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NGOs suspend rescue missions near Libyan waters

Two further aid groups have suspended migrant rescues in the Mediterranean alongside Doctors Without Borders in response to threats from Libyan authorities, reports Reuters.

Doctors Without Borders (Medicines sans Frontieres) and Save the Children and Germany’s Sea Eye said on Sunday their crews could no longer work safely because of the stance of the Libyan authorities.

Libyan coastguard boats have clashed with NGO vessels on several occasions with Libyan boats opening fire on some isntances.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, the Libyan coastguard spokesperson Ayoub Qassem said,

“In general, we do not reject (NGO) presence, but we demand from them more cooperation with the state of Libya.. they should show more respect to the Libyan sovereignty.”

Libya’s coastguard justified its shootings as a method to assert control over the rescue operations.