40 migrants allowed to enter Tunisia after two weeks at sea

The boat carrying 40 migrants will be allowed to enter Tunisia after it was refused by European states, including Malta

40 migrants, including two pregnant women, were allowed to enter Tunisia after two weeks at sea.

The migrants were reportedly stranded on the ship in the Mediterranean Sea for five days before a Maltese ship picked them up and transferred them to a commercial boat.

Italy, Malta and France all refused to let the vessel into their ports. The Maltese government refuted claims it violated international maritime laws by directing the migrants to Tunisia, the nearest port.

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said the boat carrying the migrants would enter Tunisia  “for humanitarian reasons”.

Chahed said late Saturday he would authorize a Tunisian-flagged commercial boat that has been carrying the migrants since July 16 to dock at the southern port of Zarzis.

The Tunisian Red Crescent said it has been providing the migrants with food and medical assistance after warning of the dire sanitary conditions of the boat and the poor psychological state of the passengers, including two pregnant women.

Ali Hajji, the captain of the Sarost 5, told The Associated Press on Sunday that “everyone, port authorities and navy, is still waiting for the order to be given to them so that the boat can enter the port and disembark the migrants.”


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