The migrants, together with two pregnant girls and 67 unaccompanied minors, disembarked from the Aquarius Wednesday at Senglea, a port metropolis in Malta. They may quickly be despatched to places in France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal, which have agreed to take them.
The temper on board was jubilant because the ship neared the port, in line with video tweeted by charity Medical doctors with out Borders (MSF). The photographs additionally confirmed a big signal suspended on an outdoor wall on the port that learn, “Everybody has the best to life.”
In one other video, upbeat music will be heard blaring because the ship docked. Photographs present moms main their youngsters down the gangway, and migrants hugging crew members goodbye.
The migrants have been rescued final Friday off the coast of Libya by the Aquarius, which is operated by charities SOS Méditerranée and MSF. Many have been from Somalia and Eritrea, with some reported to have been held in inhuman circumstances in Libya, SOS Méditerranée stated.
Ship stranded as nations argue
Because the nations engaged in a back-and-forth diplomatic tussle, crew on board urged quick motion to assist the “weak and malnourished” migrants.
On Tuesday a number of EU nations convened to debate the problem, the place they agreed to share the migrants.
“Malta might be making a concession permitting the vessel to enter its ports, regardless of having no authorized obligation to take action,” Wendy Borg, spokeswoman for the Maltese authorities, advised CNN.
“Malta will function a logistical base and the entire reportedly 141 migrants on board might be distributed amongst France, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain.”
This settlement was “a concrete instance of European management and solidarity,” she added.
“Lengthy-term sustainable options that handle the humanitarian disaster on the Central Mediterranean are nonetheless desperately wanted. That is the accountability of the EU as a complete, and we look ahead to seeing extra concrete examples of European management and solidarity on this difficulty sooner or later.”
The disembarkation was overseen by the UN Refugee Company (UNHCR), in line with a press release from the Maltese authorities. The migrants have been examined by well being authorities upon arrival, with some pregnant girls and infants despatched to hospital for additional care.
The European delegations at the moment are coordinating the redistribution course of.
The migration disaster continues
The Aquarius was additionally briefly stranded in June whereas carrying 630 migrants after Italy and Malta refused to permit it to dock. France was thrown into the combination when French President Emmanuel Macron criticized Italy’s place, escalating tensions.
Spain lastly agreed to just accept the migrants, however the diplomatic tussle revealed a fractured Europe, and the Aquarius turned an emblem of the migration disaster within the Mediterranean.
In late June, weeks after the dispute, European Union leaders struck a deal on migration to extra broadly share refugees amongst member states. The EU agreed to supply extra help to Mediterranean nations like Italy, however the voluntary deal lacked concrete particulars, and plenty of questions stay unanswered.