Italy  Libya meeting, Pisapia’s alarm: “Economic aid, but with respect for human rights…    Il Riformista

Italy Libya meeting, Pisapia’s alarm: “Economic aid, but with respect for human rights… Il Riformista

Giuliano Pisapia, a lawyer and MEP who has always campaigned for human rights, wants a clear view in Libya. He was the rapporteur for the European Parliament of the dossier on the situation of Tripoli and Benghazi. “From what emerges from reading the newspapers about the so-called Mattei plan I don’t think I see a complete strategy on the part of the government. It seems to me that we are still at the stage of announcements and wishes. We must walk the talk, we are already seriously behind schedule, more than 10 years have passed since Gaddafi was overthrown.”

And the civil war has been going on for ten years. Libya has a vocal national unity government. Are there Italian and European responsibilities?
For too long, European leaders have all but ignored Libya and more generally the southern coast of the Mediterranean, partly because they had and still have conflicting interests. The EU enlargement process and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine have meant that European governments have turned their eyes only to the east and have given little weight to what is happening in Africa.

Others crept in easily…
As always happens. European indifference was immediately understood by other countries such as Russia and Turkey, and also by some Gulf powers, who formed alliances profitable only for their own interests. The result is that the EU and its member states no longer have any political weight in these areas.

Do the Libyan concentration camps, where migrants are imprisoned in inhumane conditions, still need European support?
At the European level, the Libyan authorities have repeatedly been called upon to end the arbitrary detention of migrants and to introduce human rights alternatives to detention.

So exactly: Let’s finance the Libyan coast guard, which commutes from the sea to the reception camps.
Well, there are other types of funding or logistical support, including the controversial one for the Libyan Coast Guard. As the European Parliament, we have repeatedly called on the EU to pay more attention to the use of its funds and to ensure their submission to respect for human rights and international law. In the report on Libya, for which I was rapporteur and which was adopted last October with a very large majority, the European Parliament made it very clear: the EU must ban Libyan actors responsible for serious violations of the rule of law and their involvement do not fund or cooperate with them in human trafficking.

Careless for the Italian authorities to meet Emad Trebelsi, who independent investigations have found responsible for repeated human rights abuses with his militias?
That’s pretty obvious. I notice the same carelessness that Italian 007 had when they met Libyan men trader Bijia in Cara di Mineo, as reported by Avvenire. At the time, the conversation with the Libyan colleagues was aimed at studying the Mineo model. Here I would be more careful when choosing the conversation partner, you have to be careful.

How can the migrant deal with Libya be revised?
We have seen it in the past and we are still seeing it today: the “Libya model” announced by the Berlusconi government in the past and unfortunately also later has failed. Traffickers continue to operate and landings have not decreased at all. Bringing it back today won’t change anything. People are leaving their countries in search of a better future and it is our duty to create safe and legal migration routes. However, we recognize that flow management comes with significant costs. That is why I think it is right to give logistical and financial help to the countries that are taking care of this, both in Europe and elsewhere. But there is no doubt that any economic aid must be conditional on respect for human rights. In conclusion, I would like to remind you that before the war, Libya was a popular destination for many job seekers. It is estimated that Libya’s reconstruction would reduce unemployment in neighboring countries by up to 10%. Figures that show the need to work to ensure peace and democracy take root in a country that has been tormented for too long.

And what exactly should Italy do?
A unified EU response is needed to legitimize the Libyan interlocutors; precisely because this would require a permanent EU representative for Libya. Instead, it would be important for Italy and the EU to give the Libyan authorities more support in creating a modern state with solid institutions and an independent judiciary. Unfortunately, given the absolute absence of the rule of law, it is evident that militias and human traffickers will continue to operate with complete impunity and continue to violate human rights.

In Baku, Minister Crosetto is also said to have offered military aid. But doesn’t Azerbaijan have an ongoing conflict with Armenia?
Providing military technology or equipment to a country at war is very serious as it contributes to aggravating the conflict. As early as 15 years ago, the European Council presented a common position setting out rules for controlling exports of military technology and equipment. One of the criteria for issuing licenses of this type is respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. It is clear that rights are constantly being violated in Nagorno-Karabakh. The humanitarian situation after the blockade of the China corridor is also extremely worrying. The Italian government must act with great caution and in full compliance with national and international law.

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He received his doctorate in political doctrine and began writing for Il Riformista in 2003. He writes on current affairs and politics using interviews and polls.

Aldo Torchiaro