Two ships with 49 immigrants on board ask for an urgent solution to Europe

Two ships with 49 immigrants on board ask for an urgent solution to Europe

The two German organizations that rescued 49 immigrants in the Mediterranean and who are still waiting for a safe harbor, today called on Europe for an urgent solution to disembark these people, given the imminence of bad weather.

The ship Sea Watch 3, of the homonymous NGO, rescued last December 22 32 immigrants in the central Mediterranean, while the ship "Professor Albrecht Penck", of the humanitarian organization Sea-Eye, helped another 17 immigrants last December 29.

Both vessels remain on the high seas waiting for a safe harbor to be assigned to the rescued, including men, women, children and a baby.

That is why the NGOs issued a joint statement on Monday in which they are calling on European countries "for a timely and safe conclusion of both rescue operations before the end of 2018".

The head of mission of Sea Eye, Jan Ribbeck, defended that "the maritime law clearly states that the time the rescued people remain at sea must be reduced to a minimum".

For his part, the Sea-Watch 3 chief of mission, Philipp Hahn, described as "absolutely immoral that no European state assumes this responsibility" and recalled that in Germany some thirty cities are willing to welcome the rescued.

"The fact that we are still at sea is a failure for each and every one of the Member States of the European Union, especially for the German Interior Minister," the Bavarian Christian Socialist Horst Seehofer, Hahn points out.

Given their position in the central Mediterranean, the two NGOs believe that disembarking immigrants on the nearby island of Malta would be "the most logical choice" and raise the possibility that, as in previous cases, these people will then be spread out in several countries European

But they consider that the most urgent thing is to disembark these immigrants: "The problems of redistribution must be resolved on land after a safe landing," they insist.

"Staying at sea not only unnecessarily prolongs the journey of the rescued people, but also increases the risks to their health and safety on a daily basis", underline the NGOs, which warn of the worsening sea conditions in the coming hours.


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