500 Libyans trained by year's end - Sophia chief

More rescues, fewer deaths Credendino tells ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, July 13 - EU Sophia mission chief Admiral Ernesto Credendino told ANSA Friday "so far we have trained 213 (Libyan) officers and by the end of the year we will reach 500: we expect the Libyans to give us the names of the people to be trained".
    He said "this training, together with the motor launches donated, has enabled the Libyans to work more effectively, rescuing more than 20,000 people since halfway through last year, with a reduction of deaths".
    Credendino, commander of the EunavforMed Sophia mission, said that the op only carried out 10% of migrant rescue operations but this was an "obligation".
    Rescues, he said, "are not in our mandate" but "a sailor has the moral obligation to intervene to save lives at sea," he said.
    In three years the Sophia mission has saved 44,900 migrants, he said, but that is only 10% of the total.
    "We are not a pull factor", he said.
    "We must fight the networks of people traffickers and we have results on that", he said.
    Credendino added that there were links between people traffickers and oil in Libya.
    He also said that "attention" must be paid to foreign fighters from Tunisia.


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