African migrants sit in a detention center in the al-Karem district in Misrata eastern of Tripoli, Libya | Photo: EPA/STR
African migrants sit in a detention center in the al-Karem district in Misrata eastern of Tripoli, Libya | Photo: EPA/STR

Libyan authorities in Tripoli have announced the shutdown of three migrant detention centers in Misrata, Khoms and Tajoura, which was hit by air strikes that killed at least 53 people.

The Tripoli-based government has decided to close three migrant detention centers in western Libya, the interior minister of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord, Fathi Bachagha, announced. The centers are in Misrata, Khoms and Tajoura. 


At least 53 people were killed last month in an attack on the Tajoura detention center carried out by the air force of eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar.

Procedures kick off to expel migrants 

Officials managing the centers have been ordered to start procedures to expel the migrants. Meanwhile, the Libyan interior ministry released a statement condemning special UN envoy Ghassan Salamé, after a briefing last Monday at the UN Security Council. The statement said the diplomat had given ''erroneous'' information after Salamé accused guards at the Tajoura migrant detention center of shooting migrants trying to flee the deadly raids. Illegal immigration was at the center of a meeting in Tripoli between the vice president of the Libyan Presidential Council, Ahmed Maitig, and Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Buccino. 

Italian ambassador expresses concern 

The Italian ambassador - according to a statement published by the press office of the UN-backed Libyan government - stressed Rome's concern to stop attacks on the capital that have targeted civilians, also referring to the Tajoura airstrikes, stressing that they are a violation of humanitarian conditions and security. 

The Libyans were reportedly complimented by the diplomat, who visited naval forces, because operations carried out by Tripoli to fight illegal immigration have ''halved'' the migrant flow towards Italy. 

Meanwhile, sporadic fighting is continuing between official government forces and forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, who launched on April 4 an offensive to conquer Tripoli, where the UN-backed Government of National Accord is located. Forces loyal to Sarraj have so far contained and pushed back the offensive. ()
 

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