Tag Archives: Sardinia

Italian Ship Carrying 150-200 Detained Tunisian Migrants Reaches Sardinia

One of the three passenger ships being used by Italian authorities for the past four days to detain hundreds of Tunisian migrants reached Sardinia this morning (26 September) around 7.30 AM local time.  The ship, the Moby Fantasy, left Palermo around 12 midnight on the night of 24-25 September and took over 30 hours to sail to Cagliari, Sardinia.  The Moby Fantasy appears to have delayed its arrival in Cagliari by sailing for several hours up and down the south east coast of Sardinia. (See map below.)

It seems that the Moby Fantasy is carrying about 150 to 200 of the 700 Tunisian migrants who have been held on the ships for four days; another 600 or so migrants have been held on two other ships, Moby Vincent and Audacia, which have remained in Palermo, though some of the detained migrants may have been removed from the ships to migrant reception centres in Rome, Bari, and Pozzallo.

Click here and here for articles.  (IT)

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Filed under General, Italy, Mediterranean, News, Tunisia

Frontex Announces Expansion of Joint Operation Poseidon Sea to Include Crete and Eastern Portions of Central Mediterranean

Two days after announcing the extension of Joint Operation Hermes and the westward expansion of the operational area of JO Hermes to include the waters around Sardinia, Frontex on 26 March announced the expansion of the operational area of Joint Operation Poseidon Sea to include the waters around Crete.  The expansion is due to the “highly volatile situation in North Africa” and was called for by the European Council’s Conclusions issued at the end of the Council meeting of 24/25 March: “the Commission will make additional resources available in support to [Frontex’s] 2011 Hermes and Poseidon operations and Member States are invited to provide further human and technical resources.”

Excerpts from the Frontex statement:  “March 26, 2011 — Responding to the highly volatile situation in North Africa Frontex extends operational area of its on-going Joint Operation (JO) Poseidon Sea. In the first four weeks of deployment Joint Operation Poseidon Land sees decreasing numbers of arrivals across the land border with Turkey.   In view of potential migratory flows from Libya operational area of JO Poseidon Sea, which covers the Greek islands in the Aegean sea, has been widened to include Crete. On Thursday, 24 February Romanian maritime surveillance vessel and a Portuguese plane were deployed to increase patrolling intensity in this region. [***]”

Click here for Frontex Poseidon Sea press release.

Click here for the Frontex Hermes press release.

Click here for the Council Conclusions.

Click here for previous post on the expansion of JO Hermes.

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Filed under Aegean Sea, European Union, Frontex, Greece, Italy, Libya, Mediterranean, News, Tunisia

Frontex Announces Extension and Expansion of Joint Operation Hermes in Central Mediterranean

On 23 March Frontex announced a 5 month extension of its Joint Operation Hermes.  Frontex also announced a westward expansion of the operational area to include Sardinia, roughly 300 km northwest of Lampedusa.  According to Frontex Director Laitinen, “100 percent [of] the request the Italian authorities [have] made to Frontex” has been satisfied.

Frontex statement in full:

“Warsaw, 23 March 2011 — Due to the notable increase in migratory pressure on Italy and the island of Lampedusa in particular, Frontex has widened the operational area of Joint Operation Hermes and extended its duration for five more months, with the aim of strengthening Europe’s border control response capability in the Central Mediterranean.

‘In close cooperation with the Italian authorities, we have decided to run Joint Operation Hermes until the end of August 2011, and to extend the operational area to include Sardinia, where Frontex has already deployed aerial assets to strengthen the patrolling capacity of the Italian authorities,’ said Frontex Executive Director Ilkka Laitinen.

‘Frontex is closely monitoring the developments in North Africa and stands ready to assist the Member States operationally if requested. We are also continuously developing additional operational responses for potential rapid deployment throughout the Mediterranean if needed,’ he added.

As of 23 March 2011, Lampedusa remained the main destination for migrants from Tunisia. During the previous week alone, 3,230 undocumented persons arrived on the island, bringing the total number of arrivals detected in the whole operational area since Hermes began on 20 February to 9,098. The majority of migrants are young men but 52 women and more than 240 minors were also detected during Italian-led Hermes. At the time of writing the great majority of migrants who recently arrived in Lampedusa claimed to be of Tunisian nationality.

In addition to one aircraft and two vessels already financed and coordinated by Frontex, one Dutch and one Portuguese plane have now arrived in Pantelleria and Sardinia respectively to assist the Italian authorities in strengthening their border control activities.

‘With this equipment and 20 experts currently working in the centres of Bari, Caltanisetta and Crotone, we have satisfied 100 percent the request the Italian authorities made to Frontex,’ Laitinen concluded.

The cost of the first 40 days of the operation amounts to EUR 2.6 mln.”

Click here for statement.


Filed under European Union, Frontex, Italy, Libya, Mediterranean, News, Tunisia