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New birth in Operation Sophia

The medical team and the mother after childbirth (Credit: Spanish Navy)

(B2) Spring has arrived in a somewhat unusual way for the EUNAVFOR Med / Sophia operation to combat human and arms trafficking in the Mediterranean. “Emmanuel”. This is the first name of the baby born on the night of March 20 to 21 aboard the frigate Canary Islands (F-86), hours after his mother, and 1800 other migrants, were rescued off the coast of Libya.

Mother rescued off Libya

The sea was rough on Monday March 20, and the makeshift ships of migrants trying to reach Europe quickly sank. Off the Libyan coast, the Spanish frigate coordinated the rescue of more than 1800 migrants during six interventions. At the end of the day, the Canary Islands sets course for the Italian port of Mesina. On board, 638 migrants including nine pregnant women. Among them, Adesuwa, a young Nigerian.

Birth and baptism on board

It was around midnight that the young woman's water broke and was taken care of by the ship's medical team. The birth took place without any complications, according to the Spanish Navy. Emmanuel was born at 2:10 a.m. Spanish time, in perfect health. At the request of the mother, a Catholic, and taking advantage of the presence of a chaplain, the child was baptized. Her godfather is the ship's doctor who attended the birth. 

Transfer to an Italian hospital, without controversy

When the ship arrived in Mesina, mother and child were sent to a hospital in the city. They will then be taken care of, like any migrant. Emmanuel, although born on a Spanish ship, is not automatically entitled to Spanish nationality. A debate which seems to have been settled by Spain, after the controversy last December. Read : Muna, the newborn baby 'EUnavfor Med' sparks controversy in Spain

(Leonor Hubaut)

Lire: The Canarias frigate joins Operation Sophia

Leonor Hubaut

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery Leonor Hubaut is a journalist. Graduated in international relations from the Free University of Brussels (specialization in globalization). She covers for B2 the work of the European Parliament, CSDP missions and African issues. Sahel specialist.