Migrants stay on board Open Arms as Malta refuses disembarkation

The Maltese authorities have refused the disembarkation of 121 persons on board the search and rescue vessel Open Arms which is being managed by Proactiva Open Arms. Four children including nine-month-old twins are among the people on board.

A Proactiva Open Arms spokesperson told Newsbook.com.mt that the Maltese authorities have refused disembarkation. The vessel is now awaiting further instructions, as both Malta and Italy have denied the vessel from entering their ports.

Sources close to the European Commission (EC) said that they have not received any requests to coordinate disembarkation at this point in time.

During the past year, there were various instances where ad hoc agreements were made to meet with the influx of migrants from the northern shores of the African continent. These agreements allowed for the migrants to be reallocated to other EU member states than the ones in which they disembarked.

The crew on board the Open Arms saved 53 adults and two babies from a small boat on Thursday. Later on in the night they saved another 69 people. On Saturday, two heavily pregnant women were evacuated from onboard the vessel.

Among the migrants that have been rescued there are also 32 minors, 27 of whom are travelling alone.

On Sunday morning, 40 migrants from onboard a vessel operated by the German NGO Sea Eye disembarked in Malta following a request from the German government.

Updated: 40 migrants to enter Malta; to be distributed amongst some EU states

The migrants from on board the Alan Kurdi will be reallocated to other EU member states.

Meanwhile, Newsbook.com.mt has sent a set of questions to the Government on the situation. However, no reply was received prior to the publication of this article.