By Maria Kuiper
By Maria Kuiper
Rabat – A ship carrying 40 African migrants 12 miles off the coast of Tunisia has been stranded out at sea for 12 days now.
The non-profit Tunisia Red Crescent, a subsect of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which aims to increase border support for refugees, is ignoring the migrant boat, arguing that Malta or Italy should accept the migrants instead.
The new Italian government, the result of a hung parliament after no major party or political group won elections, closed ports to charity ships from the Mediterranean, saying the European Union should share the burden of accepting migrants.
The interior minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, refused to accept a rescue boat in June carrying 630 people after Malta had declined its disembarkment.
While Malta, Italy, and Greece have requested that other countries help carry the load of receiving refugees, countries such as Poland and Hungary have refused to take migrants arriving in Mediterranean countries. They say they should not be forced to take in asylum seekers or refugees.
Rome suggested migrant centers be set up in Africa. Tunisia rejected this proposal. The European Council agreed to set up asylum processing centers in North Africa, but Libya, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia refused to host the European Union’s proposed migrant arrival platforms.
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj spoke out against the European Union.
“We are strictly against Europe officially placing illegal migrants who are no longer wanted in the EU in our country,” al-Sarraj said.
Last month, 80 migrants died when a boat sank off the coast of Tunisia.