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EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia: mandate extended by one year, two new tasks added. Training of the Libyan coastguards and navy and contributing to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya.
1. Training of the Libyan coastguards and navyThe legitimate Libyan authorities requested support in capacity building and training of their coastguards and navy. The objective is to enhance their capability to disrupt smuggling and trafficking in Libya and perform search and rescue activities to save lives so that security in the Libyan territorial waters improves.
2. Countering illegal arms traffickingA more secure and stable Libya will reduce illicit traffics and thereby contribute to the overall efforts for the disruption of human trafficking and smuggling networks. On the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2292, the operation will contribute to information sharing and support implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya. This will increase maritime situation awareness and limit arms flows to Da'esh and other terrorist groups.
EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia was launched on 22 June 2015. The operation entered its active phase in October 2015, which enables the identification, capture and disposal of vessels used or suspected of being used by migrants' smugglers or traffickers. Since then, the operation has contributed to the arrest and transfer to the Italian authorities of 71 suspected smugglers and traffickers and neutralised 139 vessels. In addition, the operation has helped save close to 16 000 lives.
The Operation Commander is Rear Admiral Credendino, from Italy. The headquarters of the operation are located in Rome.
Regarding the new tasks, the Council's press release (pdf) says:
"The legitimate Libyan authorities requested support in capacity building and training of their coastguards and navy. The objective is to enhance their capability to disrupt smuggling and trafficking in Libya and perform search and rescue activities to save lives so that security in the Libyan territorial waters improves."
"A more secure and stable Libya will reduce illicit traffics and thereby contribute to the overall efforts for the disruption of human trafficking and smuggling networks. On the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2292, the operation will contribute to information sharing and support implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya. This will increase maritime situation awareness and limit arms flows to Da'esh and other terrorist groups."
La collaborazione con la Guardia Costiera libica (?) ammesso che ne esista soltanto una, aumenta soltanto i respingimenti e i sequestri nei centri di detenzione in Libia. Non diminuisce certo quella che chiamano "pressione migratoria".
Europe shouldn’t even think about migration cooperation arrangements with Libya if it results, directly or indirectly, in such shocking human rights violations.
Abuses by the Libyan coastguard
At least 3,500 people were intercepted at sea by the Libyan coastguard between 22 and 28 May 2016 and transferred to detention centres.
Abdurrahman, 23, from Eritrea, described the abuse he endured when the overloaded boat he was travelling on – with capacity for 50 people but carrying 120 – was intercepted by members of the Libyan coastguard in January 2016.
“They made everyone get off and beat them with rubber hoses and wooden sticks….They then shot one man in the foot – he was the last one coming off the boat so they asked him where the driver was, when he said he didn’t know they said ‘that means you are the driver’ and they shot him,” he said.
Another Eritrean man, Mohamed, 26, said members of the Libyan coastguard who stopped them later abandoned their boat, leaving the 120 people on board stranded at sea.
“One of the men from the Libyan coastguard boat came onto our boat to drive it back to Libya. He drove it nearly half way back, but then the motor stopped working. [He] was very frustrated and went back to his own boat. I heard him say ‘if you die, you die’, before getting back on his boat and driving away, leaving us stuck in the sea,” he said.
EU navies to help Libya coastguard stop migrantshttps://euobserver.com/migration/133523
La maggior parte dei soccorsi sono operati oggi da navi commerciali (30%), navi umanitarie e navi della Guardia Costiera italiana. Si vede tutti i giorni nei porti di sbarco, una realtà che le statistiche di comodo non possono nascondere.
Canali umanitari e missione internazionale di soccorso in mare, subito, per fermare il genocidio in Mediterraneo.
Il Comitato europeo dei rappresentanti permanenti (COREPER) decide sulla Guardia Costiera Europea. Le pratiche di comitato prevalgono sui processi decisionali legislativi sanciti dal Trattato di Lisbona. Neanche una parola sugli interventi di ricerca e soccorso.
Klaas Dijkhoff, Minister for Migration of the Netherlands and President of the Council welcomed the agreement: "We urgently need an European Border and Coast Guard to strengthen our joined external borders in a structural way. With better border controls we have more control over migration streams and we enlarge the safety of our citizens. I'm satisfied that the member states and the European Parliament have made an effort to make sure that the European Border and Coast Guard can start as soon as possible".
The primary objective of the European Border and Coast Guard is to ensure and implement, as a shared responsibility, the European integrated border management at the external borders with a view to managing migration effectively and ensuring a high level of security within the EU, while safeguarding EU-internal free movement and in full respect for fundamental rights.
It will consist of an European Border and Coast guard agency (the current Frontex agency with expanded tasks) and national authorities responsible for border management. The renewed Agency would focus its activities on the establishment of an operational strategy for the European integrated border management and on the assistance in its implementation of all member states concerned.
- drafting of vulnerability assessment regarding member states' border control capacity;
- organising joint operations and rapid border interventions to reinforce the capacity of the member states to implement their obligations with regard to the control of the external borders, and to face challenges at the external border resulting from illegal immigration or cross-border crime
- assisting the Commission in the coordination of migration management support teams when a member states faces disproportionate migratory pressures in hotspot areas of their external border;
- ensuring the practical execution of measures in case of a situation requiring urgent action at the external borders;
- providing technical and operational assistance in the support of search and rescue operations for persons in distress at sea which may arise during border surveillance operations at sea;
- providing for a mandatory pooling of human resources by establishing a rapid reserve pool of at least 1500 border guards;
- appointing liaison officers of the agency in member states;
- organising, coordinating and conducting return operations and interventions;
- promoting cooperation with third countries, by coordinating operational cooperation between them and member states on border management.
Next stepsNow that the agreement has been confirmed by the Permanent Representatives Committee, on behalf of the Council, the regulation will be submitted to the European Parliament for a vote at first reading, and to the Council for adoption.
Un blog perché la cronaca quotidiana non diventi assuefazione, per contrastare la rimozione di problemi che sono prodotto di scelte politiche e di prassi amministrative che si nascondono dietro le retoriche dell'emergenza e della sicurezza. Prima di Lampedusa, prima dello sbarco, cronache di viaggi che spesso terminano in tragedie, poi notizie raccolte nei luoghi di sbarco e di accoglienza, dove si diffonde la detenzione informale e dove i diritti fondamentali dei migranti vengono compressi da una discrezionalità che si sottrae a qualsiasi controllo giurisdizionale, infine testimonianze di viaggio verso altri paesi, per trovare quel futuro e quella dignità che lItalia non garantisce più. E dunque fatti, persone, non numeri o dati, un racconto quotidiano che diventa memoria, ma anche impulso per modificare, in Italia ed in Europa, il quadro legislativo e le procedure applicate.