Libya’s ‘Search & Rescue Region’ Violates International Law
In a useful article looking at the legality of Libya’s new ‘Search and Rescue Region’ (SARR), extending 74 nautical miles off its coast, Libya misuses the establishment of a SARR under the guise of fulfilling international obligations in front of its coast as a pretext to ban NGO rescue vessels. This conduct is not only tolerated but encouraged and facilitated by the European Union. Such developments are the beginning of a developing trend of cooperation between the European Union and Northern African states.
By establishing the SARR, Libya is therefore implementing its legal obligations under the SAR Convention; however, by banning all NGO rescue vessels, Libya is vastly overstepping its competences and violating international law. In fact, the implementation of the SARR does not achieve its goal of facilitating the rescue of people in distress, but is a pretext for hampering rescue operations.
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