stop them or rescue those who are at risk of drowning.

A top Somali diplomat in Cairo told AP that “we have no official confirmation on the reports and they are working with the Egyptians to verify them.”

The Greek coast guard said it had no reports of any boat sinking in the area. On Saturday, Greece’s coast guard said a merchant vessel had rescued 41 migrants about 95 nautical miles (110 miles, 175 kilometers) off Greece’s southwest coast after their wooden boat lost steering. The coast guard said those rescued boarded a Filipino-flagged merchant ship, which arrived at the southern Greek mainland port of Kalamata early Sunday. The migrants on board were reportedly from Egypt, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.

Shipwrecks in open seas are difficult, if not impossible, to verify, as it is often not possible to recover bodies. Instead, their fates are described by survivors and, in cases when boats are lost at sea without any rescue attempt, by relatives who report their failure to arrive in Europe. Organizations tracking the migrant flows rely on the consistency of the reports from loved ones which they say give veracity to such reports.

The report of the sinking comes on the one-year anniversary of the anniversary of the shipwreck of a fishing boat crowded with smuggled migrants which sank to the seafloor with some 800 people on board. Only 28 survived.

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reacted to the reports on the front page Monday afternoon with the headline “Yet another massacre,” recalling the anniversary of the shipwreck near Lampedusa last April 18.

“The migrant drama knows no end,” the newspaper wrote.

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