Malta will not allow a tanker carrying 27 rescued migrants into the country despite it being stranded outside of the nation’s waters for over four weeks, with Prime Minister Robert Abela insisting it its the Danish government’s problem
Speaking in an interview on ONE, Abela said that the Etienne Maersk is carrying that Danish flag and Denmark’s government should allow them safe passage into their country.
“Do they have a right to enter Malta? No” Abela said.
He said the government was looking elsewhere to tackle the crisis on a wider scale.
It’s been four weeks since the Etienne Maersk, an oil tanker, rescued the migrants with Malta and other EU border countries standing firm on the issue. In August the European Court of Human Rights turned down a request for migrants onboard the Etienne to be brought into Malta.
Three migrants have jumped overboard, according to a tweet by the company. The persons were recovered and are being treated for any injuries.
“We continue to plead for urgent humanitarian assistance for the 27 migrants stranded aboard Etienne,” the Maersk Tankers page said.
BREAKING: Situation on #Maersk #Etienne escalated this morning when 3 #migrants jumped overboard. The crew acted quickly and the recovered persons are now being given due care. We continue to plead for urgent humanitarian assistance for the 27 migrants stranded aboard Etienne.
— Maersk Tankers (@MaerskTankers) September 6, 2020
The issue surrounding migration has gathered steam in Malta with a petition calling for an end to allegation migration garnering more than 40,000 signatures. Mayors across Malta have also flagged issues with a lack of long-term plan.
According to the UN’s refugee agency in Malta, a total of 1,699 people were rescued at sea and disembarked in the country throughout the first six months of 2020.
This translates to a 33% increase in arrivals when comparing figures of the same period last year, despite Malta’s closure of ports from April to June to fight COVID-19.
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