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Libya responds to UN Fact-Finding Mission report on immigration

In the wake of the UN Fact-Finding Mission’s report on violations against illegal immigration in Libya, the Government of National Unity (GNU) said that such an issue is far too big for any country to handle alone.

In a 14-page statement Saturday, Libya’s Foreign Ministry said the immigration file requires international support, which was relatively weak in detention centres.

The ministry said it “has seen firsthand the reality of several detention centers inside Tripoli,” where some lacked international aid or had little support from such organizations.

Most government-run centers treat illegal immigrants in private health centers at the government expense and provide free meals regularly, not to mention the civil society activities and individual initiatives of Libyans who provided aid and relief to migrants inside detention centres throughout the country, according to the statement.

Another point was that the report neglected to mention the cooperation of the Public Prosecutor and the forces under the Ministry of Defence in dismantling local networks for smuggling illegal immigrants and human trafficking in Bani Walid, Al-Qurayyat, and Al-Shwerif.

It further noted the Libyan authorities’ success in freeing many migrants held captive in illegal detention centers run by international gang traffickers and others.

The ministry demanded that the Fact-Finding Mission submit its “notarized affidavits” and the accurate count of victims of violence or sexual slavery to the Libyan Public Prosecutor’s Office so that the issue “does not remain mere numbers or human rights reports to serve political ends.”

“Improving the conditions of migrants in Libya requires solidarity and support with United Nations agencies and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as well as active states in the international community,” the statement read.

The ministry underscored that Libya and its people refuse to be held responsible for the failure of the international community to resolve “this thorny and painful file” and called for expanding and stepping up the support of the voluntary return program, which the GNU “showed the highest degree of cooperation.”

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