The Italian authorities seized the charity vessel ‘Sea Watch 3’, after 47 migrants disembarked at the Port of Lampedusa. After their rescue on May 15, off the Libyan coast, the migrants were transferred onto the island. Because the Sea Watch 3 was too big to enter Lampedusa, the migrants were transported to shore by the Italian customs police, the Guardia di Finanza, and the coastguard who boarded the vessel.
On 21 May, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, in collaboration with Albania, will launch its first joint operation on the territory of a non-EU country. This will be the first operation of its kind, marking a new phase for border cooperation between the EU and Western Balkan partners. The negotiations on a Status Agreement on border cooperation between the European Border and Coast Guard and Albania started in December 2017.
The European Union decided to suspend, until 30 September, the EUNAVFOR MED ‘Operation Sophia’, which is deployed to rescue thousands of refugees and migrants from the central Mediterranean route. Only air patrols are to continue.
Eight days after rescuing 64 migrants off the coast of Libya, the humanitarian aid vessel Alan Kurdi is still seeking a port to disembark the survivors. In the meantime, Italy and Malta are still denying the Kurdi permission to enter port. Thus, the operator of the vessel has been forced to look for accommodation to other European states. For the time being, no port hasn’t accepted the vessel.
Matteo Salvini on Thursday, March 28, urged Berlin to take responsibility for 64 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean by a German charity boat and heading toward the Italian coast in rough seas, Reuters reports. New arrivals to Italy have plummeted since Salvini took office in June, with just 532 migrants coming so far this year, down 92% on the same period in 2018 and down 98% on 2017.
The tanker El Hiblu 1 rescued about 100 migrants on February 27, when three amongst them began to riot and threaten violence when they realized that they were being returned to Libya. The thee teenage migrants have been charged in a court in Malta after hijacking the commercial oil tanker that had rescued them.
Refugees and migrants have reportedly hijacked the Palau-flagged tanker ‘Elhiblu 1’, after the ship rescued them off the coast of Libya, Tuesday night. The Maltese navy took over control shortly after and the ship arrived in Malta Thursday morning.
At least 10 migrants lost their lives on March 19, when their boat sank off the Libyan coast near the western town of Sabratha. 17 others were rescued, a Sabratha’s security operations spokesman, said, and were transferred to the hospital. The United Nations migration agency IOM informed that 15 survivors were brought to a hospital, but it did not know how many people had been on board the boat.
On March 8, the crew of the US Navy destroyer USS James E. Williams helped rescue 26 people from a vessel in distress 48 miles southeast of Long Key attempting to illegally enter the United States. The US Coast Guard received a notification from a good Samaritan boat reporting for a 30-foot disabled wooden sail vessel with passengers waiving for help.
The International Organization for Migration, the UN Migration Agency, reported that 8,956 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 27 February, marking a 12% decrease from the 10,243 arriving the same period last year. Deaths on the Mediterranean Sea reached 224, which is one half the 439 deaths that took place the same period in 2018.
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