Last Update 0:15
Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Italy denies supporting Libyan traffickers to stop migrants

Reuters , Wednesday 30 Aug 2017
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2205
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2205

Italy denied on Wednesday that it supported a deal to pay armed groups implicated in human trafficking to prevent migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Libya's U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, as part of a deal backed by Italy, was paying militias and giving them equipment and boats to prevent migrant vessels setting off.

"The foreign ministry firmly denies that there is an agreement between Libyan traffickers and the Italian government," an official from the Italian ministry's press office said.

"The Italian government does not deal with traffickers", the official added.

A new force in the Libyan coastal town of Sabratha is preventing people leaving, often by locking them up, sources in the area have told Reuters, prompting a sudden drop in departures at what is usually the busiest time of year for migration.

Arrivals from North Africa dropped by more than 50 percent in July and more than 80 percent so far in August. Some 600,000 have made it to southern Italy by sea since 2014.

In a bid to manage migrant arrivals ahead of a national election due by May next year, Italy has taken action including providing training and equipment to Libya's coastguard, and laying down rules for non-governmental sea rescue organisations.

Progress in Libya is likely to be fragile, as two governments are vying for power, and local militias are battling over territory and smuggling profits.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.