Libya, the Coast Guard shoots two Italian fishing boats: one wounded- Corriere.it

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Libyan coast guards shoot at Italian fishing boats off the coast of Tripolitania. During the accident, the commander of the fishing boat Aliseo was injured in the arm. The news is still very confusing and needs verification. If it were true that the Libyan Coast Guards have used the Obari boat, donated and assisted by Italy in recent years in the context of the program of common commitment in the fight against illegal immigration, to shoot at fishing boats, then it is clear that Italian relations Libyans would suffer a serious blow.

What do we know

At the moment we were able to ascertain that half a dozen fishing boats, the majority headed by the port of Mazara Del Vallo, were about 35 miles from the port of Al Khums when they were approached by the Libyan coast guard. From Tripoli their commanders deny there have been gunshots against Italian ships. The commands of the Italian Navy report that the Libeccio frigate, engaged in the Mare Safe operation, intervened in the early afternoon to assist in particular 3 Italian fishing boats (Artemide, Aliseo and Nuovo Cosimo) engaged in fishing activities in the waters of Tripolitania at within the area defined by the Interministerial Coordination Committee for “high risk” Transport Safety. The statement specifies that the intervention was necessary due to the presence of the rapidly approaching Libyan Coast Guard. A helicopter immediately departed from the Libeccio and made radio contact with the crews of the fishing boats. A P-72 military reconnaissance aircraft also arrived on the site. According to Libyan sources, negotiations are underway between the Italian embassy in Tripoli and local authorities. It should be added that the contacts are facilitated by the good relations between the Italian government and the new one of national unity in Tripoli. A situation therefore different from the crisis that arose with Khalifa Haftar in Cyrenaica last autumn with the long seizure of two fishing boats and 18 sailors.



Previous

But the controversy over his long-standing fishing rights. In fact, in 2005 the then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi decided to unilaterally extend the exclusivity of the economic fishing area to 74 miles, well beyond the 12 miles of territorial waters provided for by international treaties. Since then, Italian fishing boats have been denied access to the most fishy areas of the Sicilian Channel and the areas south of Pantelleria, where they traditionally found the prized red shrimp. In the Gaddafi-Berlusconi agreements of 2008, the issue was not addressed. And Libyan diplomatic sources attribute to that very moment the cause of the birth of the new status quo in a Mediterranean where, however, several coastal countries have gradually imposed their exclusive rights beyond the traditional 12 miles. After the violent overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, an attempt was made to address the issue. But in 2013, the rapid deterioration in the armed tribal confrontation had stalled the negotiations. Since then, the Italian commands strongly advise against fishing boats to exceed the 74 miles imposed by the Libyans. Public announcements to this effect are continuous, but are often ignored by fishing vessels.

The reactions

The League defines what happened is very serious and, as the deputies of the Northern League underline, it has long been asking for diplomatic intervention to guarantee the safety and work of our fishermen. The secretary of the Democratic Party Letta, on the other hand, defines what happened to the commander of the Italian fishing boat as Inconceivable and one cannot be satisfied with apologies or vague explanations. And the Minister for the South and Territorial Cohesion Mara Carfagna expresses her closeness to the attacked fishermen and shipowners. Does the dead man have to escape to get the government to intervene? instead asks the shipowner Marco Marrone, of the fishing boat Medinea seized by the Libyans for 108 days.

May 6, 2021 (change May 6, 2021 | 20:24)

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