Tag Archives: traffickers

Lifeline crew accused of piracy and human trafficking

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini warns about the arrest of the crew, and NGO vessel Lifeline transporting over two hundred illegal migrants from Libyan coasts to Italy, accusing them of piracy.

Formally Salvini is difficult to reproach. Acting within the international regulations,  Salvini orders stay in line with the UN frame document – the Law of Sea 1982, indicating that a  sovereign state is in its right to to establish and practise legislation over its aquatorium, similar way as over its territorium. The Law gives unequivocal powers to a state to fight illegal migration, and repel any vessel, suspected in migrant trafficking.

On contrary the Lifeline vessel has hardly any legitimacy after Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli accused it of “operating in Libyan waters outside all rules, outside international law” amid confusion over where the ship was de jure  registered.

This week the Netherlands denied reports that the Lifeline and another NGO-run migrant-rescue ship, the Seefuchs, are sailing under Dutch flags. “The Seefuchs and Lifeline are not sailing under Dutch flag as per UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) flag state responsibility,” the Netherlands representation at the EU said via Twitter.

In response Mission Lifeline confirmed in a tweet that its ship has been registered in the Netherlands since September 2017, attaching a photograph of the registration document to show it. It also said the rescue operation took place in international waters.

Amid clarifications Salvini informed that for “the safety of the crew and passengers Italy had asked Malta to open its ports for Lifeline vessel.

It is clear that the ship will then have to be impounded and the crew members arrested. No more trafficking by sea,” Salvini underlined.

Valletta accused the Lifeline crew of ignoring Italian instructions, and denied any responsibility for the mission, but made a gesture of goodwill, offering humanitarian supplies to illegal migrants.

Kurz suggests Frontex mission in Africa to defeat traffickers

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz suggested European border guards Frontex should be deployed in transit countries in Africa to prevent illegal migrants from undertaking crossings in the Mediterranean Sea in dinky boats, risking their lives.

During an interview with Sunday’s edition of German newspaper Welt am Sonntag Kurz shared his vision of the EU border protection agency Frontex mission. He proposed a format of a mandate, that should allow the monitoring of the transit countries of Maghreb, with the purpose to “act in third countries, with the permission of their governments, to end smugglers’ dirty business model and prevent smugglers’ boats setting off on the dangerous route across the Mediterranean.”

Austrian concept of illegal migration crisis solution has an extra weight because the country will preside in the European Union from July next six month. Chancellor’s governing coalition took office in December last year, following an intense election campaign marked by a paramount attention given to migrant crisis by all political forces.

 

EU to enforce training of Libyan guards

 

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“We reaffirm our determination to act in full respect of human rights, international law and European values, and in conjunction with UNHCR and IOM”, – declared the EU28 from Malta Informal Summit #EUCO in Valletta today.

“On the Central Mediterranean route, however, over 181,000 arrivals were detected in 2016, while the number of persons dead or missing at sea has reached a new record every year since 2013 … we are determined to take additional action to significantly reduce migratory flows along the Central Mediterranean route and break the business model of smugglers, – says the statement.”

The priority will be given to training, equipment and support to the Libyan national coast guard and other relevant agencies, and steep up further efforts to disrupt the business model of smugglers.

Meanwhile the construction of a fence between Italy, and Austia to control area off the northbound motorway at the Brenner pass in the Alps continues.