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MSF ship Aquarius ends migrant rescues in Mediterranean



  The Aquarius, painted with a bright orange hull and overlying white structures, leaves Marseille in this photo file

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AFP

Image caption

The Aquarius remained blocked in Marseilles since its registration was revoked

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) states that it has been forced to end the rescue operations of migrants in the Mediterranean carried out by the Aquarius ship.

Medical charity has accused "prolonged search and rescue attacks from European states". [1

9659007] Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini welcomed the move by MSF . "Less trips, less landings, less deaths, that's good," he tweeted.

Aquarius has been stuck in Marseille since the registration was revoked.

He helped to save migrants who make the dangerous crossing to Europe from Libya and elsewhere, but has faced strong opposition, particularly from Italy.

Mr. Salvini accused charities that manage rescue ships to collaborate with traffickers of people operating outside Libya to manage a "taxi service" to Italian ports.

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    But charitable associations and human rights claim that migrants face appalling conditions in Libya, where abuses in the hands of gangs of traffickers are full.

    Aquarius had been the last charity lifeboat still operational.

    Announcing the decision to end its operations, MSF said that the countries of the EU, led by Italy, had failed to provide Damian Grammaticas reports that Damian Grammaticas reports that Damian Grammaticas, in a correspondent, has actively sabotaged the efforts of others trying to save lives in the Mediterranean, the BBC's European correspondent.

    In a tweet, MSF Sea reported "prolonged attacks" from European nations "will mean more deaths at sea and more useless dead that will fail."

    The aquarium was deposed in Marseille for months after Panama revoked the registration – citing an intense political pressure from the Italian authorities

    A de-

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    Media Caption In June the BBC visited an empty and troubled Aquarium

    Italy has maintained the pressure. Last month, prosecutors demanded the seizure of Aquarius for the alleged dumping of potentially toxic waste in its ports. MSF has called the move "unfounded and sinister".

    The numbers of migrants arriving in Italy have decreased significantly this year following the maneuvers to dismantle the smuggling networks in Libya and increase coast guard patrols.

    Data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) speak more than 2,000 people have died or failed to make crossings this year, compared to more than 3,000 last year

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    Media caption BBC producer Alva White describes the conditions on the Aquarius

    The Aquarium started its activities in 2015 and has been the subject of attention in all the world during the summer, when Italy closed its ports to lifeboats, leaving the ship stranded at sea with people rescued from the water.

    Eventually hundreds of migrants were allowed to disembark in Valencia port of Spain in June, after being rejected by Italy and Malta.


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