Libya, Italy strike a counter-illegal -immigration agreement
Italian authorities signed an agreement with the Libyan counterparts that obliges both countries to take urgent measures to end the illegal immigration phenomenon in the Mediterranean.
The Italian news agency Aki reported Friday that the agreement is part of the efforts aiming at decreasing the growing number of illegal immigrants gushing into Europe, especially into Italy, via Libya, adding that the agreement also aims at avoiding any new humanitarian losses.
Italy’s government did not publish any details about the agreement, but it said the agreement will be brought into effect through joint committees and a joint operations room to monitor the illegal immigration movement and try to decrease it.
The Chief of the central branch of the Libyan Coast Guard, Rida Issa, confirmed in a statement that a memorandum of understanding between the Libyan naval forces and the leadership of the EU mission Sophia was signed on August 24 in Rome, Italy, with the aim of training the Libyan coastguards.
The UNHCR’s office in Italy announced at the end of August that more than 100.000 immigrants have arrived in Italy via the Mediterranean after crossing from Libya’s coat since the beginning of 2016.