Italy seeks to have 1,000 migrants on boats returned to Africa, says aid group
01:15, Tuesday, 26 June, 2018
Italy is seeking to have seven boats carrying roughly 1,000 migrants needing rescue off Libya taken back to North Africa, according to a Spanish aid group. Proactiva Open Arms, which has rescued thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean, said the Italians want the Libyan coast guard to conduct the rescues and return the migrants. Proactiva said in a tweet that Italian coast guard authorities who coordinate rescues sent out advisories to all ships in the area but told the aid group: “We don’t need your help.”Italy, under a new anti-migrant government, has refused to let aid groups dock in Italian ports, arguing they are encouraging smugglers. But Italy’s rescue coordination centre had still engaged with the groups at sea during actual rescues up until Sunday. Italy’s populist 5-Star Movement demands that European countries act to deal with hundreds of thousands of migrants on the continent, warning that the future of Europe is at stake.