Vatican priest's mission for African migrants to Italy

The BBC reports on the work of Fr. Mussie Zerai in helping African migrants fleeing North Africa:

With thousands of migrants from strife-torn North Africa arriving in Italy, the BBC World Service's Outlook programme spoke to a man who is trying to assist the travellers on their perilous journey. Not a human trafficker - but a priest.

From his office in the Vatican's Ethiopian College, Father Mussie Zerai has a direct line to the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

Staying in touch by satellite phone, he is in constant contact with African migrants as they attempt the dangerous crossing to Europe.

In desperation, many of these migrants attempt to cross the Mediterranean in rickety wooden boats or inflatables.

When they get in trouble Fr Zerai is on hand to call the coastguard - or to alert local media to pressure Italian authorities to come to their assistance.

His organisation, Agenzia Habeshia, was set up in 2006 and for years Father Zerai has been campaigning for the rights of North African migrants.


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