UN 'concerned' over 12 migrants stranded in Mediterranean
Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms, which helped a Spanish fishing vessel rescue the migrants more than a week ago, told AFP that one young man suffering from dehydration had to be evacuated to Malta in "a highly weakened state."
The 11 others also needed to get to a safe port as soon as possible, the group said. The 13-strong crew of the "Nuestra Madre Loreto" fishing vessel rescued the migrants on November 22.
The migrants from Egypt, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, had originally set out from Libya and were found drifting in a rubber dinghy in Maltese waters.
The Spanish authorities had already tried to get Tripoli to take them back and were in talks with Italy and Malta.
But Pascual Dura, captain of the aid vessel sheltering them, told AFP that both countries had already refused to let them dock at their ports.
The Madrid office of the UN refugee agency appealed on Friday for an urgent solution.
It had been in touch with the Spanish authorities since Monday, it said "... to express deep concern at the possibility of a forced return of the people rescued to Libya".
More than 106,000 migrants have arrived in Europe by sea since the start of the year, according to the International Organization for Migration, and at least 2,119 others have died in the process.