Migrants rescued after 12 days at sea as UN mulls mission
An Italian rescue patrol picked up nearly 100 migrants who reported being at sea for 12 days as UN Security Council members mulled a draft resolution authorising an EU mission to seize the smugglers' boats that are fuelling the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
The developments came as hundreds of other migrants arrived in Italian ports after having been rescued in recent days from overcrowded dinghies and fishing boats. Most have been setting off from Libya, where human traffickers charging migrants around $1,000 apiece for the crossing are operating with near impunity amid the country's political chaos.
The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, is to brief the Security Council on Monday about the crisis and the need to coordinate the fight against traffickers, her office said.
A draft resolution prepared by European council members would authorise an EU mission for one year to seize boats
where there is credible evidence they're being used by smugglers, a council diplomat said
yesterday in New York. The
resolution, which would be militarily enforceable and is expected to circulate in the coming days, would cover the high seas, Libya's territorial waters and the coast, though the mission members could also go on land.
Some European Union leaders had proposed a UN-blessed operation to destroy smugglers' boats before they are used. The idea, however, has raised a host of legal concerns and Russia, which has veto power at the Security Council, has already opposed any ship-destruction resolution.