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Fight against Mediterranean smugglers: Germany no longer sends ships: foreign policy

For now, Germany withdraws from the fight against the Mediterranean smugglers. As announced on Tuesday, after the use of the frigate "Augsburg" initially no other ship of the Bundeswehr was sent off the coast of Libya. Germany had participated there in the naval mission of the "Sophia" EU.

But there are ten soldiers in the mission headquarters and more on a ship. The operation was launched during the refugee crisis in 2015 and since then the Libyan Coast Guard training has been added as a task. The "Sophia" operation should also help prevent the illegal transport of weapons in the state of crisis in Libya, where rival militias have been fighting for power for years. Every year, thousands of migrants on the shores of Libya head for Europe with often unreliable vessels.

On the sidelines of the missions, people must be saved from anguish. So far, according to the Bundeswehr over 49 000 ° have all been brought to Italy after the rules of engagement adopted in 2015.

The background of the decision is also the resistance of the Italian government against the release of rescuers rescued in the ports of the country, reports the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The last mission of the Bundeswehr was a year ago.

According to the German armed forces, from the beginning of the mission, there have been indications of direct arrests of over 140 smugglers by the Italian authorities. The units of the association have also destroyed more than 400 boats used by smugglers since 2015.

Used ships are allowed to stop and look for boats in international waters. They can be seized and diverted, the suspects are taken on board a warship and handed over to a member state of the EU.

The operation takes its name from a Somali girl born in August 2015 on board the "Schleswig-Holstein" frigate.

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