On November 3, the SOS Méditerranée association appealed for the first time to France, Spain and Greece to help it find a port to disembark 234 migrants welcomed on board the Ocean Viking,
In a communicated on November 3, SOS Méditerranée is asking for help from Athens, Madrid and Paris to disembark 234 people. The NGO says it fears bad weather conditions and reports a dwindling of its provisions on board theocean vikingthe ship that rescued the migrants.
Since its first rescue on October 22, SOS Méditerranée has requested, as usual and in accordance with maritime law, the authorities of the search area, in Libya and Malta, without obtaining an answer, informed AFP the director and co-founder of the NGO, Sophie Beau, by telephone.
Expected refusal from Italy
She then asked for Italy, but the recent coming to power of the radical anti-immigration right, suggests an end of inadmissibility. “The Minister of the Interior targeted theocean viking in his statements,” recalls Sophie Beau. Matteo Piantedosi has indeed announced that he has issued a directive warning the police forces and port authorities that his ministry is considering a ban on entry into territorial waters of the ship chartered by SOS Méditerranée and the German boat of the NGO SOS Humanity.
On November 3, the two ships had not received official communication on such a decision, but “they are nevertheless facing a total blockage on the high seas and an implicit ban on entering Italian ports”, detailed SOS Mediterranean
“We are not asking France to open a port for us, but to help us find a solution”
The NGO then turned to the maritime authorities of France, Spain and Greece, “who are best able to provide assistance, to facilitate the designation of a safe port”.
“This is the first time that we have asked them,” explained Sophie Beau, who specifies that the request was made on the evening of November 2. at midday on the 3rd, SOS Méditerranée had received no response. The director insisted: “We are not asking France to open a port for us, but to help us find a solution”, in priority in Italy or Malta, the states closest to theocean vikingcurrently south of Sicily.
Since the beginning of the year, 1,765 migrants have disappeared in the Mediterranean, including 1,287 in the central Mediterranean, the most dangerous migratory route in the world, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).