EU leaders discuss cutting off Libya route in face of migrants

Libya’s detention centres have been described as death traps (Photo: © UNICEF/Romenzi)

The European Union leaders discussed Thursday in Brussels a plan aimed at cutting off the illegal migration route from Libya to Italy as fears of a hike in immigrants’ influx to Europe mount with the coming of summer.

According yo the EU statistics, the first two months in 2017 registered higher numbers of immigrants crossing the Libyan coast into Italy with 13.500 ones compared to 9000 in the same period in 2016.

The plan discussed by the EU leaders includes training Libyan Coast Guard personnel of the Government of National Accord (GNA) to be tasked with intercepting immigrants and returning them to Libyan shores.

The EU also agreed to fund UN refugee and migration organisations to give the detained migrants in Libyan shelter centres better living standards and humanitarian aids.

Libya has become a main takeoff point towards Europe for migrants, especially African nationals, after the route from Turkey was blocked by an EU-Turkish deal last year.

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