Migrant Taxi NGO Disembarks Nearly 600 Migrants After Demanding Port Access

TOPSHOT - The Ocean Viking rescue ship sails off the coast of the island of Lampedusa in t

French Migrant transport NGO SOS Mediterranee demanded port access to drop off 572 migrants, claiming that food supplies are running low aboard the vessel.

The NGO wrote on Twitter that their ship, the Ocean Viking, required access to a port to drop off the hundreds of migrants the NGO had picked up in the Mediterranean Sea.

“On the aft deck of the Ocean Viking, 572 survivors are in urgent need of a place of safety to disembark. We will run out of prepacked food rations in a couple of days,” the NGO stated on Tuesday.

The Italian state acceded to the demands on Thursday and opened the port of Augusta, Sicily to the migrant taxi. Disembarkation began on Friday.

According to a report from the European Union-funded website InfoMigrants, the NGO picked up the migrants in nine separate missions and has been searching for a port to land their vessel since earlier this week.

The website claims that the migrants on board are largely from Egypt, Gambia, Libya, South Sudan, and Syria but noted that migrants of other nationalities could be on the vessel.

SOS Mediterranee’s rescue coordinator Luisa Albera, meanwhile, had stated that they expected food rations aboard the ship to be depleted by as early as Friday, and fights have already broken out among the migrants on the ship.

Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni, whose party has become one of the most popular in the country according to recent polls, spoke out about the NGO’s situation, saying they should set sail for France.

“The French NGO with almost 600 illegal migrants onboard can go to Marseille,” Meloni said and added: “Italy is not the refugee camp of Europe, and it is not a French or German colony.”

The NGO is just one of several operating in the Mediterranean in recent months that have picked up hundreds of migrants and delivered them to Italy, with the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors Without Borders) dropping off 410 migrants last month in Sicily.

The Italian island of Lampedusa has also seen a surge of new migrant arrivals in the last several days, with hundreds arriving illegally on the island over the weekend, overwhelming the reception centre.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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