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techkenyot.com March 26, 2019


Malta allows 49 migrants stranded off coast since December to disembark

10 January 2019, 07:14 | Glen Norman

Joseph Muscat said Ireland will receive some of the migrants

Joseph Muscat said Ireland will receive some of the migrants

Malta has announced that it will allow two ships, stranded for weeks with 49 migrants and refugees on board, to dock.

Most of the 249 migrants brought to Malta in December will also be taken to other European Union countries.

The 49 migrants, including a baby and several children, were rescued by two boats on December 22 and 29 while attempting the unsafe Mediterranean crossing from North Africa to Europe.

Germany, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland, Romania, Luxembourg, and Italy agreed to share 224 migrants, with Malta taking 74.

Malta said another 78 migrants would be allowed to stay in Malta, and 44 Bangladeshi migrants would be sent back to their country.

Malta last week allowed the boats to shelter near its coasts from the bad weather but would not let them disembark the migrants.

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Germany expects to take in 60 migrants who were already in Malta or are about to arrive there under an agreement to defuse the latest standoff over rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea.

"The risky, unseemly spectacle of politicians bickering whilst women, men and children are stranded in a sea of cruel indifference, must not be repeated", she said.

The deal means the 49 migrants, who have been stranded on charity-run boats amid a row over who would take them, can now disembark in Malta.

Sea-Watch said that the migrants finally have a "safe haven" after three weeks at sea.

In the meantime, those aboard the Sea Watch and Sea Eye - who include a baby and several children - were celebrating the end of 19 days at sea. "This represents a confession of state failure, policy must not be made at the expense of people in distress".

"We want to express our gratitude to. all cities, federal states and provinces that declared their ports open and their willingness to welcome people".

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The migrants were brought to shore by the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) after they were transferred at sea from the two ships that were carrying them.

However, Malta has reached an agreement with some European Union member states to allow the 49 migrants on board to disembark.

They will then be redistributed among eight European Union countries.

Salvini told reporters during a visit to Poland Wednesday he "absolutely" opposes new migrant arrivals in Italy, clashing with his own premier on the issue.

"To give in to pressure and threats from Europe and NGOs is a sign of weakness that Italians don't deserve", he added.

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