Tripoli govt announces armed patrols against illegal migrants

Involvement of all Libyan authorities useful, says Italian FM

07 May, 20:12

    Tripoli govt announce armed patrols against illegal migrants Tripoli govt announce armed patrols against illegal migrants

     CAIRO - Libya's Islamist government in Tripoli, not recognized by the international community, will deploy armed patrols around the areas that undocumented migrants leave for the Italian coast from.

    The measure is one of the five ''steps'' that the government in the western part of the country announced in a statement released on Wednesday that was reported to ANSA by Libyan sources on Thursday. A ''deployment of armed troops to patrol the sites from which migrants depart'' is the latest move that the government has asked the Libyan 'Authority Against Illegal Immigration' to carry out. Previous measures include an ''improvement'' in migrant detention centers, an ''attempt to deport detainees to their countries of origin'' and ''addressing states of origin such as Mali, Niger and Somalia through the foreign ministry to collaborate on halting the flow of migrants towards Libya through southern borders''. The Tripoli-based 'National Salvation Government' ''also confirms the importance of cooperation with the EU in the fight against the phenomenon of illegal emigration from Libya'' and ''is currently involved in opening channels for cooperation with the EU to this end''.

    Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday that the involvement of both Libyan authorities would be useful to counter migrant trafficking. ''It will be the UN, and especially Bernardino Leon, to work on it,'' he added in reference to the announcement by the unrecognized Tripoli government on the armed patrolling of the Libyan coast. ''Of course,'' he said on the sidelines of a seminar on Libya at the Senate, ''we have, from the official point of view, a special relationship with the legitimate parliament of Tobruk (recognized by the international community, Ed.), but we are open to the collaboration of all Libyan authorities.'' (ANSAmed).

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