MILAN – About 600 migrants have been brought to Sicily after being rescued at sea in one of the biggest arrivals since the Italian government struck a deal with Libyan authorities to limit departures.
The migrants, most of them unaccompanied minors from sub-Saharan Africa, were rescued in seven operations over 36 hours, and transported Friday to Palermo by the German non-governmental organization SOS Mediterranee. The arrivals come as fighting around the Libyan city of Sabratha has destabilized a militia that had pledged to help reduce the migrant flow.
SOS Mediterranee president Valeria Calandra told Sky TG24 that “I think this rescue is the first of many others that will arrive.”
Migrant arrivals in Italy dropped dramatically in July and August, before an uptick from 3,914 in August to 6,288 in September.