A Libyan (Italian donated) patrol boat open fire on NGO rescue vessels

As reported by Sergio Scandura, a journalist from Radio Radicale closely following the events in the Central Mediterranean, at the end of June Italy delivered two new Corrubia-class patrol boats (formerly Guardia di Finanza) to the so-called Libyan Coast Guard.

The two vessels were handed over on June 22 to the technical delegation of the Libyan Coast Guard as part of the European Union’s “Support to integrated Border and Migration Management in Libya (SIBMMIL)” project, at the Military Arsenal in Messina.

These are not the first units that Italy has donated to Libya under this program. It was precisely one of these two patrol boats that was involved in an action yesterday against some RIBs (rigid inflatable boats) from the NGO ship Ocean Viking, which were engaged in the rescue of migrants. Without any reason, the patrol boat opened fire on the vessels that were assisting the migrants.

This is not the first time that Libyan patrol boats have fired on other vessels, thereby violating even the most basic principles of international maritime law.

Italian fishing boats have also been targeted by Libyan “attention,” and in several cases, only the intervention of Italian Navy units has prevented the worst outcomes.

It is worth noting that Italy provides the units without armament, but it is the Libyan authorities who proceed to arm the received vessels.

The two units donated by Italy have not been assigned an identification number, making it impossible to distinguish which unit is involved in each activity

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