Malta will take in 44 migrants that its armed forces had rescued from a wooden boat close to Lampedusa after Italy refused to accept them.
The Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) said it was notified on the night of 15th October that there was a women boat with people in difficulty 58 nautical miles south of Lampedusa. A merchant vessel was diverted to the area and rescue the 44 people on board.
“Following the refusal of Italy to provide for the nearest place of safety, shelter and logistical support to the ship and in view of deteriorating weather conditions affecting the area, in the best interest of the safety of the rescued migrants, the AFM deployed an offshore patrol vessel in adverse weather conditions to transfer the migrants on-board,” the AFM said.
“The persons shall be disembarked in Malta later on this evening. The disembarkation of these people is being administered without prejudice to Malta’s position to international law.”