ROME, ITALY - For six days, 64 migrants rescued off the coast of Libya have been onboard the vessel of the German humanitarian group Sea-Eye waiting for Europe to provide a safe port for disembarkation. Officials onboard the Alan Kurdi say the situation is increasingly difficult and have voiced their concern over the shortage of drinking water and food supplies.
The German humanitarian group Sea-Eye says a solution needs to be found quickly for the migrants onboard the Alan Kurdi vessel, as the situation will not be sustainable for much longer. Six days after 64 migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya, a young woman had to be evacuated Tuesday after she complained of dizziness and faintness.
?Maltese authorities reacted quickly to the medical emergency, and the woman was evacuated to La Valletta. Jan Ribbeck, operations manager of the Alan Kurdi, expects these situations will increase if the migrants aren’t allowed to move quickly to a safe place. No EU country has yet come forward offering a safe port.
Ribbeck, who is a doctor, said the migrants for the most part had to sleep on deck and were not protected from the weather or the sea water. They were cold, wet and did not have dry clothes to change into. He added that due to the bad weather, they had to be taken below deck. Since Sunday evening, 81 people were huddled together in a room designed for 20 people.
Ribbeck said in the last 24 hours alone, one third of the migrants suffered from seasickness.
“It leaves me speechless that Europe is not in a position to spare 81 people such ordeals," he said.
The rescued migrants have already been through enough suffering, like 30-year-old Benjamin from Nigeria, who said he arrived in Libya in 2015.
“Libya is the most terrible country I’ve seen since I was born. Libya is no good at all. I do not advise any parents at all to send their children to Libya because it’s a very bad country. Libya is not civilized. They use we blacks for slaves,” he said.
Benjamin was sold twice. Others have been tortured or sexually abused.
Maltese authorities were informed Tuesday morning about the shortage of water and food, and requested some clothing. Malta has allowed a transport to replenish supplies on Wednesday.
The European Union, meanwhile, has said talks are underway with member states to identify a port and countries to take in the migrants. Italy and Malta have refused to allow port access to any NGO rescue ship. Sea-Eye spokesman Dominik Reisinger said the “political question about the distribution of the rescued overshadows the human rights” of those onboard.