EC coordinating safe port for 64 asylum seekers

Fabian Heinz/sea-eye.org

64 asylum seekers that were rescued off the Libyan coast by NGO vessel Alan Kurdi remain without a safe port with the European Commission stepping in to provide a central point to coordinate among Member States. The vessel Alan Kurdi is in Maltese international waters, Newsbook.com.mt is informed.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Prime Minister told Newsbook.com.mt that the vessel was coordinating with Germany and said that Germany ‘has directed the vessel towards Palma de Mallorca’, a claim that was denied by a spokesperson for the non-governmental organisation Sea-Eye.

On Wednesday Alan Kurdi rescued 64 asylum seekers while another boat which was carrying some 50 asylum seekers was never found.

READ: 64 asylum seekers rescued by Sea-Eye off the Libyan coast

‘Another case highlighting the importance of predictable arrangements for disembarkation’ – EC

Newsbook.com.mt has contacted the European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs. A spokesperson for the Commission confirmed that the it has been following the events unfolding and has been requested to provide a central point to coordinate among Member States.

The spokesperson for the Commissioner explained that the Commission is now initiating contacts to support and coordinate amongst those Member States which are willing to take part in solidarity efforts concerning the persons on board the Alan Kurdi. The spokesperson reiterated that this is another example which illustrated the how urgent predictable arrangements for disembarkation are.

Sea-Eye aborts evacuation as Italy insists on separating families

On Friday a medical evacuation was aborted after the Italian authorities insisted that they would only evacuate two children and their mothers, effectively separating two families from their fathers. When the respective families were asked they expressed their wish not to be separated from their fathers and therefore the evacuation was aborted.

Jan Ribbeck, Sea-Eye’s Head of Operations repeatedly requested the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rome not to separate the families and asked for six people corresponding to two families to be safely disembarked.

The NGO in a statement lambasted the Italian Home Affairs Minister from the far-right party Lega Nord, Matteo Salvini, saying that the Minister not only humiliated the rescued but ‘instrumentalises everything and everyone’ in order to score political goals which suited him.

Salvini on his part has been bickering about the situation on Twitter, after the asylum seekers refused to be separated from their family members, the Italian Minister ‘wished them a good journey onward.’