A four day-old baby belonging to a Nigerian lady, Mariam Ohene, was among over 480 migrants rescued by humanitarian ships on Saturday in the central Mediterranean Sea.
They were all travelling on one of two rubber boats carrying over 200 migrants from North and Central Africa, Sri Lanka and Yemen and seen drifting some 22 nautical miles north of the Libyan town of Sabratha, the most frequently used departure point currently used by people smugglers in Libya.
The 29 year-old Nigerian woman had lived with her husband, Richard Ohene for over two years in Libya and decided to leave for Europe after they had the baby.
“We want to go to France or Germany, there is a future for our family there,” Richard Ohene said.
Nearly 600 migrants have died so far this year trying to reach Italy from North Africa, the International Migration Organization (IOM) estimates. Some 4,600 people are thought to have died last year.
In all, 181,000 migrants reached Italy in 2016, about half of the total who arrived in the European Union by sea.