Chief of Libyan Coast Guard in the central region, Rida Essa, has accused rescue organizations in the Mediterranean of encouraging the influx of illegal immigrants from Libya to the EU.

He said the rescue boats of these organizations have given a signal to the immigrants that their journey to the EU would be safe, causing an increase in the number of immigrants.

He added that the Libyan Coast Guard has expressed concerns to Operation Sophia about these boats, but it did not take any actions against them.