Sat, 30 May 2020

A boat that rescued 75 migrants in international waters is still stranded off the Tunisian coast 10 days later as authorities refuse to let it dock, the Red Crescent said Sunday.

The Egyptian tugboat Maridive 601 had rescued the migrants off the southern Tunisian coast in late May after they embarked from Libya, a key launchpad for sub-Saharan Africans making dangerous bids to reach Europe by sea.

A Red Crescent team based in the southern Tunisian city of Zarzis delivered aid and medical care to the migrants, some of whom were ill, said Mongi Slim, a Red Crescent official.

The captain of the vessel refused to comment to AFP. But six days earlier he had appealed to Tunisian authorities for urgent permission to access Zarzis port - permission they have not so far given.

"The migrants want to be welcomed by a European country," said an interior ministry official on condition of anonymity.

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