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A highly political Italian humanitarian intervention in Libya

(credit: MOD Italy)
(credit: MOD Italy)

(B2) It is an intervention with a humanitarian aim, but very symbolic, that the Italian forces have just carried out on Monday (January 11), by landing a C-130 in Misrata, with doctors and nurses, to evacuate 15 Libyans , seriously injured, during the recent attack of January 7 salary. the training center of the police the Libyan coast. 15 seriously injured people were treated and repatriated to the Celio military hospital in Italy. Among them, two, more seriously, were hospitalized in intensive care; the others, polytraumatized, and already treated by the Libyan health service, were hospitalized in other departments of Celio Hospital. “ None of the injured are in critical condition “says the Italian press release.

Surveillance aircraft and special forces mobilized

The plane took off at dawn from the airport of Sea Practice, he landed in Misrata where an interforce military medical team proceeded to board the injured on board the plane. The operation mobilized military units of the special security forces and surveillance aircraft. It's a " concrete gesture of solidarity and attention from Italy towards the Libyan people in a particularly delicate phase of the country's stabilization process we underline in Rome.

A political gesture

This medical evacuation is indeed unlike others regularly carried out by the air forces. Of course, this is only a medical evacuation, on a humanitarian basis. But it represents a real test on several levels: political and operational, international and national. On the one hand, it is the first time, to my knowledge, since the events of 2011, that a 'Western' force has landed on Libyan soil. On the other hand, and above all, the request for help was made from the brand new Presidential Council of Libya installed after the Skhirat agreement.

A first act of the brand new Libyan authority

Beyond the treatment of the wounded thus repatriated, we are here in an equally political gesture with great symbolic value, for the brand new Libyan authority still very concerned about its sovereignty (a way of establishing its authority), for Italy (a way of establishing its primary interest in the destiny of Libya) but also for Europe. The Europeans do not talk in the air when they offer assistance to Libya. They are ready to do it, when and where the Libyan authority asks…


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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).