Saturday, September 16, 2023

Italian Prime Minister calls for a naval blockade of North Africa

 Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has vowed to take "extraordinary measures" to deal with an influx of refugees, including calling a new for a naval blockade of North Africa, after a week in which more than 6,000 people arrived within a day on the island of Lampedusa from Tunisia

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 However, it is unclear whether this approach will stop illegal migration, as there are many limitations on the effectiveness of the peacetime naval blockade, the most significant being that this kind of blockade has no formal rules and no background in international law
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 Additionally, a naval blockade would incur a heavy cost to Italy and the EU, and critics have described the right-wing leader's proposals as unfeasible and in contravention of international law
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What are the potential consequences of a naval blockade on North Africa?
A naval blockade on North Africa could have significant consequences. The Gaza Strip, for example, has been under a land, sea, and air blockade for 15 years, which has significantly exacerbated previous restrictions, limiting the number and specified categories of people and goods allowed in and out through the Israeli-controlled crossings
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Blockades are regulated by international law and custom and require advance warning to neutral states and impartial application
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 However, this kind of blockade has no formal rules and no background in international law, and it is unclear whether it will stop illegal migration
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 Additionally, a naval blockade would incur a heavy cost to Italy and the EU, and critics have described the right-wing leader's proposals as unfeasible and in contravention of international law
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 Yemen is another example where the naval blockade imposed by a Saudi-led coalition has substantially contributed to pushing Yemeni civilians into starvation and can be considered torture
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