EU suspends naval patrols in Libya migrant operation

The EU announced Wednesday it will suspend ship patrols that have rescued tens of thousands of migrants since 2015 in the Mediterranean and brought them to Italy, after deep resistance by populist-led Rome. European Union diplomats agreed that the operation would be officially extended six months beyond its March 31 expiry date, but no longer […]

EU eyes awkward migration compromise on Mediterranean mission

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union was weighing up a compromise over migration policy on Tuesday that would extend its patrols in the Mediterranean but without vessels to save people in the sea after Italy said it would no longer receive them. The discussion among EU diplomats over Operation Sophia – the mandate of which […]

Dozens of migrants rescued off Libyan coast

Libyan coast guards on Wednesday rescued 74 illegal immigrants, including women and children, on a rubber boat off the western shores of the country, according to a medical source. “A patrol of the Libyan Coast Guards and the western Ports Security rescued 74 illegal immigrants, including 22 women and 4 children, who were on board […]

Italy begins training Libyan navy and coastguard

Italy yesterday received 87 Libyan navy and coastguard personnel as part of a European training programme aimed at improving Libya’s capabilities to combat smuggling and human trafficking across the Mediterranean. “The training of Libyan navy and coastguard officers will take place at the Italian Taranto’s Petty Officer Academy,” the Italian state television reported. To continue reading, […]

Rescued migrants say lucky to dodge Libyan coastal clampdown

Antonio Denti ABOARD AQUARIUS RESCUE SHIP (Reuters) – Migrants rescued in the Mediterranean last week said they had been lucky to dodge increased sea and police patrols along the Western coast of Libya that have dramatically reduced arrivals in Italy since July. Last month, Reuters reported that an armed group was stopping departures from the […]

Libyan Coastguards Turn Back More Than 1,000 Migrants – Spokesman

Those trying to cross early on Saturday were intercepted by coastguards from Zawiya, about 45 km west of Tripoli. TUNIS (Reuters) – Libyan coastguard vessels intercepted 1,074 migrants during an intensive day of operations west of the capital Tripoli on Saturday, a spokesman said. There has been a sharp drop in migrant crossings between Libya […]

Italy accused of bribing Libyan militias to stop migrants reaching Europe

Rome refuses to comment on claims that millions of dollars have changed hands, as migrant arrivals in Italy plummet Francesca Mannocchi Until recently, the shores of Zawiya, west of Tripoli, were the crossroads for much of Libya’s human trafficking. But over the last few weeks, such trade has come to a standstill. Arrivals to Italy […]

Europeans, Africans agree renewed push to tackle migrant crisis

Marine Pennetier and John Irish PARIS (Reuters) – Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer […]

Migrant crisis: Libya strongman Haftar warns Italy over ships

The head of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) has vowed to repel any Italian ships approaching Libya’s waters without permission. On Wednesday, Italy’s parliament approved a plan to send naval boats to Libya to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Italy is the main recipient of migrants making the dangerous trip from Libya. Field […]

Italy begins naval mission to help Libya curb migrant flows

Crispian Balmer ROME (Reuters) – Italy began a limited naval mission on Wednesday to help Libya’s coastguard curb migrant flows, which have become a source of political friction before national elections expected early next year. An Italian patrol boat entered Libyan waters and headed towards the port of Tripoli within minutes of a vote in […]