NATO included in blame for 63 Migrant Deaths Last Year

Last year, as NATO bombarded Libya in order to oust the now deceased leader, Muammar al-Gaddafi, many migrants were fleeing the violence in boats across the Mediterranean to Europe, some of which never made it. Recently, a new report released by Council of Europe explained those parties responsible for the deaths of 63 of 72 migrants, who were “left to die” as they were drifting “in the sea for two weeks”. One of those parties responsible was NATO.

“Report: NATO Shares Blame Over Libya Migrant Boat Deaths,” by Laura Smith-Spark, for CNN:

A catalog of failures by NATO and European coastguard and naval forces led to the deaths of 63 people fleeing the conflict in Libya by sea last March, a damning Council of Europe report said Thursday.

Vessels in the area failed to respond to distress calls, and a “vacuum of responsibility” meant no one assumed a duty to help the stricken boat as it drifted in the Mediterranean Sea, the report said…

Called “Lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea: who is responsible?” it highlights gaps in the maritime legal framework and the failure of NATO and the nations involved in the Libya conflict to plan adequately for an exodus of refugees and asylum seekers.

In the case of the boat from Libya, the report pieces together what happened from credible witness testimony and other evidence…

“There were also a number of alleged direct contacts between the boat in distress and other vessels, including a helicopter that dropped biscuits and water, but never returned, two fishing vessels, both of which refused to provide assistance, and a large military vessel which came into close contact with the boat, but ignored obvious distress signals.”

When the boat finally washed back ashore, the 10 people left alive were imprisoned. One later died after failing to receive medical care, the report said…

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2 Responses to NATO included in blame for 63 Migrant Deaths Last Year

  1. Pingback: Who to blame for the recent culture of distress and blame? « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

  2. Pingback: Surviving Migrants sue France and Spain | The Human Tsunami

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