67 Africans trying to invade Europe via the Mediterranean Sea have been landed and arrested in Italy after launching a mutiny and threatening their white rescuers with violence—because they thought they were being taken back to Africa, Italian media have reported.
The Africans were picked up off the Libyan coast by the private supply vessel Vos Thalassa over the past weekend after their invasion craft ran into difficulties and sent out a distress signal—which is usually picked up by one of the fake charity ships, who then normally give the invaders a free ride into Europe.
Once aboard the Vos Thalassa, the African invaders—realizing that this was not a fake charity ship and that there was no guarantee that they would be taken to Europe—then launched a mutiny against the ship’s crew in an attempt to force them to go to Europe.
Reports said that the crew of the Vos Thalassa were forced to lock themselves in the control room and themselves call for help after being attacked by the Africans who had decided—apparently with the aid of GPS-enabled mobile phones—that the boat was heading back to Libya.
An Italian coast guard ship, the Diciotti, then came to the Vos Thalassa’s aid, and after boarding the vessel, subdued the Africans and took them aboard.
Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini — who has authority over the nation’s ports — initially refused to allow the Diciotti to dock, despite previously saying that ports would remain open for Italian naval and coast guard ships carrying migrants.
“If there was violence [on board the Vos Thalassa], the perpetrators will go to prison and if there was no violence, because someone lied, then they [those who supposedly lied] will suffer the consequences,” Salvini said.
Salvini has banned the fake charity invasion boats operating in the Mediterranean Sea from docking in Italy, correctly accusing them of aiding human traffickers to bring the illegal Africans to Europe.
After negotiations within the Italian government, that country’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the Africans would be allowed to land in Italy from the Diciotti once identification procedures had been achieved “in particular for those who may have committed a crime.”
The standoff was resolved after a call in the afternoon from Italian President Sergio Mattarella to Conte, Italian media reported.
The case of the Diciotti has also highlighted tensions within Italy’s coalition government, which includes Salvini’s League party and the Five Star Movement, whose left fringe is opposed to the closing of Italian ports.