EU support for Libyan Coast Guard back under fire as NGO says crew was attacked

Mar 2, 2024 | International actors

On 2 March, the German NGO SOS Humanity said the crew of its search and rescue vessel Humanity 1 was threatened several times by the Libyan Coast Guard in the central Mediterranean, with the people in distress at sea also threatened at gunpoint as the crew tried to rescue them. SOS Humanity said the crew were able to rescue a total of 77 people from three boats in distress, despite ‘the violent and unlawful intervention’ of the Coast Guard, but around 20 people were forced back to Libya. It added that numerous people jumped into the water in panic and the Libyan Coast Guard fired a shot into the water – at least one person died. The NGO called for ‘the funding, training and equipping of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard by the European Union and Italy be stopped immediately.