Italian authorities on Tuesday have allowed a charity boat carrying hundreds of migrants rescued at sea to dock in the Sicilian port of Augusta, with another vessel waiting offshore for permission to bring 440 more to land.
The Geo Barents ship, run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), took onboard 558 people including, 174 minors and a woman who is eight months pregnant, mainly Africans, in eight separate operations off the coast of Libya in the last 11 days.
Meanwhile, the German charity boat Sea Watch 3 was also seeking a port to disembark the 440 migrants it rescued in recent days in the Mediterranean, including women and young children.
“The weather deteriorates … Everyone has the right to disembark, now,” Sea Watch wrote on its social media.
Italy has seen a sharp increase in boat migrants in recent months, with the government struggling to secure an agreement with European Union partners over how to deal with the influx.
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