The Maltese navy has rescued a hundred migrants who were aboard a boat in which two bodies were found on, the government of Valletta announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The boat, which was already taking water at the time of the Maltese intervention, was about 68 nautical miles (about 125 km) south of Malta. The one hundred survivors and both bodies were transferred to Valletta.
The Maltese Government also responded in its statement to Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s accusations that Malta has not kept its promise to accommodate fifty of the approximately four hundred and fifty migrants who landed in Italy five weeks ago.
“The Maltese authorities have established contact with the Italian authorities to fulfill their commitment as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the Italian authorities have not provided Malta with any concrete procedure to follow to accommodate these fifty migrants,” the statement said.
“The Government notes that, unfortunately, Italy has not yet fulfilled its obligations concerning the allocation mechanism (set up) at the initiative of Malta at the time of the disembarkation in Malta of migrants aboard the Lifeline on 27 June.”
The Lifeline ship owned by the German humanitarian NGO of the same name, with more than two hundred migrants on board, was allowed to dock in Valletta on 27 June following the engagement of several European countries, including Italy to take care of some of the people on board.
Wednesday’s rescue was the fourth such operation carried out by the Maltese navy within a week, including that of 61 migrants who were brought to shore on Monday.