UN calls on countries to take in migrants rescued at sea

BERLIN (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency is calling on countries to take in 49 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea in recent days.

Geneva-based UNHCR urged governments Monday to “urgently offer safe ports and disembarkation” and agree on a system that provides rescue ship captains with clarity about where migrants can disembark.

One German-based rescue group, Sea-Eye, said Monday that “any delay poses a risk” to the 14 men, one woman and two children rescued from an unseaworthy boat off Libya’s coast Saturday. Another 32 people were picked up by the vessel Sea Watch 3 on Dec. 22.

Sea-Eye spokesman Gorden Isler said conditions at sea are expected to deteriorate in the coming days.

UNHCR said more than 2,240 people have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean in 2018.

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