Proactiva Open Arms, an NGO, which has “rescued” thousands of mostly illegal alien Muslim fake refugees in the Mediterranean, said the Italians want the Libyan Coast Guard to conduct the rescues and return the illegal migrants back to where they came from.
Daily Mail (h/t Terry D) Proactiva said in a tweet that Italian coast guard authorities who coordinate rescues sent out advisories to all ships in the area but told the aid group: ‘We don’t need your help.’
In a tweet on Sunday, hard-line interior minister Matteo Salvini said: ‘It’s right that the Libyan authorities intervene, as they’ve been doing for days, without having the NGOs interrupt them and disturb them.’ It comes days after Salvini refused to let a ‘rescue’ boat with 627 African migrants on board dock in Italy, saying those on board ‘will only see Italy on a postcard.’ Following that, Italy turned away two other NGO boats with hundreds more aboard.
Salvini said the ship, operated by German aid group Mission Lifeline, had loaded the migrants in Libyan waters against the instructions of Italy’s coast guard. Mission Lifeline denied Salvini’s claims, saying it conducted the rescue in international waters and asked for a safe port, which had not been assigned.
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colao, who has previously offered her city as a port when Italy refused entry a rescue ship, repeated her willingness to take in the migrants. She urged her country’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to intervene to allow Proactiva’s ship to ‘save lives.’
Colao said: ‘Italy wants to leave the migrants in the hands of Libya, where they torture, rape and enslave’ migrants.
Malta’s home affairs minister, Michael Farrugia, and Italy’s transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, also engaged in a Twitter war of words Sunday over which country was being more ‘inhuman’ about the fate of the Lifeline and its passengers.
Italy has demanded Malta let the Lifeline dock since it’s currently in Maltese waters. Farrugia tweeted Sunday ‘Why weren’t they allowed to dock immediately in Italy, like Italy is now asking Malta? That’s the true inhumanity.’
The new anti-Muslim migrant government in Rome has refused to let aid groups dock in Italian ports, arguing they are encouraging human traffickers.
Salvini has threatened that Italy will withhold its payments to the EU if it does not get more help on the migrant issue. Italy’s populist 5-Star Movement demands that European countries act to deal with hundreds of thousands of migrants on the continent, warning that the future of Europe is at stake.
The 5-Stars, who are in a ruling coalition with the anti-migrant League party, penned a blog entitled The Migrant Hypocrisy Sinks Europe as EU leaders met in Brussels on migration. The post complained that few countries came close to accepting the redistributed migrants they pledged to under a failed 2015 EU plan to ease the burden on Italy and Greece.
Italy orders ‘voracious’ foreign charities (NGOs) to stop ‘rescuing’ African migrant wannabes as boats with 1,000 aboard send distress signals.
SCMP Italy’s new Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Monday became the first member of the country’s new populist government to visit Libya amid a worsening migrant crisis gripping Western Europe. “Mission Libya, we’ve left!”, he said, posting a selfie on board the military plane to Libya.
Salvini’s departure came after he urged “voracious” foreign charities on Sunday to stop rescuing migrants off the North African nation, even as one group said 1,000 people were on boats in distress in the Mediterranean.
With Italy – long the frontline in Europe’s migration crisis – vowing a new hardline stance, Salvini told the aid groups to back off and let the Libyan coastguard take care of rescue operations. “Let the Libyan authorities do their work of rescue, recovery and return [of migrants] to their country, as they have been doing for some time, without the ships of the voracious NGOs disturbing them or causing trouble,” he said.
“Italian ports are and will be closed to those who aid human traffickers,” he said.
Spanish group Proactiva Open Arms said it had received “seven or eight” messages alerting them to boats in distress in the Mediterranean on Sunday. “Combining all the notifications, it would add up to 1,000 people” near the coast of Libya, said spokeswoman Laura Lanuza.
But she said the Italian coastguard had told the group they “weren’t needed” and “the operation was being handled by the Libyan coastguard”. “If the Libyan coastguard coordinates this effort, all these people will be sent back to Libya,” she said.
Today they saved and brought 820 immigrants back to Libya, making the ‘work’ of the traffickers in vain and avoiding wrongful interventions by NGO ships.”
In recent weeks, Italy’s new populist government has cracked down on foreign rescue ships operating in the Mediterranean. Salvini has repeatedly accused the charities of being complicit with human smugglers.
The Italian coastguard also sent a message to rescue boats operating in the Mediterranean Friday telling them it would no longer be coordinating rescue operations in the Libya search and rescue area.
Earlier this month Salvini triggered an EU-wide row when he barred the Aquarius rescue ship, chartered by French charity SOS Mediterranee, carrying around 630 migrants, from docking in Italy. Nearby Malta also turned the boat away and the ship was later accepted by Spain.