Thousands of migrants continue to arrive on Italy's shores

An Italian coastguard vessel, carrying 142 people rescued at sea after fleeing Tripoli, prepares to dock at Lampedusa harbour. (May 2011)

Two thousand people arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend from Libya and Tunisia, the United Nations refugee agency reports.

People continue to make this perilous journey from the two North Africa countries for a variety of reasons, the agency notes.

A group of Sudanese men from Libya said they were rounded up in Tripoli and forced on a boat.

Others said they had lost jobs in Libya and were hoping for work in Europe, said the agency.

To date 1,500 people have lost their lives attempting to reach Italy's shores.

Adrian Edwards of UNHCR says a mass information campaign in the camps is underway to highlight the perils of this journey.

"2,000 people had arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend from Libya and Tunisia. The majority, about 1,800, set sail from Janzour, 12 kilometers west of Tripoli, Libya, where they had waited for a week for calm sea conditions to depart. Of this number, around 200 were women and 30 children".

An estimated 52,000 people have arrived in Italy since the unrest in North Africa began earlier this year from Libya and the rest from Tunisia.

Duration: 19″

Thousands still arriving on Italy's shores from Libya and Tunisia – UN agency

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