Italy has reportedly authorised the arrival of two charity ships carrying over 100 migrants to dock on its Sicilian port of Messina and Pozzallo. Italy has said that it authorised the arrival of two ships after discussing the terms with the European Commission and other European Union countries. Other countries that have agreed to accommodate some of these migrants are Germany and France.
German charity Sea-Eye's ship Alan Kurdi will dock in the Sicilian port of Messina, while SOS Mediterranean's Ocean Viking will dock at Pozzallo, also in Sicily. Rome agreed to take the ships in after a temporary agreement between France, Germany, Italy and Malta. According to Italy's interior ministry, the European Commission has reportedly started the process of distributing 61 migrants onboard of Alan Kurdi and 60 migrants on Ocean Viking among the EU countries that have agreed to take them in.
The surge in the European migrant crisis began in 2015 with migrants coming from the mostly Muslim-majority countries of North Africa and Greater Middle-East. German charity Sea-Eye's Alan Kurdi, named after the Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean in 2015, has so far rescued more than 500 people from the Mediterranean sea looking to enter Europe. Italy has taken the most number of refugees since 2014. According to a data released by Italy's interior ministry in 2014, 163,368 migrants have been rescued at sea that year alone.
The immigrants began to flock in the European countries after the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Syrians take the top spot among the nationalities arriving in Europe by sea. In November 2014, Syrians comprised the largest nationality arriving in Italy, nearly 3,000 or a third of the total, Italy's interior ministry data stated. International media reported that the current number of displaced people is at the highest level since World War II.
(with inputs from agencies)