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Relief in the Mediterranean by 2019: ination of the means of the european Union and the support to the rejection in Libya
the ROME - In the first nine months of this year, about 4.862 shipwrecked saved in the Central Mediterranean, and conducted in Italy, the means of the european Union does not have relief none - we learn from an article by Altreconomia, signed by its director - have not done the structure of the operation, EUNAVFOR MED SOPHIA - however, without ships - and even those of Frontex, the european Agency of the border guard and the coast. This is what emerges from the latest quarterly bulletin on the “Activity Search and Rescue in the central Mediterranean”, published by the Italian coast Guard, who gives the account of another factor: the 6.807 rejections in Libya, operated by the self-styled “libyan authorities” in the same period (according to our Coast Guard). Part of these, according to non-governmental organizations still active in the area, may be supported by means of the operation SOPHIA.

Riccardo Gatti, director of Open Arms of Italy, commander of the ship Astral, and the head of mission to OA, is in Syracuse, about to head out to sea to resume the rescue operations. It is a witness of what defines a “clear strategy”.

Where it is today with Open Arms and what are you doing?
R. G.
With Open Arms, we are still in Syracuse, we have a small technical problem in one of two boats Rhib. We arrived here after leaving from Naples, and after we went in the area of SAR. The arrival of the bad weather, after having verified that there was no one in the area, we repaired here in Sicily. Here in two days, in fact, there will be a very bad time. In spite of the conditions we wanted to quit anyway, but this small technical problem prevents it at the moment: we remain on stand-by. If there are any alerts, we will leave and from that moment on, we could no longer return to port until at least 27 December.

We have to that is try to take cover as close as possible to Libya or Tunisia. When was the last rescue operation?
R. G.
The last operation we did with Open Arms dates back to about a month ago, four or five days before the landing that happened at Taranto. The ship Astral, instead, is in Barcelona to carry out awareness-raising campaigns, for two weeks, held the “doors open”.

As it is today, the relationship with the co-ordination Centre of Rome?
R. G.
relationship with the Centre for coordination of rescue operations of Rome is almost non-existent, even hostile, it does not exist. Every movement that we make and that we are involved in relief operations we both in Italy, both in Malta and Spain. And we put a copy of the Libya. Normally do not receive any response. Each time that we forward a communication on a safe place (place of safety (POS), we do it according to the distance of the relief operation to Italy or to Malta. With Libya it works like this: we send an email to knowledge. The last time we responded by saying to go to Tripoli and of course we said no.

Why is this “step” with the so-called “competent libyan authorities”?
R. G.
Formally the european governments want to believe that there is an authority in libya. It is for this reason that we ask a port in Libya and we expect that this “manage” another port, certainly not in Tripoli. What that obviously does not. The last time, that is, when we have responded negatively to the indication of the libyan to go to Tripoli after the rescue operation, which would have meant bringing the migrants back, we responded immediately to Italy claiming to have forwarded the request reiterated to the ministry of the Interior. For this I spoke of the relationship is non-existent and non-hostile: as soon as you can, from Rome, seek to discharge off any responsibility.
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