Dozens feared drowned off Libya coast

At least 50 migrants are feared drowned after their boat ran out of fuel and capsized off the Libyan coast.

The dinghy, which had been carrying at least 100 people, had set off from Libya’s western city of Sabratha last Friday, local officials told the BBC.

The vessel was adrift for days before it capsized and was washed onshore near the city of Zuwara in the early hours of Wednesday.

Thirty-five survivors were found, along with eight bodies, officials said.

A spokesman for the Libyan navy said the survivors were all from sub-Saharan Africa.

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Armed group seeks legitimacy with Tripoli migrant deal, source says

Steve Scherer, Aidan Lewis

ROME/TUNIS (Reuters) – A powerful armed group, known for smuggling people from Libya, is seeking legitimacy and state security jobs from the Tripoli government in exchange for stopping migrant boats from leaving the coast of Sabratha for Italy, a senior group member said.

The group, the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, struck a deal with Libya’s United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) this summer to clamp down on trafficking, the senior brigade member, who gave his name as Mohamed, told Reuters.

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Italy begins training Libyan navy and coastguard

Italy yesterday received 87 Libyan navy and coastguard personnel as part of a European training programme aimed at improving Libya’s capabilities to combat smuggling and human trafficking across the Mediterranean.

“The training of Libyan navy and coastguard officers will take place at the Italian Taranto’s Petty Officer Academy,” the Italian state television reported.

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Source: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/

Rescued migrants say lucky to dodge Libyan coastal clampdown

Antonio Denti

ABOARD AQUARIUS RESCUE SHIP (Reuters) – Migrants rescued in the Mediterranean last week said they had been lucky to dodge increased sea and police patrols along the Western coast of Libya that have dramatically reduced arrivals in Italy since July.

Last month, Reuters reported that an armed group was stopping departures from the city of Sabratha, which had been the main springboard for smuggling for the past two years, although some boats are still getting through.

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Sabratha Military Council condemns Italy’s approach to Khalifa Haftar

Written by: SafaAlharathy

The Sabratha Military Council has condemned the Italian government’s recent moves to get in touch with the leader of Dignity Operation Khalifa Haftar; five days after the meeting of Sabratha Mayor Hussein Al-Dawadi and the Italian Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Peroni.

In a statement on Thursday, the council criticized the official invitation sent by the Italian government to Khalifa Haftar to visit Rome on September 26, despite the fact that the legitimate authorities in Tripoli appointed a new Chief of Staff of the Libyan Army.

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Libyan Coastguards Turn Back More Than 1,000 Migrants – Spokesman

Those trying to cross early on Saturday were intercepted by coastguards from Zawiya, about 45 km west of Tripoli.

TUNIS (Reuters) – Libyan coastguard vessels intercepted 1,074 migrants during an intensive day of operations west of the capital Tripoli on Saturday, a spokesman said.

There has been a sharp drop in migrant crossings between Libya and Italy since July, largely attributed to armed groups around the smuggling hubs of Sabratha and Zawiya blocking departures.

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EU nations authorized their vessels to unlawfully fish in African waters

WRITTEN BY Abdi Latif Dahir

For more than three years, European Union members states authorized unlawful fishing activities off the coast of Africa in contravention of common regional laws and policies, a new report shows.

Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization for ocean conservation, said that Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain violated the laws of the European Common Fisheries Policy by awarding private fishing authorizations to vessels, which granted them access to waters in The Gambia and Equatorial Guinea. Using an online monitoring tool, Oceana recorded 19 EU-flagged vessels that illegally fished for almost 32,000 hours in African waters from April 2012 through to August 2015.

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India stakes claim on ‘killer’ Italian marines

Neeraj Chauha

NEW DELHI: Not keen to let off the Italian marines, the government has recently informed the the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague that “India has jurisdiction over the Italian marines – Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone who had committed murder aboard the Indian fishing vessel St Antony at Kollam, Kerala, within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India”.

According to top government sources, a detailed counter-memorial in response to Italy’s memorial filed on September 30, 2016 has been filed before the arbitral tribunal constituted under Annexure VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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German NGO resumes migrant rescue ops off Libya

German aid group Sea-Eye said on Saturday that it was resuming its migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean, a month after pulling out when Libya barred foreign vessels from a stretch of water off its coast.

“Sea-Eye has decided to resume its rescue missions in the Mediterranean which had been halted for a month,” the NGO said in a statement.

However, its two ships, the Sea-Eye and the Seefuchs, would now operate in a perimeter of 70 to 90 nautical miles from the Libyan coast, it said, “to take account of the constant threat from the Libyan coastguard and to not compromise the safety of the crews”.

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Migrant rescue boat pulls out of the Mediterranean over Libyan Navy interception of vessels

By Nick Squires

A humanitarian organisation that has saved the lives of 40,000 migrants in the Mediterranean has suspended its operations, citing security concerns and “increasing instability” off the coast of Libya.

The Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station, which was founded by a pair of philanthropists, said it wanted nothing to do with Libya’s interception of migrant boats leaving its coast.

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Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/