Malta, new vessel to reinforce its borders

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – While the Armed Forces of Malta has received a new 75-metre patrol boat which is manned by a 40-strong crew to reinforce its border control surveillance, according to UN information, Malta has taken in just one irregular migrant from the sea so far this year as the number of arrivals to Italy has tripled.
Considered as the largest vessel in the history of law enforcement following an investment of €53 million co-financed by the EU, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta plays a very important role for security especially being an island surrounded by sea and this ship will give us those skills that we didn’t have until today.
The Brigadier of the Armed Forces, Clinton O’Neill, explained how this ship will help soldiers protect national security. “This is a ship which can be used for more roles than we had before; it lasts longer at sea depending on how it is used, it can accommodate more people and is equipped with new aerials and communication and also other things that will help our operation.
Minister Silvio Schembri and Parliamentary Secretary Chris Bonett said that this vessel is the beginning of an investment by European funds in the field of security. They said the Government has €200 million in European funds dedicated to other investments in the field of defence, also in order to ensure that the Maltàs borders are better protected.
This comes as United Nations data shows that only one asylum seeker was rescued by the AFM at sea in 2023, while the number of arrivals to Italy has tripled.
According to the UN’s Mediterranean operational portal only one person landed in Malta compared with 20,535 in Italy, which is three times as many as in the same period in 2022.
Malta is often accused of shirking its responsibilities in rescuing asylum seekers at sea. So far this year, at least 374 people have been recorded missing in the central Mediterranean, according to the Missing Migrants Project. A report compiled by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) on Malta shows that in 2021 the AFM continued to drastically decrease rescues at sea. The report also highlighted the Maltese government’s insistence on denying disembarkation to individuals rescued at sea.
photo Doi

Source: medNews