VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has urged the international community to act after the sinking of a ship which is feared to have killed 150 migrants in the Mediterranean.
“I have received with pain the news of the dramatic wreck of a few days ago in the waters of the Mediterranean, in which dozens of migrants lost their lives, including women and children,” he said during Angelus prayer in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday.
He renewed his call “for the international community to act quickly and decisively to prevent similar tragedies from repeating and guarantee the safety and dignity of all.”
The Argentine Pope then invited people to pray with him for the victims and their families of the wreck on July 25.
The United Nations Refugee Agency said that some of the survivors from the boat said that at least 150 people had disappeared into the water, in what was the greatest tragedy in the Mediterranean since May 2017.
The tragedy happened around nine kilometers off the coast of Libya, when a wooden boat with around 250 to 300 people onboard, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, was best with engine problems and began to sink.
At that time, there were no rescue ships in operation which could come to the aid of the stricken vessel.
Currently the only operational ship is the “Ocean Viking” of SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders, but it has not yet reached the area.