Italy announced it is sending another four patrol boats to Libya in addition to others that were previously delivered to the North African country, in an effort to strengthen collaboration in fighting illegal immigration.
Italy is strengthening its collaboration with Libya through a series of measures aimed at fighting illegal immigration. It will send four more patrol boats to Libya in addition to the ones that were previously delivered. It will also create a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), a naval shipyard to provide maintenance for the vessels, and systems for communication and controls along the coast. Italy is reinforcing its agreement with Libya in order to improve Tripoli's ability to fight illegal immigration, provide migrant rescues, and control the borders.
A total of 45 mn made available for interventions
The measures were agreed upon during a meeting in Tripoli between the heads of the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard and representatives from the Italian Interior Ministry, Finance Police, Coast Guard, and Navy. There are 45 million euros available for interventions, 10 million from the EU and 35 million from the four Visegrad Group countries (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia). The plans also provide for a series of reforms involving Libyan authorities responsible for the borders, including those managing search and rescue (SAR) operations, and personnel training for every sector in the Libyan public administration.
Protests in France over vessels for Libya
Meanwhile, protests erupted in France over the government's decision to follow the Italian example and provide six vessels to the Libyan Navy. Michael Neuman, director of studies at Doctors Without Borders/ Crash (Centre de Réflexion sur l'Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires), called the decision "a supplementary step in European cooperation with Libya to strengthen control of the borders, at the cost of despicable conditions of detention for migrants." Neuman was cited on Monday in the French daily Le Monde in an article on the French government's new and unexpected decision.