The Italian NGO run Mediterranea migrant rescue ship carrying 54 migrants rescued off Libya Thursday has been stopped off Lampedusa according to a landing ban issued by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, sources quoted by ANSA said Friday.
Salvini said the ship must go to Malta or else it “will be an act of violence”.
Malta offered a port to the ship but the Mediterranea at first said this was “unfeasible”.
It said because of the physical and psychological conditions of the migrants it was unable to go that far out of its way.
However, Alessandra Sciurba, spokesman of Mediterranea Saving Humans, later said it was ready to offload the migrants at Malta.
Sole a picco, niente cibo. E nessuna nave di Malta per il trasbordo
— Mediterranea Saving Humans (@RescueMed) July 5, 2019
It was reported that a Maltese navy ship was heading for the Mediterranea to take the migrants, but the NGO said that “no ship is on the way, sadly”.
As the situation became more confused, the Maltese government said Italy would take 55 migrants off its hands in exchange for the 54 migrants Malta would take from the Mediterranea.