The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made known that a ship of the Italian merchant navy performed an “easing” of the presence of Italian citizens in Libya, including the personnel of the Embassy in Tripoli which was closed down.
The rally point for the evacuation had indeed been set in Tripoli so that 30 Military Policy officers on guard duty at the Embassy could be employed in the operation. The ship was shadowed by a Predator drone and a ship of the Italian Navy. It will call in Malta before reaching Sicily.
Meanwhile in Rome, the Government and the General Staff are evaluation the possibility of an armed intervention in Libya under the UN aegis. Politically the proposal found an unusually wide consent in Parliament with only the Five Star Movements taking a clearly contrary stance.
Italy is the former colonial Power of Libya. One of the Libyan militias, the Omar al Mukhtar Brigade, is named in honor of the anti-Italian resistance struggle in the first half of XX century. The deposed regime of Colonel Gaddafi was fond of anti-colonial propaganda, too; it expelled all the Italians from Libya in the Seventies.