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A ship loaded with refugees gets lost in the Mediterranean! What does Frontex answer?

(BRUSSELS2) I have asked Frontex – the EU's border control agency – for an explanation after the revelations of the Guardian on the death of refugees in their boat, off the Libyan coast without receiving help. They told me that “ neither the international coordination center in Rome (for Operation Hermes or Aeneas) nor the Member State experts who interviewed the migrants upon their arrival (coordinated by Frontex) received any information regarding the incident described in the Guardian article. As noted in the article, the boat was in contact with several ships during its journey, but none of which took part in the Frontex operation.

My precise interlocutor : “Frontex operations do not cover the entire Mediterranean Sea. The operational zone of Operation Hermes covers an area more or less around 20 nautical miles from Lampedeusa”. And to add “ Every day the officers of the 'guardia costiera' and the 'guardia di finanza' risk their lives to save lives. Almost 29.000 migrants have arrived in Lampedusa. And in many cases, search and rescue (SAR) operations were carried out by the Italian authorities (including the assets deployed in the joint operation Hermes). »

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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