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Haftar's Libya to stop foreign vessels

05 August, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • Migrants: 'Difficult seeing victims, doing nothing', Jugend

Right-wing anti-immigration group Defend Europe announced Wednesday that after a series of setbacks, its team was on its way to waters off Libya.

Italy, which was not free from the reactions of exasperation of its population in the face of the continuous arrival of migrants, adopted in the last few months, a speech much more firm, especially in the direction of its european partners reluctant to share the burden of the home.

The Libyan eastern commander of Dignity Operation forces, Khalifa Haftar, has ordered to bombard any warships sailing into the Libyan waters, in a U-turn that could see escalations between eastern Libya and the UN-proposed government's bodies in western Libya get tense.

The Italian parliament gave the go-ahead for a naval mission in support of the Libyan coastguard's fight against the people traffickers behind the surge in migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

Obeidi said Haftar's orders were in reaction to Italy's decision to deploy a naval mission to Libya, a main point of departure for migrants seeking a better life in Europe.

Italy would only act in accordance with the Libyan authorities, Gentiloni said on Friday after the Italian cabinet approved the mission without giving details of what his government planned to do.

"This includes pushbacks to Libya or handovers to Libyan forces and applies even if Italy rescues or interdicts people in Libyan territorial waters", HRW's Sunderland said.

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"(We will) provide logistical, technical and operational support for Libyan naval vessels, helping them and supporting them in shared and coordinated actions", Pinotti told parliament on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's vote. The Italian move also triggered irate statements from factions in eastern Libya that oppose the United Nations backed government.

Prosecutor Ambrogio Cartosio said "people on the Iuventa are believed to have taken on board, on at least two separate occasions, migrants escorted by Libyan traffickers whose lives were not in danger".

The move was criticised by rights groups, who argue that Italy is sending migrants back to inhumane conditions and possible torture.

It was the first time Italian police have seized a humanitarian boat.

The reason Iuventa was seized is because "there is a serious unsafe the criminal activity (abetting illegal immigration) will be committed again", he said.

Italy drafted the code of conduct after prosecutors in Sicily alleged that some non-governmental organizations had been colluding with the smugglers who send boatloads of migrants out daily from Libya, for example by signaling their presence in one area of the sea.

On Wednesday, just days after the group refused to sign, one of the Jugend Rettet's ships was stopped off the island of Lampedusa by the Italian coast guard for a surprise inspection that resulted in the ship being seized while its crew members are investigated for abetting illegal immigration by a local Sicilian magistrate. There was no immediate comment from Jugend Rettet.

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