Four EU countries will take in a group of migrants who have now been stranded in the Mediterranean for more than 10 days, the government of the island nation of Malta announced on Saturday.
“All 64 migrants onboard Alan Kurdi [ship] will be disembarked and redistributed between Germany, France, Portugal and Luxembourg thanks to effective coordination by European Commission,” the Maltase government said on Twitter.
The ship will not be allowed to disembark at Malta and none of the migrants will remain in the country, the statement said.
“A solution was found in order not to let the situation deteriorate further while making it clear Malta cannot keep shouldering this burden,” the government stated.
“Once again the smallest member of the European Union was put under unnecessary pressure, being asked to resolve a case which was neither its responsibility nor its remit.”
Alan Kurdi, a ship named after a Syrian boy who drowned off the coast of Turkey while trying to go to Europe (also known as Aylan Kurdi), rescued 64 irregular migrants off the Libyan coast on April 3.
Malta, Italy, and Libya have so far refused to accept the migrants, said Sea-Eye, the German humanitarian group which operates the ship.
Some 30,510 migrants died between 2014 and 2018 while making the treacherous journey to Europe, the UN International Agency for Migration reported in early January.
By Busra Nur Bilgic