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Italy decides to use military force in Libya

Friday, August 4th, 2017 | World News

Italy is facing a controversial military intervention in front of the Libyan coast to fight human smuggling. Side by side with the Libyan coast guard will be laid trawling the craft. In the refugee crisis the private sea trout are becoming increasingly under pressure. A German rescue ship was temporarily suspended.

A ship of the navy headed for Tripoli, after Parliament had given the green light to support the Libyan coast guard in Rome. Italy hopes that the operation will stabilize the country and less arriving migrants. In the meantime, private seafarers were again the focus: Against the German organization "Jugendrettet" is determined because it has favored illegal migration. The prosecutor ordered her rescue ship to be set on Lampedusa.

In Italy, most migrants are currently in Europe. More than 95,000 people rescued in the Mediterranean reached the ports of the country since the beginning of the year. In order to bring the situation under control, the government in Rome is now pursuing a double strategy: the Libyan mission is designed to help the traffickers exploit the chaos of the civil war to put people on seaworthy boats. At the same time, it is increasing the pressure on relief organizations currently carrying out about 35% of the rescue operations in the Mediterranean. A Code of Conduct is intended to regulate the stakes. The bulk of the organizations refused to sign it.

German contacts to tugs?
Even the German organization "Jugendrettet" had not signed – that their ship "Iuventa" was fixed on Lampedusa, according to the public prosecutor but nothing to do with it. Instead, the crew is said to have taken several migrants on board, who were still accompanied by Libyan tugs and not in danger of life, said Ambassador Ambrogio Cartosio in the Sicilian Trapani.

The investigators investigate contacts and possible arrangements between the crew and Libyan tugs. The organization rejected the accusations. Cartosio said, "That there is a plan between the NGOs and tugs, I am at the present time science fiction." If the NGO had actually acted unlawfully, it considered that it had done so for humanitarian purposes and without profit-making. Private sea troopers have long been accused of "co-operating" with tugs. However, this was never confirmed in Parliament's parliamentary committees in Italy.

 In the Mediterranean Sea, almost 300 MSFs and SOS Méditerranée were rescued by a wooden boat on Wednesday threatening to sink. According to media reports, the Italian navy of the Libyan coast guard will help with monitoring technology in the future to find such boats within the territorial waters so that people can be brought back to Libya. To what extent the navy will operate in the 12-mile zone is still unclear.

The mission, now decided by the government of Fajis al-Sarrad, will support the Libyan coast guard also logistically and will be held in close consultation with the Libyan authorities, it said in Rome. The Italian government emphasized that the operation would not violate the sovereignty of Libya, but strengthen it. "If the Libyan coast guard receives enough aid, it will be able to carry out patrols and the fight against human smuggling itself," said the German press agency Ajub Kassem, the Libyan coast guard.

The use is not disputed. Amnesty International criticized him critically for the fact that war ships were pushing migrants back instead of rescuing and protecting them. In the civil war country Muammar al-Gaddafi has been chaos since the overthrow of long-time rulers. Three governments are fighting for power. The United Nations support Al-Sarradsch's government. But it does not control areas beyond Tripoli.

People's smuggling from Libya
As expected, a spokesman for the Libyan parliament in the eastern city of Tobruk criticized the bilateral mission with the Italians. The Al-Sarradsch government in Tripoli is not a legitimate institution to discuss sovereignty matters with Rome, said Abdullah Bleihak of the German Press Agency. The parliament in Tobruk does not recognize the government in Tripoli and is influenced by opponents Al-Sarradschs. Mr Bleihak announced he wanted to call the UN because of "Italy's deployment of troops".

In contrast to Italy, the EU is still not allowed to proceed against illegal migration in the coastal waters of Libya. Ships of the German Armed Forces and other European armed forces have already been deployed in the Central Mediterranean Sea since 2015 during Operation Sophia in order to fight human smuggling from Libya. Because they are not allowed to operate in the coastal waters of the country, which has been destroyed by the civil war, however, little success has been achieved.

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