The migrants just before the rescue by crew from the 'Alan Kurdi' on April 3, 2019 Photo: Fabian Heinz/picture alliance/dpa
The migrants just before the rescue by crew from the 'Alan Kurdi' on April 3, 2019 Photo: Fabian Heinz/picture alliance/dpa

Supplies on board the migrant rescue ship 'Alan Kurdi' are running low, the non-government organization Sea Eye says. Six days after the rescue of 64 migrants off the Libyan coast, food and drinking water has nearly run out. Malta and Italy continue to refuse the ship permission to dock.

The boat, operated by the Germany-based organization Sea Eye, rescued 64 migrants from an inflatable dinghy off the coast of Libya last Wednesday. Among the migrants are 12 women, a child and an infant, according to AFP. The ship remains south of the island of Lampedusa.

Both Malta and Italy have refused to allow the vessel to enter their ports, and the Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has demanded that Germany deal with "the problem", because the vessel sails under a German flag.

As a result of the blockade, the people on board the Alan Kurdi are suffering "unsustainable humanitarian conditions," a Sea Eye spokesperson, Carlotta Weibl, said. "They partly have to sleep outside on deck and are exposed to wind, waves and cold," she said. 

On Tuesday, Sea Eye warned that stocks of food and drinking water were low. The Head of Mission Jan Ribbeck told InfoMigrants that Maltese authorities had agreed to the delivery of new supplies on Wednesday morning. Ribbeck also said one of the migrants had been evacuated from the ship after she fainted.

Italy said last week it was willing to disembark two children and their mothers "on humanitarian grounds," but the fathers would have to remain on board. The offer was refused, and Sea Eye called the separation offer "emotional torture." Salvini responded to the news in a tweet that "at this point, we can just wish them a good trip to Berlin."

No return to Libya 

Salvini has argued that Sea Eye put the migrants' lives at risk by traveling north towards Europe after rescuing them off the Libyan coast. However, international standards require that people rescued at sea must be taken to a safe port. The European Union has declared that Libya is not a safe port and migrants face torture and abuse in detention centers there.

Benjamin, a migrant on the Alan Kurdi, said Libya was like "hellfire". Sea Eye tweeted the interview with the 30-year-old Nigerian:

No European solution yet

The German government has asked the European Commission to take responsibility for coordinating the case and "to ensure that the rescue ship can dock in a safe port."

A Commission spokesperson, Tove Ernst, confirmed that Brussels was trying to coordinate among member states "willing to take part in solidarity efforts concerning the people on board." She added:  "This again serves to illustrate just how urgent predictable arrangements for disembarkation are." 

Sea Eye said that by Monday evening they had had no positive news from Brussels.

On Friday, Germany's interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said his country was ready to accept some of those on board while calling for "joint action" from other EU countries. Seehofer also expressed irritation at the fact that no European solution to the problem of distributing migrants crossing the Mediterranean had been found.

In recent years, Malta and Italy have taken in most migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa. They have since stopped humanitarian aid ships from docking to disembark migrants, saying that rescuing migrants at sea encourages smugglers. 


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