Italy to give Libya more patrol boats
Libya is set to receive 10 patrol boats and two vessels from Italy to stem the flow of irregular migrants to Europe. The announcement was made after the Italian parliament approved the donation on Monday, 6 August 2018.
The donation will see Libya double its coastguard fleet. Italy has also offered to maintain the ships and provide training for the coastguards and navy throughout the year.
Rome is eager to strengthen the Libyan coastguard to prevent Europe-bound irregular migrants from crossing the Mediterranean. Italy has established a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Tripoli, run jointly with the Libyan forces, to identify and intercept boats carrying irregular migrants. It has also closed its port to prevent ships carrying rescued irregular migrants from docking.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Libyan coastguard have already intercepted over 12,000 migrants this year.
Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said last week that the Italian government will soon provide new means to enable the Libyan coastguard to widen coastal patrols and stop the launching of boats from Libya carrying migrants. EU member states are also working closely with Italy in supporting the Libyan coastguard, by contributing military assets, personnel and funds.
TMP – 20/08/2018
Photo caption: A Libyan coastguard patrol boat. Photo source: Mathias Monroy/ Security Architectures and Police Collaborations in the EU