France has renounced the controversial delivery of six ships to Libya to strengthen control of its coast, because of the « situation » in the country, AFP learned Monday from concordant sources.
The donation of these six fast boats, 12-meter Sillinger RIBs, was announced by French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly in February.
« If the transfer was a time considered for the benefit of Libya, the Minister finally decided not to deliver the boats to this state, » wrote on November 26 the Ministry of the Armed Forces in a brief sent to the Administrative Court of Appeal from Paris, seized by eight NGOs who requested the cancellation of this delivery.
We welcome the abandonment of this initiative which would have made France the official accomplice of crimes committed on migrant and refugee people in Libya
« Thus, the conclusions for annulment of the decision of the Ministry of the Armed Forces (…) have lost their purpose », we can still read in this document from which the AFP obtained a copy.
« The situation in Libya does not allow to realize this donation of boats, » confirmed AFP the Ministry of the Armed Forces.
Plunged into chaos since the fall of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country is currently shaken by the armed conflict between the forces of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, strongman of the East, and his rival installed in Tripoli, the Government of National Union (GNA) recognized by the UN.
The decision not to deliver the boats is « an important victory » obtained « thanks to public pressure » and must « mark a turning point in the relations of France with Libya in terms of migration policy », reacted with the AFP Lola Schulmann, in charge of migration issues at Amnesty International, one of the NGOs that appealed to administrative justice in April.
« We welcome the abandonment of this initiative that would have made France the official accomplice of crimes committed on migrant and refugee people in Libya, » said the eight NGOs, including Doctors Without Borders and the League of Human Rights. man, in a joint statement Monday.
They now ask Paris to impose « strict conditions on all bilateral and European cooperation with Libya so that the rights and security of migrants » are guaranteed and respected.
In his brief where he judged the request of the NGOs « badly founded », the Ministry of the Armies assured for its part that the transfer of the boats would have had « only objective to accompany the State Libyan in the process of consolidation of the State of law and reconstruction of the military capabilities of its national navy « .
According to the Ministry, there was therefore no « sufficiently direct link » between the donation of these boats and the defense of migrants to justify the use of NGOs.