The Libyan Navy and Coast Guard have warned NGOs not to enter the country’s territorial waters or operate close to the Libyan coastguards.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Libyan Navy warned the NGOs not to be in the Libyan waters as the illegal migration to Europe season approaches with the advent of summer, adding that the NGOs should not be operating in the waters to lure the migrants in coordination with human traffickers into taking the deadly sea trip.
“The silence of International community and European Union about the misconduct by some immigrants such as the recent hijacking would tempt armed groups to pretend in the future to be immigrants and then do the same piracy when they get rescued.” The statement reads, referring to the incident of March 27 of the hijacking immigrants as against all international laws.
It also said that the repetitive criminal behavior of illegal migrants against rescue ships’ crews is very concerning and thus shows how the system of search and rescue has collapsed in the Mediterranean, hence giving the civilian ships a pretext for refusing to help return migrants to Libya.
“We call on the UN and EU forces to press countries around Libya to shut its borders for illegal migrants and help speed up their repatriation from Libya.”
A group of rescued illegal immigrants hijacked a Turkish ship that was taking them to Misrata and forced the crew and captain to sail for European ports, however Maltese forces seized the ship and arrested the migrants involved in the incident, then sent back about 100 others to a Malta-based migrants’ detention center.