From file: Libyan coast guard personnal pulling a rope from an inflatable boat carrying migrants at Tripoli port | Photo: Archive/EPA
From file: Libyan coast guard personnal pulling a rope from an inflatable boat carrying migrants at Tripoli port | Photo: Archive/EPA

As thousands of migrants continue to be intercepted at sea, the Libyan government that took office earlier this month has said that migration is beyond its control and not among its priorities, as it must focus on reconciliation and prepare the ground for elections later this year.

The new Libyan Government of National Unity (GNU) has followed in the footsteps of its predecessor, the Government of National Accord (GNA) in describing the migration issue as "out of its control" and not among its priorities.

In the first press conference held by the GNU after it was formed earlier this month, Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba stated that "Libya is not able to handle this problem on its own. The problem of migration does not concern Libya alone" and that, instead "it is a global problem that concerns the entire world."

The new government is expected to prepare the country for elections at the end of this year.

Migrants continue to be sent back

Meanwhile, Libyan coast guards have intercepted more than 3,500 migrants while they were at sea trying to reach European shores and returned them to Libyan territory since the beginning of this year, according to statistics released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for 2021.

This poses a risk to the lives of migrants, due to the multiple and repeated violations facing migrants in Libya, where many international organizations denounce the interception operations carried out by Libya's coast guard.

Government to focus on reconciliation

The main role of the government's endeavour, it has stressed, is national reconciliation, reuniting Libyans, healing the wounds and the effects of the conflict and disagreements resulting from the civil wars that lasted for years, without addressing the accountability of those responsible for human rights violations, criminals, militias, and armed groups that infiltrated many security and government institutions.

Amnesty International speaks out

On the tenth anniversary of the February 17 revolution, Amnesty International said that: "Justice has not been provided to victims of war crimes and gross human rights violations, including unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture, forced displacement, and abductions, committed by militias and armed groups. The Libyan authorities have promoted and legitimized the militia leaders responsible for the horrific acts, rather than ensuring accountability and providing compensation for violations committed since Qaddafi's fall and under his rule."

 

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