Italy Urges International Action to Address Migrant Crisis on Tunisia-Libya Border


Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani has described the situation of migrants stuck on the border between Tunisia and Libya as “extremely complex.”

He told La Stampa newspaper that Rome has asked UNHCR to address this situation. “The issue is undoubtedly very complex: we must not only help the migrants, but also the Tunisian citizens who face difficulties and suffer from this situation,” the FM said.

“The funds provided to the Tunisian government are also used to assist Tunisians. We cannot do more than that,” he added.

Last week, the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq called on UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to “intervene immediately to stop the expulsion of migrants and refugees from Tunisia to the borders with Libya and Algeria.”

He urged the two UN agencies to “collaborate to transfer those stranded at the borders to safe locations.”

During a press conference, Haq expressed the United Nations’ concern about the expulsion of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from Tunisia, to the border areas. He added that many migrants stranded at the Tunisian-Libyan borders, who are of various nationalities, have lost their lives.

Haq also explained that “hundreds of stranded individuals, including women, pregnant women, and children, are living in extremely harsh conditions, and their chances of getting food and water are decreasing day by day.”

He called for the “protection of all migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and for them to be treated with dignity, emphasizing the need to respect them regardless of their situation.”

The National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL) has announced an increase in the number of bodies found in the country’s border region, reaching 12.

Ahmed Hamza, the Head of the NCHRL, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper that, the body recovery unit, affiliated with the Libyan Emergency Medicine and Government Support Center, “recently retrieved the remains of two African migrants in the border area, bringing the total number of recovered bodies to 12, including children.”