'Sea Eye' German NGO Suspends Migrant Rescue Missions in Mediterranean After MSF

Anti-migrant ship Defend Europe rescued in Mediterranean after issuing distress call

Anti-migrant ship Defend Europe rescued in Mediterranean after issuing distress call

ROME (AP) - Doctors Without Borders said Saturday it is temporarily suspending the activity of its rescue ship due to alleged threats from Libya's coast guard, which has become more aggressive in patrolling the coasts where human traffickers launch boats crowded with migrants desperate to reach Europe.

Sea Eye said it has helped save some 12,000 lives since April 2016, and cautioned Sunday that the retreat of aid groups from Libya's coast was putting lives at risk.

This month, Italy began a naval mission in Libyan waters to train and support its coastguard, despite opposition from factions in eastern Libya that oppose the United Nations -backed government based in Tripoli. Defend Europe itself has acknowledged that its true mission is to prevent migration to Europe, and one of the campaign's spokespeople, Martin Sellner, has unabashedly reported that the campaign's plan is to force migrants back to North Africa.

They object to a requirement that Italian police officers be on their boats and that the boats must take migrants to a safe port themselves, rather than transferring them to other vessels to allow smaller boats to stay in the area for further rescues.

Migrant aid ships have played a key role in assisting rescue operations.

Asian stocks slump on profit-taking amid US-NKorea tensions
Disappointing US inflation and jobs data have not helped the dollar. "Risk aversion is still very much a concern for markets". The remarks, following North Korea's earlier revelation of a plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S.

Some groups, including MSF, have refused to sign the code. "They said they don't need or want our help", Buschheuer said.

"If humanitarian ships are pushed out of the Mediterranean, there will be fewer ships ready to aid persons before they drown", Doctors Without Borders Italy President Loris De Filippi said in a statement.

On Saturday, the Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) worldwide humanitarian group also announced the suspension of the search and rescue activity of its biggest ship in the Mediterranean, the Prudence, because of "increasingly hostile environment for lifesaving rescue operations".

The C-Star, a boat full of bigots and paranoiacs sailing under the banner of "Defend Europe" ran into technical difficulties in Libyan waters last night and sent out a call for help.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano however welcomed Libya's stepped-up efforts to curb the migrant flow. The ship's 22-person crew was held for ransom for several months. The asylum-seeker was identified as one of some 50 Somalis wanted for the 2011 hijacking of an Italian oil tanker off the coast of Somalia. ANSA, citing court documents, said $11.5 million was paid for the ship's release.

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