John Ray

Africa Correspondent

John Ray is Africa Correspondent for ITV News. He was formerly Middle East Correspondent and was the first Western TV journalist to report from inside Syria's borders at the start of the war.

  1. John Ray

How Europe will 'share the burden' of the migrant crisis

Coast guard crews have worked ceaselessly for the past two weeks doing nothing more than pulling migrants up from the Meditteranean. It really is a crisis with no let up at all.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said today that he wanted Europe to share more of the burden.

What he means is, he wants European nations to offer permanent homes to some of the 200,000 migrants who might come to Italy this summer. You can imagine that will not go down universally well in Brussels.

As for the prosecution of that terrible incident at the weekend, prosecutors have added the charge of kidnapping, including kidnapping children, to those of manslaughter that the Captain now faces.

If he is convicted he faces something like 30 years in jail.

  1. John Ray

'Cargo of good fortune' arrive in Sicily in their hundreds

Today's "cargo of good fortune". Children who have known only war in Syria and Iraq. Entire families who fled poverty and persecution in Africa.

They arrived in their hundreds in Sicily. Seven full days since they set sail in rusting, leaking boats.

A journey over sea that took them through hell, they are witnesses to that monstrous crime, the death of 800 migrants last Sunday.

Migrants arrive in their hundreds in Sicily Credit: ITV News

In painstaking detail, the survivors are recounting every moment of their ordeal.

They are telling police how their overcrowded boat capsized within five minutes after it hit a rescue vessel.

A child migrant arrives in Sicily Credit: ITV News

Tomorrow, Europe's leaders meet in emergency session to try somehow to resolve a crisis that is simply overwhelming.

  1. John Ray

Traffickers don't care that there are fewer rescue boats

If this loss of life is confirmed then it is a catastrophe on a scale we have not yet seen in this crisis, which lurches from one tragedy to ever-greater tragedy and poses a fundamental challenge to all in Europe.

In the space of just a few days and at the appalling cost of more than a thousand lives, the hopes of ending a trade that the Italian Prime Minister described as the modern slave trade by cutting the number of rescue boats has proved catastrophically wrong.

Traffickers don't care that there are fewer rescue boats, the migrants are to desperate to do anything other than cross the Mediterranean.

There is a clamour for action - perhaps patrols to be stepped up. No one wants the Mediterranean to be turned into a cemetery, but remember this also immigration is a toxic issue all across the European Union, so lives might be saved but at the end of it, who is going to offer these people a home?

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