15. September 2017 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Migrants stuck on endless ferry journey as countries refuse entry“ · Kategorien: Rumänien, Ukraine · Tags: ,

The Guardian | 14.09.2017

Men stowed away on Istanbul to Odessa ferry and are stuck at sea while both Turkey and Ukraine refuse to take them

Twelve migrants, apparently from North Africa, have been sailing to and fro between Istanbul and Odessa on a Danish passenger ferry for the last seven weeks, locked in four cabins with no country willing to take them.

According to the operator, DFDS, Turkey and Ukraine both refuse to accept the men.

“There has been a tendency to violence and aggressions and they have threatened to jump overboard … so there is no alternative to locking them inside the cabins,” a DFDS spokesman said on Thursday.

DFDS has hired Turkish guards and invited UN authorities aboard the vessel to question the men, of whom at least six are thought to be Moroccan and four Algerian.

The Danish foreign ministry has opened negotiations with Ankara, Kiev and, because the ferry is sailing under the Lithuanian flag, with Vilnius.

“The problem can be solved. All it takes is a quick decision from Ankara or Kiev,” a Danish foreign ministry source with knowledge of the negotiations said.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian border service said the men wanted to go from Turkey to Romania but got on the wrong ferry and ended up in Ukraine, where they cannot be taken in because they do not have documents.

“The problem is that Turkey doesn’t want to take them, but Turkey should take them because they sailed from Turkey,” the source said, adding that in accordance with the bilateral agreement, the country that delivered the people should take them back.

“That’s why they’ve been cruising about on that ferry,” he said.

A Turkish foreign ministry official said the case was being followed by “all related institutions”.

DFDS suspects the men boarded by hiding in a trailer that was loaded on to the ferry.

The company said the best solution would be for Ukraine or Turkey to agree to take the migrants, or to get final confirmation of their origin so they can be sent back to their countries.

“It is completely unsound that we should handle this,” DFDS said. “This is a situation the border controls should handle, not a transportation company.”

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