The Libyan Naval Force said the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms “disrupted” the rescue operation of the Libyan coastguards in an attempt to provoke the migrants into rejecting the Libyan coastguards’ assistance after they had been saved onboard Libyan boats.
On Facebook on Sunday, the Libyan Navy said this is not the first time this NGO does a similar act in the sea, adding that it is trying to vex the coastguard personnel so it can later fake news about their behavior, given that they had lately done so well in rescuing illegal immigrants.
“Proactiva Open Arms sent two rubber boats and followed the Libyan coastguards’ boat so the Libyan personnel feared that this act could lead to migrants making a mess onboard the boat and then try to jump in water and thus end up drowned just because of the NGO.” The Libyan Navy added, thanking the crewmembers for their wise action that ended with the rescue of 490 migrants on June 24.
It also warned the Spanish NGO and others of repeating such an act, saying the Libyan Navy is now using wisdom and patience but “this doesn’t mean that it cannot respond to such disruption of work as the safety of the immigrants is always a priority for us.”
Last March, a similar act was done by a ship for the same Spanish NGO over the rescue of 218 migrants, some of whom jumped in the sea and abstained from returning aboard Libyan coastguards’ boat, in an attempt to be rescued by Proactiva Open Arms.
The Spanish ship was detained at the time by the Italian authorities over charges like helping migrants cross the sea illegally into Europe, but later in April, the ship was released upon “humanitarian acts” done to help migrants “because Libya cannot receive them back.”