Italy Takes Fight Against Illegal Immigration To Libya
No fewer than 95,215 people have crossed the Mediterranean this year through Libya to Italy.
This figure includes hundreds of Nigerians and thousands of other Africans searching for greener pastures.
Now the Italian government does not want to sit and wait for illegal immigrants to take over their country.
They are taking the fight to the Libyan waters to ensure no migrant heading to Italy makes it beyond Libya.
On Wednesday, the Italian parliament authorised what it called a limited naval mission “to help Libya's coastguard curb migrant flows”.
An Italian official said Rome planned to send two boats to Libyan waters, with Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti saying the vessels would only provide technical support and would not infringe on Libya's sovereignty.
Italy announced the operation last week, saying it had been requested by Libya's U.N.-backed government.
As you may know, Libya currently has kings at every corner, been so since the fall of its former leader, Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Italy said it initially hoped to send six ships into Libyan territorial waters, but the plans had to be scaled back following protests from Tripoli.
"(We will) provide logistical, technical and operational support for Libyan naval vessels, helping them and supporting them in shared and coordinated actions," Pinotti told parliament on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's vote.
"There will be no harm done or slight given to Libyan sovereignty, because, if anything, our aim is to strengthen Libyan sovereignty," she added, stressing that Italy had no intention of imposing a blockade on Libya's coast.