Home World Italian ship in Libya to deliver the anti-smugglers unit

Italian ship in Libya to deliver the anti-smugglers unit

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It was conducted as a covert operation, avoiding announcements before it was completed. But a photo released on Twitter by an analyst has dropped the veil of confidentiality: the image of a large Italian military ship in a Libyan port. According to what Repubblica has reconstructed, this is the “San Giorgio”, which landed in Tripoli for a very special mission.

The helicopter carrier has in fact delivered to the Libyan government a mobile center for the coordination of maritime rescue, called with the English acronym Mrcc (Maritime Rescue Coordination Center). A series of containers with computer terminals and state-of-the-art radio equipment that will make it possible to “increase the safety of navigation in the Mediterranean and in particular in the Sicilian channel”. And consequently they will serve to strengthen the interventions of the Tripoli Coast Guard also in the activities against illegal immigration. The plant was financed by the European Union as part of an agreement managed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior, which will also take care of assistance to Libyan personnel. The cost is around 15 million euros.

From a strategic point of view, the arrival of the “San Giorgio” marks the resumption of the European and Italian initiative in Libya. After the start of the civil war, the ships of our navy had abandoned the Tripoli port of Abu Sitta. Since 2019, those piers have become the bridgehead of the Turkish expansion in Tripolitania. And also the training and coordination activities of the local Coast Guard in the last period have been mainly carried out by the Ankara military, consolidating the influence on the region. Now, however, things are starting to change. A few days before the elections that will mark the future of the country, this operation is the first concrete act of relaunching relations between the government of Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah and the EU: a step in which our diplomacy has played a key role and which can become the premise for countering Turkish activism in Libya.

At the same time, however, the activity carried out by the Libyan Coast Guard on the human trafficking front is the subject of numerous complaints by NGOs and political parties throughout Europe. Local soldiers are accused of inhumane treatment of migrants stranded at sea and, in some cases, of colluding with criminal clans who exploit desperate people fleeing Africa. There have been several questions to the EU Parliament focused precisely on the new central for the coordination of aid, its costs and above all its management: who will guarantee that it does not become a tool to increase abuses?

The Brussels Commission considers the new Mcrr power plant the starting point for a reform of Libyan interventions at sea. Often in recent years the structure active in Tripoli, due to the backwardness of the equipment or the behavior of the staff, has not responded to calls for help from boats in difficulty: a silence that has turned into dramatic shipwrecks. For this reason, in addition to the provision of a modern system connected to all radio channels, the training of Libyan officers by our Ministry of the Interior was provided. Again, this is an early move. Because without organic and far-reaching action it will remain difficult to protect the rights of migrants.


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