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Relief ships carrying some 500 migrants arrive in Italy after difficult crossing

Two humanitarian boats, carrying a total of 509 rescued migrants in the central Mediterranean, have arrived in Italian ports, after days spent at sea in adverse weather conditions.

The Geo Barents, chartered by Doctors Without Borders, arrived at the port of Salerno, south of Naples, with 248 migrants on board, after the evacuation of a mother who gave birth to a baby and a boy from 14 year old suffering from severe abdominal pain. .

Humanity 1, which belongs to SOS Humanity in Germany, entered the port of Bari with 261 other migrants who were rescued at sea.

Until Friday, the two humanitarian ships were off the Italian island of Sicily, waiting for a safe port.

The Italian government granted them two ports on the mainland, forcing the ships and the 509 rescued migrants to sail another day in harsh weather conditions.

“We have been sailing for almost 40 hours at full speed and in adverse weather conditions, with very strong winds and waves up to three meters high. The crossing was exhausting,” said a spokesperson for Humanity. 1.

The Italian Interior Ministry said mainland ports were chosen so that reception centers in Sicily would not be overcrowded.

Ministry sources say the government, led by far-right Giorgia Meloni, has not reversed its policy against NGOs rescuing migrants at sea, which it accuses of encouraging the flow of migrants from Africa by their mere presence.

euronews Gt

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