13 June 2018
Italy forged ahead with plans to send hundreds of migrants to Spain in a small naval convoy on Tuesday (June 12) after shutting its own ports to them. Spain unexpectedly offered on Monday (June 11) to take in the group of mainly sub-Saharan Africans. Some 629 migrants, including 11 children and seven pregnant women, have been afloat in the central Mediterranean aboard the Aquarius rescue ship since Sunday (June 10).
They were picked up off the Libyan coast over the weekend. Both Italy and Malta refused to let them dock. The latest move by Italy sparked a war of words with France that exposed European Union tensions over immigration.