After 16 days of stalemate, the 40 migrants who were rescued off the Libyan coast disembarked in the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday.
The humanitarian ship which rescued the migrants, Sea-Watch 3, was forbidden to enter the Italian port due to an immigration decree by the Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini.
But the German captain of the ship broke the blockade on Wednesday and finally entered the Italian port on Friday.
Carola Rackete said the situation on board the ship was dire and that she was forced to break the blockade to protect the lives of the migrants aboard.
Rackete was arrested by police following the ship’s arrival at the port.
The migrants disembarked some hours later and were transfered to the island’s reception centre.
On Friday, Italy said it had received a positive response from five EU countries about taking some of the 40 migrants in.
The Italian Foreign Ministry tweeted a show of gratitude to the governments of Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal.
FM Enzo #Moavero: “Sincere thanks to the Governments of Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal and to European Commissioner Avramopoulos for the positive response on the people on board of the #SeaWatch”.
— Farnesina ?? (@ItalyMFA) June 28, 2019