After the usual procedure, which is repeated in every single situation in which an NGO ship completes a cycle of operations to recover illegal immigrants in the central Mediterranean area, the long-awaited green light from Rome arrives: the safe harbor requested by Sea Eye 4 will be that of Trapani.
Although the German-flagged ship recovered non-EU immigrants in Maltese territorial waters, the island’s authorities rejected the requests for intervention and assistance launched by Alarm Phone, as reported via social media by the same NGO. The next step, as often happens in these circumstances, is to set sail for the Italian coasts and at the same time begin to launch appeals for the concession of a “safe harbor”. “There is no way that foreign ships of foreign NGOs with illegal immigrants collected in foreign waters land in an Italian port”, he had complained in recent days Roberto Calderoli.“There is no Italy that has to take care of immigrants recovered in Maltese waters”.
An appeal that fell on deaf ears, and promptly followed by a request for intervention from our country by Mediterranea saving humans: “We ask that the Italian authorities immediately assist the 800 aboard Sea Eye and guarantee their disembarkation in a safe harbor”. A few hours later, Rome responded present, choosing to grant the Sea Eye the port of Trapani: disembarkation is scheduled for tomorrow morning, Sunday 7 November.
“After so many difficult hours of waiting, we finally got good news from Rome. The Sea Eye 4 is authorized to sail to Trapani to rescue the over 800 people rescued”, celebrate on Twitter the crew of the German NGO, before beating up the Maltese inaction in the management of requests for intervention.
“The EU states must urgently warn Malta that the relief control center in Valletta must again respond to emergency calls”, bluntly accuse from the Sea Eye, “and coordinate emergencies at sea, regardless of the color of the skin or the origin of the people in difficulty”.
It is not over here, given that non-EU citizens on board the Ocean Viking. For the moment, two people accompanied by four family members have already been evacuated by a Coast Guard patrol boat who, at least according to what was declared by Sos Mediterranèe,“fuel burns and other serious illnesses”. There are another 308 non-EU citizens on the ship.