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Italy rejects NGO ship’s request for closer safe port

A Doctors Without Borders official from Italy requested that a ship belonging to Doctors Without Borders assign a safer port close to the area it had rescued 73 migrants. An NGO official stated on Sunday (8 Jan) that

This issue was not addressed by the interior ministry of Italy.

This is part of a wider tug-of-war between Italy’s right-wing government and NGOs over where to disembark migrants who were saved from the Mediterranean.

Rome granted permission to Doctor Without Borders’ vessel Geo Barents, on Saturday (7 January), to dock at Ancona port. This port is located on the east coast of Italy, far away from Sicily where rescue boats often disembark migrants.


“The interior ministry rejected our request for a safer port in which to disembark Geo Barents’ 73 survivors.” Juan Matias Gil, Head of Doctors Without Borders Mission, stated in a Sunday message the ship was headed north.

Geo Barents was a rescuer from a rubber boat off the coast of Libya. He asked for a port nearer Ancona. It would take three days because the weather was getting worse.


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