Spanish Charity boat rejects Spain’s offer to stranded migrants

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A Spanish charity operating a migrant rescue ship stranded off the coast of Italy has rejected an offer from Spain to dock in Algeciras, citing the urgency of the emergency situation faced by the more than 100 people on board.

The migrants, most of whom are African, were picked up by the Open Arms boat off the coast of Libya in the past two weeks and have been waiting to disembark on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

Charity rescue boats have largely disappeared from the Mediterranean over the past year because of tighter government controls and lengthy offshore stand-offs.

Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered his officials not to let them disembark, though he made a partial concession on Saturday by allowing 27 minors to leave the boat, saying he had only agreed to this at the insistence of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

 

Zainab Sa’id