In the early hours of Sunday, about twelve boats with 263 Tunisian and Libyan migrants reached the island with help of the Italian coast guard.
Another 11 small boats carrying some 300 migrants also arrived on this small Italian island, which has become the gateway to Europe because of its proximity to the African coast. They are in the Imbriacola district's reception center, which only can house 192 people.
A few weeks ago, the number of refugee migrants in Lampedusa reached similar levels and the Italian Government chartered several boats to transfer the migrants to other places where they could quarantine.
Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese renegotiated with Tunisia a repatriation agreement to repatriate people to that country. In the coming weeks, Tunisian migrants will leave for their homeland in a series of charter flights, besides two flights that repatriate some 80 people every 15 days since July.
Within 12 hours on Saturday the crew rescued 133 people from three different boats. First, 90 people were rescued from a rubber dinghy and 24 people from a small wooden boat at noon. https://t.co/tNEmjXeeMA
Meanwhile, 133 migrants rescued on Saturday by the humanitarian ship Alan Kurdi, which belongs to the German NGO Sea-Eye, wait off the coast of Lampedusa for a port to disembark. Among them are 61 minors and a 5-month-old baby.
"They must be evacuated quickly and must not become the subject of negotiation between the countries of the European Union," Alan Kurdi Chairman Gordon Isler said.
“The Italian authorities have become very reluctant to support civilian sea rescuers and prefer to keep our ships in their ports for weeks on end. They seem to have no scruples about putting the rescued people and crews in danger through blockades,” he added.