22 migrants have been killed and some 100 injured in fighting between rival smuggler gangs in Libya so far this year. This comes at a time when seaborne migration from Africa to Italy has risen by 50 percent so far in 2017.
Amid Libya’s chaos, human traffickers have free rein
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.
Italian intelligence doing “a great job” in Libya says PM Gentiloni
Italy is gathering good information on Libyan people-traffickers, prime minister Paolo Gentiloni said in Rome today, adding that the country’s intelligence services were doing a great job.
Migrant rescues off Libya encourage traffickers: Frontex
The head of EU border agency Frontex on Monday criticised charities that rescue migrants off Libya, arguing that they encourage the traffickers who profit from the dangerous Mediterranean crossings.
The kidnappings continue, particularly in Tripoli
A television journalist was grabbed in front of his Tripoli home today while his helpless wife looked on. The abductors told him that they wanted him for “investigations”.
Italy captures 4 people smuggling weapons to Libya
The Italian police force has arrested four people on Tuesday under the suspicion of smuggling arms, including helicopters and surface-to-air missiles into Libya and Iran between the years of 2011 and 2015 in violation of the international embargoes set by the United Nations (UN).
Libyan coastguards begin second stage of EU training program
The European Union said Monday that the second phase of the training of Libyan coastguards had started as part of Operation Sophia that aims to bring down the human traffickers off Libya’s coasts.
Navy says people-smugglers fired on coastguard vessel
A Libyan coastguard vessel was reportedly shot at from the shore by people-smugglers as it intercepted 700 migrants off Sabratha.
Refugees in Libya held in ‘concentration camp-like’ conditions
The Libyan camps where traffickers hold refugees resemble concentration camps, German diplomats have said.
EU to train Libya coastguard to help stop refugee smugglers
The EU could soon step up training and equipping Libya’s coast guard to crack down on refugee smuggling in the north African nation’s waters, according to an EU proposal seen by AFP on Saturday.