Doctors Without Borders splits from sea rescue partner over coronavirus policy

18.04.2020 - Deutsche Welle

Doctors Without Borders splits from sea rescue partner over coronavirus policy

Doctors Without Borders has ended a cooperation saving migrants stranded at sea after its partner suspended rescue missions due to the coronavirus. The NGO has accused the EU of using the outbreak to keep migrants away.

French aid group Doctors Without Borders has ended its migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, the French NGO announced Friday, following disagreements with its operations partner SOS Mediterranee on how to proceed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Doctors Without Borders, which also goes by its French acronym MSF, said it wished to continue rescue operations despite some European governments’ refusal to let rescued migrants and asylum-seekers come ashore due to coronavirus fears.

SOS Mediterranee, meanwhile, has said it will temporarily suspend rescue missions “until the circumstances allow us to safely resume our work.” The NGO said it respected the decision taken by MSF.

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