NGO Sea Watch looks for a harbor for 33 migrants rescued at sea
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The German NGO Sea Watch calls on European countries to find a quick solution to accommodate 33 migrants rescued at sea (photo illustration). PAU BARRENA / AFP
The German NGO Sea Watch, which rescued 33 migrants off Libya on Saturday, urged European states on Sunday (December 23rd) to "find a quick solution" to allow them to disembark before the weather spoils at Christmas.
The migrants were on a makeshift boat in international waters when they were rescued by the Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch3. They come from Nigeria, Libya and Ivory Coast and among them are six children and four women.
" Migrants are fine, that's the most important, " says Sea Watch spokesman Rupert Neugebauer, who recalls that " for now, there is no solution for the 33 people on board " . The climate in the Mediterranean is at the moment mild, but the humanitarian worries about the coming days, especially Christmas, where the weather should deteriorate and make the situation much more dangerous.
" It's not a problem until Monday because the weather is nice and we continue to search for migrant boats. But from Monday night, the weather will deteriorate. The waves will increase and the situation could quickly become critical. That's why you have to find a safe harbor for these people. At this time of Christmas we can not talk about Christian values and at the same time abandon human beings in distress on the sea. "
Sea Watch points Germany
Rupert Neugebauer appeals to one country in particular: Germany. " We have demonstrated this summer in several German cities for the reception of migrants. Following these events, more than 30 cities and several Länder have agreed to host migrants. The one who blocks is the Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer . So I wonder how Horst Seehofer can participate in the Christmas Mass where it will be about love of neighbor and at the same time block a solution with the result that migrants in the Mediterranean are abandoned to their fate . "
The NGO denounces Berlin's current policy regarding the reception of migrants and intends to put pressure on the minister. " Germany, which is one of the largest and one of the richest countries in Europe, has recently been very reluctant to welcome these people. That's a shame ! We will continue to seek a solution, we will try to increase the pressure to compel Horst Seehofer to make concessions . "
At the same time, the NGO's ship Open Arms was cleared by Madrid to make its way to Spain to land more than 300 migrants rescued on Saturday off the coast of Libya. The Astral, the other ship of this NGO, went to meet him, loaded with food and blankets to help migrants to face the trip that should last several days.