France to supply Libya with speedboats to block migrant crossings

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France is to supply the Libyan navy with six speedboats destined for coastguard operations to intercept migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. The move was described as “scandalous” by medical aid NGO Doctors without Borders, which underlined the horrific fate that awaits intercepted migrants, who are placed in notorious internment camps in Libya. A recent report by UN agencies denounced the camps for practices of violence, torture and rape, and solemnly called on EU countries to ensure they give “no support” to the Libyan coastguard that “contributes to bringing rescued migrants and refugees back to Libya”.

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The French defence ministry last week confirmed that France is to supply the Libyan authorities in Tripoli with six speedboats for “the Libyan navy”, in reality the Libyan coastguard, for its operations to intercept migrants attempting clandestine crossings of the Mediterranean to Europe.