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Italian ships to carry 629 shipwrecked African migrants to Spain

The migrants will be transferred from the rescue ship Aquarius to the Italian vessels that will make the 1,400 kilometre trip to Valencia.

Picture taken in the search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean sea by SOS Mediterranée. Picture: @SOSMedFrance/Twitter

PRETORIA - Italian ships will carry 629 shipwrecked African migrants to the safe haven promised to them in Spain.

The migrants will be transferred from the rescue ship Aquarius to the Italian vessels that will make the 1,400 kilometre trip to Valencia.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has rounded on Italy’s new Home Affairs minister Matteo Salvini for breaking international law and creating the stalemate that left the rescued migrants stranded at sea.

Spain’s new socialist premier Pedro Sanchez says the migrants may land in Spain after they were barred by Italy and Malta.

European authorities are calling for a more coordinated response to dealing with maritime rescue operations to avoid future crisis that left seven pregnant women, 11 children and 127 unaccompanied minors among the 629 migrants saved by SOS Mediterranée in serious danger.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)