from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) – A GLOBAL medical organisation has expressed outrage at the recurrent drowning of refugees and migrants at sea on their way to Europe.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) said some European Union (EU) member states were complicit in the deaths.
The sentiments come days after a shipwreck left 130 people dead in the central Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast.
The tragedy on Friday is the latest in a series of drowning.
“This unacceptable death toll is further proof of the deadly consequences of EU Member States’ policies of non-assistance at sea,” said Ellen van der Velden, MSF’s Operations Manager for Search and Rescue and Libya.
“For years now, they have entrusted search and rescue responsibilities to the Libyan Rescue Coordination Centre, which has once again failed to fulfill its coordination mandate in its vast zone of responsibility.”
“For how much longer will we need to denounce the complicit inaction of European and Libyan maritime authorities, in order to avoid this carnage?” asked van der Velden.
The official said people desperately fleeing violence and abuse in Libya continued to embark on perilous sea journeys, only to be intercepted and brought back by EU-supported Libyan Coast Guard or left to die in the middle of the sea.
“Our thoughts are with the families of those perished at sea and with the team on board the Ocean Viking.”
Ocean Viking is a rescue ship.
– CAJ News