Nearly 8,300 asylum seekers were rescued from unseaworthy smugglers’ boats in the Mediterranean over the Easter weekend, according to NGOs and rescue workers.
Human traffickers must be brought to justice UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler has told the Presidency Council (PC).
The Italian coastguard and other boats rescued about 3,000 migrants from unseaworthy boats off the Libyan coast on Saturday, as good weather pushed the numbers up, a participating NGO said.
The municipal council of Sabha in the south of Libya has denied that it ever held a market for selling African immigrants as salves in the city.
The EU Trust Fund for Africa adopted Wednesday a €90 million program to step up the protection of migrants and reinforce migration management in Libya, upon proposal from the European Commission, a press release by the European Commission indicated.
Hundreds of African refugees and migrants passing through Libya are being bought and sold in modern-day slave markets before being held for ransom or used as forced labour or for sexual exploitation, survivors have told the UN’s migration agency.
A hundred and sixty nine Gambian migrants returned home on Tuesday, after journeying across the Sahara in harsh conditions only to get stuck in Libya, most in jails far short of their intended destination in Europe, Reuters reported.
An agreement between Italy and Libya to fight people-smuggling in the north African nation will lead to migrants being returned to camps where they are held against their will, extorted and abused, Doctors without Borders (MSF) said on Monday, Reuters reported.
The Italian government said on Sunday that dozens of rival tribes in southern Libya had agreed to cooperate on securing the country’s borders in an effort to curb the influx of migrants trying to reach Europe.
The UN-proposed government’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed Sayala, has pointed fingers at the EU’s Operation Sophia, which is tasked with assisting and rescuing immigrants off the Mediterranean, saying it is encouraging illegal immigration.