Tensions on Lampedusa rose as both residents and illegal invaders chafed at the long wait times to transfer people from the crowded reception center to the Italian mainland
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will travel on Sunday to the Italian island of Lampedusa, which was overwhelmed with thousands of migrant arrivals this week.
Von der Leyen's spokesman, Eric Mamer, confirmed on Saturday that she would make the trip at the invitation of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who is calling for a naval blockade of North Africa.
Tensions on the small island were rising on Saturday, as both residents and migrants chafed at the long wait times to transfer people from the crowded reception centre to the Italian mainland. Nearly 7,000 migrants arrived on Lampedusa from Tunisia this week, and the Red Cross said that 3,800 remained on the island on Friday.
Some migrants have gotten violent between each other and, at times, with locals and police. To slow police presence, some invaders have built roadblocks and barriers to slow the flow of police into the overcrowded areas.