Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Coast Guard lies: who really killed migrants in Libya

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This is no small detail: if on the one hand the tragic death of three Sudanese migrants who had been sent back to Libya after their boat had been intercepted, however, from the North African country they denied the real responsibility for the incident. Going in order, the reference is to the episode that took place on Monday evening in the coastal city of Khoms: from here a boat had left with at least 70 people on board.

Intercepted by Coast Guard Libyan, the vehicle had to head back and therefore was not added to the many who have landed in our country in these days. According to a first reconstruction given by representatives of theOim, or the UN agency that deals with migrants, after returning to Libya a group of people would have tried to escape. The result was a scuffle culminating in a shooting that left three victims on the field, all three Sudanese.

The IOM pointed the finger at the Libyan Coast Guard, holding it solely responsible for the fact: “This is the demonstration – it was read in a tweet Tuesday’s IOM – that Libya is not a safe haven. “

In a nutshell, the episode once again served to highlight the danger of the situation along the Libyan coast and therefore the impossibility of conceiving the Libyans’ rejections as desirable.

its The truth a different detail emerged: in fact in Khoms there was a shooting that led to the death of three Sudanese, at the same time, however, it turned out that the responsibility is not attributable to the Coast Guard. On the contrary, a source of the anti-terrorist forces of Misurata he said that it was men from this group who went into action. The reconstruction that emerges from this testimony speaks of how migrants once landed from the patrol boat Zuwara of the Libyan Coast Guard around 20:30, they were made to flow towards a square of the port where waiting for them there were buses ready to transport the group to the reception center of Suq Al Khamis. At that moment, the Coast Guard left the scene. Before getting on the vehicles, some Sudanese tried to escape by dispersing in the surrounding areas. At that point, men from Misrata’s counterterrorism went into action, reaching the people who fled a few hours later. A La Verità, the source said that the group has started throwing stones at the Misatine forces, which in Khoms are very present also by virtue of the geographical and political proximity with the same Misurata. Some of the men of counterterrorism would then have fired shots in the air, fatal for at least three migrants.

It is difficult to establish with certainty the dynamics of the facts and to ascertain above all if whoever fired did it as a warning or to target the victims. Certainly, however, this time the Coast Guard has nothing to do with it. Politically speaking, the circumstance is not second-rate: Parliament in recent days has given a new green light to the financing of the Libyan Coast Guard. From environments closest to Ong and to radical left, criticisms have been made of the government and al Pd, who supported this measure. The Tripoli Coast Guard is not believed to be reliable and for this reason, as happened at the time of the renewal of the memorandum with Libya last November, the end of all collaboration and financing was requested. The accusations that had rained against the Libyan Coast Guard on the occasion of the events in Khoms had served to politically fuel the controversies against the Italian refinancing. Controversy, however, that in this case had only partially true news as the basis, since the Coast Guard was not responsible for the death of the three migrants.

It is true that the military corps in question is not a guarantee in terms of respect for human rights. Formed by militias, some of whom believed to be close to the traffickers who should officially fight, the Coast Guard under Prime Minister’s orders Fayez Al Sarraj it has not very clear characters inside. Among these is Bija, considered on several occasions one of the most dangerous traffickers and who, however, in 2017 was invited to Sicily as a member of the Coast Guard of his Zawiya. A reflection on the reliability of the Libyans in this sense is a must, but the Khoms episode had nothing to do with the coastal authorities. And subsequent controversies, especially by NGOs, took on a purely political flavor, aimed at contrasting Italy’s position on relations with Tripoli.

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