Breaking News
Sarraj wants Libya's air force to tackle human trafficking Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Sarraj wants Libya's air force to tackle human trafficking

Nearly 77,000 migrants have landed in Italy since January [AFP]

Date of publication: 13 July, 2017

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj has asked the country's air force for 'immediate and urgent' assistance to fight illegal emigration and fuel smuggling in Libya.

The head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has requested the "use of aviation" by the country's armed forces to combat illegal emigration, Italy's state news agency has reported.

According to a letter obtained by ANSA, from the office of the Libyan army's high command, Fayez Sarraj asked the chief of the Air Force to "immediately and urgently" assist in the fight against illegal emigration and fuel smuggling.

He said this must be achieved "through the use of aviation and force", in cooperation with the navy.

In addition to his role as prime minister, Sarraj also serves as chief commander of the militias that make up a "Libyan army" opposed to a rival militia led by renegade general Khalifa Haftar.

Human traffickers have exploited years of chaos in Libya since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi to boost their lucrative but deadly trade.

Tens of thousands of migrants have resorted to paying smugglers to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to what they hope will be a better life in Europe.

Nearly 77,000 migrants have landed in Italy since January, up 15 percent on the same period in 2016.

Italy and the EU are resorting to new ways to stop the flow of refugees by enacting stricter laws inside Italy and by signing questionable agreements with Libyan authorities to bolster border patrol efforts.

To avoid the torture, rape, death and slavery for which Libya's migrant centres are building a reputation, many migrants have opted to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach the shores of Sicily.

Altogether, at least 2,247 people have died or are missing after trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe this year, the IOM says.

European powers have insisted that Libya get tough on human trafficking with the country a launchpad for illegal migration to Europe.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More