Malta’s army is currently undergoing a medical evacuation of eight migrants aboard the ‘Open Arms’ vessel that has been stuck in limbo between Malta and Lampedusa for the past two weeks.
The migrants will be transferred upon an AFM vessel and will be brought to the Hay Wharf Base in Valletta.
The ship, which has a total of 123 migrants including 32 women and four children, has been stranded out at sea since 2nd August.
The Italian government refused to allow the ship to enter its territorial waters and threatened a “fine of €50,000 and the seizure of the Open Arms ship.”
Other European ports have refused the vessel entry, with the NGOs accusing the continent of taking a holiday during this crucial juncture as they continue to ignore their requests for assistance.
The situation within the Mediterranean has been exacerbated ever since a coalition government with a strong anti-migrant stance took power around 18 months ago.
However, it remains to be seen how the diplomatic issues will develop with fresh elections set to take place after the relationship between the two parties turned sour.