7 thoughts on “Libyan war goes on and on

  1. Italy wants NATO probe into refugee rescue ‘refusal’

    NATO denied calls for help, says Italy

    05 August, 15:17

    (ANSA) – Rome, August 5 – Following the deaths of dozens of refugees aboard a stranded ship in Libyan waters, Italy formally asked NATO Friday to investigate why it did not intervene despite calls for help.

    According to witnesses among the 374 who were rescued Thursday by the Italian coast guard, the ship had been floating aimlessly for six days after the engine broke down, leaving hundreds of passengers without food and water in crowded quarters. Italian authorities said they asked a NATO ship less than 30 miles from the stranded vessel to intervene sooner, but NATO allegedly refused, prompting Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini to request an internal investigation. “NATO always responds and intervenes in emergency situations, in compliance with international law,” said NATO spokesman David Taylor. “NATO ship commanders are well aware of these laws and act in accordance with the norms of SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea), which regulate the procedures to follow for rescues at sea”. Among those rescued, 50 were immediately treated for hypothermia and dehydration and five others were hospitalized for more serious conditions.

    It is the second time this week that the Italian coast guard has rescued boats fleeing Libya and found dead bodies on board. On Monday, officials found 25 corpses aboard a ship packed with 271 African refugees from Libya rescued off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

    Similar accusations of NATO inaction surfaced in late March when witnesses said that two NATO jets passed over a vessel stranded off the coast of Libya.

    Of the 72 refugees on board, 61 eventually died after over two weeks at sea.

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