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image of refugees on a boat

Eight bodies have washed up on a northern Cyprus beach this week and it’s thought they are Syrian refugees trying to escape the conflict in Syria. I’m surprised this hasn’t happened more often. Cyprus is so close to Syria that if you are wanting to get away from Syria by boat, Cyprus may well look tempting. But the Mediterranean sea is not as placid and tranquil as it looks. Storms happen quite often this time of year and many areas have deadly riptides.

Officials seem to think their boat may have capsized and sank on Saturday night. Two bodies were recovered on Sunday and another six on Monday. There may well be more. But still the refugees keep coming, as I pointed out in my recent piece about the ongoing, but mostly forgotten, refugee crisis.

Figures released by the United Nations show that from 2013 to September 2017 over 16,000 refugees died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Desperate people do desperate things and many pay the ultimate price for their desperation.

With all these deaths and the recent deaths from the riots caused by the opening of the new American Embassy, it only illustrates how volatile the region is. Couple this with the Syrian war and the current conflicts across North Africa and it shows how people are driven to chance their lives against the hope of new and peaceful life elsewhere.

Tom Kane © 2018