Forty-seven stranded migrants finally came to shore in Catania in the early hours of Thursday morning after been blocked at sea off Sicily for twelve days.
The latest migrant stand-off finally came to an end after some nine EU countries including Italy agreed to take in those who have been trapped on board the Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch vessel ever since their rescue off the Libyan coast. The other EU countries include Germany, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and Romania.
Thirteen of those on board the ship run by a German humanitarian group are unaccompanied minors. They have been living in cramped and uncomfortable conditions and have endured violent storms out at sea.
Italy’s populist government which took office last year has closed its ports to humanitarian vessels in a bid to force EU partners to take a share of those rescued in the Mediterranean.