Pope Francis celebrates a mass at the Vélodrome stadium on Saturday. The sovereign pontiff spends two days in Marseille to discuss the Mediterranean and the migratory challenge. A visit welcomed by Carla Melki, from SOS Méditerranée.
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Pope “is the only head of state who expresses himself strongly” on the death of migrants in the Mediterranean, greets Carla Melki, deputy director of SOS Méditerranée Operations, guest of the show Ma France on France Bleu on Friday September 22.
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“He is the only head of state who speaks strongly on this subject, we salute him. We remember in particular the shipwreck of April 2021 where we arrived with our boat on a tide of deceased people, corpses, and he is the only one who was able to give this message of shame, this message that there can no longer be this cemetery and that we must do something about it.”remembers Carla Melki.
Marseille welcomes Pope Francis on Friday September 22, for a two-day visit devoted to the Mediterranean and the migratory challenge. The arrival of the sovereign pontiff in the Phocaean city comes a few days after the arrival on the Italian island of Lampedusa of nearly 8,500 migrants, in a context of growing hostility towards candidates for exile within a Europe tempted by withdrawal.
“Putting the Mediterranean, the deadliest migratory route in the world, back at the center of the debate”Carla Melki
at France Bleu
For Carla Melki, the Pope’s positions are all the more important because they concern “this specificity that these deaths at sea are also unknown people, this whole issue of body recognition”. With her association, she wants “put the Mediterranean, the deadliest migratory route in the world, a cemetery and a humanitarian crisis above all else, at the center of the debate”.
SOS Méditerranée brings together 650 volunteers but rescues at sea are expensive: a day at sea costs 24,000 euros. SOS Méditerranée therefore needs financial and political support. “Like other humanitarian crises, the question is that everyone has the right to be cared for. We are not going to ask the question where people come from. It’s the same thing for rescue. The right to Rescue is an inalienable right and this right is the same for everyone..