Log in
Free: The Observer Mobile App - Exclusive Content and Services

Italy allows ships with hundreds of African migrants to dock in Sicily

Hundreds of migrants aboard two border patrol ships were allowed to disembark in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo early Monday after a half dozen European countries promised to take in some of them, rather than have Italy process their asylum claims alone.

After two days at sea and a very long night, the 450 migrants aboard the Italian ship Monte Sperone and the British naval vessel Protector finally disembarked at dawn. They had been picked up from an overcrowded boat that left Libya on Friday. Among them were 128 unaccompanied minors.

The ships, one operated by EU border agency Frontex and the other by Italy's tax police, were given permission to bring the mainly Eritrean and Somali migrants into port only after other European Union countries agreed to accept more than half of them, ending a diplomatic standoff that had left them stuck at sea.

FILE - A migrant disembarks escorted by police from Italy's Diciotti coast guard vessel carrying 67 asylum seekers berthed at Trapani port on July 12, 2018

Roberto Ammatuna, the mayor of Pozzallo, said he does not expect that the migrants can be moved for a few days. He said many are suffering from scabies and that there are many minors. He said it may be necessary to wait a few more days before they are transferred to other European countries or other holding centers in Italy.

As the migrants disembarked, at least eight suspected people-smugglers were driven away in police cars.

The office of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, "Today we can say that for the first time migrants are landing in Europe" after France, Malta, Germany, Spain and Portugal each agreed to take in 50 of the 450 migrants who landed at Pozzallo."

Interior minister Matteo Salvini, who initially closed Italy's ports to the migrants, said "Italy is no longer Europe's refugee camp; it is a political victory," adding that "firmness and consistency pay off." He stressed the need for Libya to be recognized as a safe port for migrants.

Speaking in Moscow where he attended the World Cup soccer final, Salvini said Italy would discuss with its European partners the need to legitimately rescue, save and assist everyone, but then to take them back to where they left from.

The European Commission said it shared the sense of urgency voiced in a letter on migrants from Prime Minister Conte to European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The commission also welcomed the six EU member states that have decided to take in some of the migrants.


+1 #1 juwait kali 2018-07-17 12:09
Where is African Union??? Where are African Presidents?? Are you even reading about this??

Are you creating jobs for your people the youth?? Because am sure if those countries there running to can, am sure you can too.
Report to administrator
+1 #2 Akot 2018-07-17 14:44
Europe is giving the wrong answers to migration & more will try their way out of shitholes!

- Ugandans are staying in their country but are slaves to the worst dictator ever who rules them through a tribalistic system,

- Other countries ruled by monsters are being emptied of their young/educated looking for a tomorrow in Europe!

So, who will change of leadership come?

People under dictatorship/under war/living in fear of gangs in countries ruled by ignorant fake leaders would rather die at sea/in deserts/climbing walls... trying to reach Europe-USA; it's a less dreadful experience than living in their own countries poor with no hope!...
Report to administrator
0 #3 Akot 2018-07-17 14:54
...The way Europe understands & handles migration/refugee problem does not give solution but attracts more young-pregnant women/mothers-educated unemployed - they are going for social/public services: Education, Healthcare, Housing, jobs that they have no acces to in their shithole countries!

Migration to Europe is like Museveni in Uganda -cancer -! The more Europe/Uganda surrender, the more they are afflicted-submerged & rendered responsible for miseries of refugees/migrants!

Yet, Europe that has no answers, no solution to migration wants D.Trump to surrender his authority & let Europe dictate to & control how USA is to be governed! Europe beieves it has legitimate right to access USA money/market... with rules/laws set by EU & USA has no right to be friendly with Russia!...
Report to administrator
0 #4 Akot 2018-07-17 15:08
...Will Americans continue getting at D. Trump & helping Europe reduce USA to third world country level in their relations!

Europe respects Museveni but hates D. Trump, yet US president defends/works for Americans while Museveni works for himself, rwandese, migrants, refugees in Uganda, has been in power for 33 years, has already paved way for his continuity, accepts no opposition, rules through a disgusting tribalistic system with tribal leaders all over in a country he has no tribal!

As it is, in 10 years, Europe, like Uganda, will be controlled by migrants!

Well, British are like Ugandans, without their UNITY to put their countries on feet & be able to defend themselves as real NATIONS, Musevnei & EU will be the winners!

Who is going to bring change of governance in shitholes?
Report to administrator
0 #5 Ugthinker 2018-07-17 18:03
Africans desperately need leaders with solutions not rulers!

Africans will never be respected abroad when disrespected at home!

All our rulers as we speak are not up the task, we need to think seriously about getting leaders who are fit for purpose and up to the challenges at hand.

The lot we have in office, many of whom out date, are only costing us not only in maintenance but also our dignity!
Report to administrator

Comments are now closed for this entry