No sea highway has been opened yet for people smugglers from Egypt to Italy, and the reconstructions talking about a new Qaddafi named el-Sisi who uses refugees as diplomatic retaliation are, for the moment, speculations. Nonetheless, it’s true that more than 1,000 migrants have landed on the Sicilian coast, most of them from Libya, but two fishing boats have reached the port of Augusta after having spent days crossing from Egypt, carrying many unaccompanied Egyptian minors.
That Egypt is the starting base for a residual part of the flow of migrants toward Italy is not news, UNHCR and IOM explain. “As a tendency, 10-15 percent of the overall number of migrants arrives from Egypt,” says Flavio Di Giacomo, manager for the Rome branch of the International Organization for Migration. “And, at the moment, that is in the winter, there’s a seasonal increase by tenfold, but it might be simply owed to the beautiful weather and to the calm sea, or it might be caused by a contingent difficulty by the Egyptian coast guard in controlling the traffic coming, almost constantly, from around the port of Alexandria. We don’t know and, anyway, the absolute numbers are still too small, and it’s still too early to understand what’s going to happen this summer.”