Another ship suspends migrant rescues citing Libyan threats

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2017

Charity boats have played a growing role in rescues, picking up more than a third of all migrants brought ashore so far this year against less than one percent in 2014. They also contend that if the Libyan coast guard blocks smugglers' boats, migrants will be returned to inhumane conditions, including beatings and forced labor, in Libyan detention centers.

The right-wing group, who shares sentiments with the white nationalist Identitarian movement, claimed the rescuing of refugees from the Mediterranean Sea was part of an "invasion" movement.

Save the Children said it was seeking guarantees it could safely carry out effective rescue operations, and expressed worry for "the possibility that migrants are brought back to Libya, that's not considered a safe place where fundamental human rights are respected".

"The reason for this is the changed security situation in the Western Mediterranean, after the Libyan government announced an indefinite and unilateral extension of their territorial waters - in connection with an explicit threat against the private NGOs", Michael Buschheuer, the founder of the organization, was quoted as saying in its statement.

12, 2017, it is temporarily suspending the activity of its rescue ship due to alleged threats from Libya's coast guard, which has increasingly become more aggressive in patrolling the waters off its coasts where human traffickers launch boats crowded with migrants desperate to reach Europe.

HuffPost UK reported yesterday how the C-Star had been unusually quiet for the last few days as it hovered around the coast of Tunisia, far from its intended target of the search and rescue zones near the Libyan shore.

Italy has struggled with the wave of refugees and migrants arriving at its coast.

Earlier this month Italy deployed two warships to assist Libya's coastguard in intercepting migrant smugglers, a deployment condemned by the GNA's rival government, the House of Representatives.

A spokesperson for the group, which is among those Defend Europe has accused of "colluding" with Libyan people smugglers, said it was on its way to offer aid. "We wish to establish a code of conduct that is built on governing law and mutual trust". Doctors Without Borders has refused to endorse the rules, while some other humanitarian groups have given their approval.

Cooperation between Rome and Tripoli on migration was endorsed as "very constructive" by the UN's new Libya envoy, Ghassan Salame. Humanitarian groups warned that the move would expose migrants to more danger on an already treacherous journey.

The interior ministry said 11,193 new arrivals had been registered in July, compared with 23,552 in July 2016. More than 13,000 migrants have died trying to make the crossing.

"We leave behind a deadly gap in the Mediterranean", Buschheuer warned.

Other reports by iNewsToday