Posted On February 6, 2017 By In Libya, Lifestyle, News, Non classifié(e), None With 793 Views

EU urges Libyan authorities to protect migrants

Brussels, Feb 6, 2017 (AFP) – EU foreign ministers on Monday urged Libyan authorities to redouble efforts to protect migrants, especially those held in detention centres, as record numbers cross the Mediterranean seeking safety in Europe.
European Union leaders agreed at a summit in Malta last week to do everything possible to halt the influx, which has seen some 180,000 refugees from the Middle East and North Africa land in Italy last year.
Rights groups have condemned the plan to curb migration via Libya, saying it puts travellers at risk in a country torn between rival militia and where people-smuggling has become a lucrative and competitive business.
The foreign ministers’ meeting Monday condemned the abuse of migrants, calling “on all parties to ensure unhindered and secure access to the centres for aid workers.”
The EU would work “to enhance the protection of migrants, help improve the conditions in detention centres, ensure adequate reception facilities, look for alternatives to detention and increase assisted voluntary return from Libya,” they said in a statement.
It said some 1.3 million people were in need of emergency humanitarian assistance in Libya.
The EU supports Libya’s UN-backed government but its writ is largely confined to Tripoli in the west of the country.
The EU plans approved Friday involve funding and training the Libyan coastguard so it can intercept migrant boats before they reach international waters where the 28-nation bloc has mounted a rescue operation.
They also include proposals to work with tribes in the far south of the country to close the border routes there.
Over the weekend, some 1,500 migrants were rescued after their rickety boats got into trouble, the Italian coastguard said.

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