World

NGOs suspend migrant rescues over 'threats' from Libya

NGOs suspend migrant rescues over 'threats' from Libya

In a statement, Sea Eye said it was with "a heavy heart" that it had made a decision to follow suit following the Libyan government's "explicit threat against the private NGOs".

On Saturday, the Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) worldwide humanitarian group also announced the suspension of the search and rescue activity of its biggest ship in the Mediterranean, the Prudence, because of "increasingly hostile environment for lifesaving rescue operations".

A Facebook post published by the refugee rescue operation Sea-Eye indicated the C-Star was "in distress at sea", and the Italian marine rescue service (MRCC) had dispatched their ship to assist them as it was the closest.

Libya has warned that it's extending its own search-and-rescue area to beyond the 12-mile limit Italy and other countries consider the boundary of Libyan territorial waters. "It would be irresponsible towards our crews", he added.

The workers manning the boat didn't think twice about rescuing a bunch of alt-right creeps who meant to do harm to the vulnerable people the Sea-Eye swore to protect.

"In general, we do not reject (NGO) presence, but we demand from them more cooperation with the state of Libya. they should show more respect to the Libyan sovereignty", coastguard spokesman Ayoub Qassem told Reuters on Sunday.

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Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said in a newspaper interview on Sunday that Libya's growing role in controlling its waters was curbing people trafficking and producing a welcome "readjustment" in the Mediterranean. The Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre in Rome deployed a rescue ship to help it in worldwide waters between Tunisia and Libya.

"MSF further requests that Libyan authorities clarify that all boats, operated by NGOs or anyone else, will be permitted to conduct these rescue activities unhindered and unharmed and that the Libyan nor Italian authorities will interfere with the legally guaranteed right to disembark people in a place of safety", it said in a statement.

The C-Star has been plagued with problems since its mission began last month.

Humanitarian groups say migrants returned to Libya risk inhumane treatment.

The vast majority of those reaching Europe this year have landed in Italy, according to the International Organization for Migration.

According to The Independent more than 2,400 people have drowned so far this year as they attempt to cross from North Africa to Europe.