The Tunisian Embassy in Libya announced that it supervised the deportation of 22 Tunisian youths, who were detained at the Anti-Illegal Immigration Center in Tripoli.
It added in a statement on Monday, that the youths were deported through the Ras Jedir border crossing. They were arrested after attempting to migrate to Italy from Tunisia, and detained at the shelter two weeks ago.
The Embassy confirmed that it had been closely following the situation, until it could secure their release.
Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. This has made the North African country the preferred point of departure for migrants wishing to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 22,000 migrants, including women and children have been rescued in 2021. Hundreds of others have died or gone missing off the central Mediterranean route.
In July, the Italian Parliament approved the government’s request to refinance the Libyan Coast Guard for the fifth consecutive year. This comes despite reports of torture, death, and more generally the systematic violation of the most basic rights of migrants in Libya.
Since 2017, Rome and Brussels have spent about €1.1 billion Euros to finance the Libyan Coast Guard, and other authorities in the North African country.
Meanwhile, the European Commission’s Spokesman, Peter Stano said in December that the EU was not funding any militias in Libya. He also stressed that the union wasn’t channelling funds to any groups in Libya.
“The nature of our cooperation with the Libyan Coast Guard is to save lives, provide equipment, and training in order to be able to save people in their territorial borders,” Stano said.