Migrants: Libya is Not Somalia

The legal issues surrounding migration.

Migrants: Libya is Not Somalia

Op-ed by David Hammond

EU leaders have suggested that military capabilities should be used to deny Libyan human traffickers the use of their boats. The idea, coming from politicians such as the French President, Francois Hollande, Roberta Pinotti, Italy’s defence minister, and EU Migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, is an interesting one. The aim is to stem the flow of illegal migrants into Europe, but can it legally work?

The connection between such suggested targeted military actions and potential reductions in human rights violations, including physical abuses and the murder of innocent migrants desperate to cross the Mediterranean Sea, does not make sense without a comprehensive political, military and humanitarian approach backed by an appropriately worded UN Resolution.

Even then, Libya may well have something to say about interference in national matters within their territorial boundaries without express prior permission and advance notice.

In the current UK election period it would be a bold move to consider action in Libyan territory against a criminal element that does not remain static while risking expensive military equipment and the lives of service personnel without firm legal standing and UN backing.

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Source: maritime-executive.com

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