By John Lee.
Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF) has decided to temporarily suspend the search and rescue activity of its ship, Prudence, off the coast of Libya. The MSF medical support team will still assist the rescue capacity of the SOS Méditerranée-run boat Aquarius, which is currently patrolling in international waters.
Brice de le Vingne, MSF’s Director of Operations:
“The recent developments represent another worrying element of an increasingly hostile environment for lifesaving rescue operations.
“European states and Libyan authorities are jointly implementing a blockade on the ability of people to seek safety. This is an unacceptable assault on people’s lives and dignity.”
Reuters reports that two more aid groups — Save the Children and Germany’s Sea Eye — have taken similar action, saying their crews could no longer work safely because of the hostile stance of the Libyan authorities.
(Source: MSF, Reuters)