European and North African nations will step up military operations to target human traffickers in a bid to stymie migration flows, according to a deal reached on Monday.
Interior ministers mainly from the central Mediterranean region met in Rome on Monday to ramp up efforts to curb migration from Libya amid a sharp rise in the number of people trying to cross to Europe.
Over 3,000 migrants were saved off the Libyan coastline today, a vast increase on the 1,394 rescued in February this year. The Zuwara coastguard also reported finding 38 bodies from two capsized rubber rafts.
Asylum seekers are detained indiscriminately and indefinitely at UK-funded Libyan refugee camps, the UK government’s official aid watchdog reported on Friday.
Libyan Coast Guard, Zawiya Squad, intercepted on Sunday a Russian vessel in the territorial waters off the country’s western coast.
On February 21, the bodies of 74 migrants were found by the Libyan Red Crescent on the shore of Zawiya, a Libyan town known for being a capital of fuel smuggling and human trafficking.
Libya and Italy have agreed to form a joint operations chamber that will be tasked with information exchange regarding illegal immigrants.
According to the MoU, Italy should help Libya’s GNA to control its southern borders and provide it with the surveillance system that agreed upon by the two countries in 2012.
Libya’s coast guard said Saturday it intercepted more than 400 African migrants attempting to reach Europe, a day after EU leaders agreed on moves to curb mass migration from the country.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has hailed on Wednesday the efforts of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez Al-Sarraj, noting that NATO is ready to help build Libyan military, defence and intelligence capabilities “if requested”.