The Libyan Interior Minister, Emad Al-Trabelsi, has said that Libya pays "a large tax as a result of the issue of sheltering immigrants and providing them with assistance", noting the closure of “some shelter centers that have been controlled by armed groups for the purpose of human trafficking."
Al-Trabelsi's announcement came in a press conference on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Anti-Illegal Immigration Authority prior to the deportation of dozens of immigrants, in the presence of diplomats representing the embassies of a number of African countries in Tripoli.
"The Ministry of Interior, through its security agencies, especially the Anti-Illegal Immigration Authority, is working according to a strategic security plan to combat the phenomenon of immigration in cooperation with the competent authorities in the state," Al-Trabelsi said, explaining that this file required concerted efforts between state institutions and citizens because of its security, health, economic and social repercussions on the Libyan state.
He denied Libya's responsibility for the exacerbation of immigration flows in response to what was raised by humanitarian organizations, announcing that about 270 immigrants of different nationalities, including Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria and Bangladesh, would be deported after the press conference on Wednesday to their countries by land and air travel. He added that this process came as a continuation of several stages that they had carried out in the past in terms of voluntary deportation of immigrants.
Al-Trabelsi hailed the "great role" of the Anti-Illegal Immigration Authority and all its branches across Libya, praising the efforts of the security directorates and apparatuses in the eastern, southern and central regions. He said that there would be deportation flights of immigrants in a successive manner, adding that everyone noticed an improvement and seriousness in this work at the local, international and regional levels. He vowed to take a serious stance against smugglers and outlaws.