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Italian MP calls on Conte government to “tear up agreements with Libya”

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

ROME – Matteo Orfini, a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and President of Italy’s Democratic Party, called on his country’s government to “tear up agreements with Libya” over abuses against migrants.

“Collaboration agreements with Libya must be torn apart: there can be no form of collaboration with those who are jointly responsible for this humanitarian crisis.” said Orfini in a reference to agreements signed between the government of Giuseppe Conte and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

“We need an international peace mission and resume rescue activity in the Mediterranean. It is a radical change of strategy compared to what has been done in these years, but in the face of the changing situation in Libya, it seems to me inevitable to introduce elements of strong discontinuity,” he said during a media statement on Monday.

“Why not challenge the international community on the need to activate an international peace mission, under the auspices of the UN, that guarantees respect for human rights in Libya?” he asked. “Can the international community really remain inert and disinterested for a long time to come?”

“The PSE [Party of European Socialists] and progressive-led countries should promote an initiative that invests the Security Council with the need for collective responsibility. The idea that the Libyan Coast Guard could be the only entity authorized to intervene is unacceptable”.

The EU and Italy support the Libyan Coast Guard of the Tripoli-based GNA which intercepts people at sea and forces them back to Libya. Human rights organizations do not consider Libya to be a safe harbor for migrants. Reports by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch documented severe abuses against migrants in detention centers, including rape and torture.

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