The Libyan Interior Minister of the Government of National Unity (GNU), Emad Al-Trabelsi said that “the challenge of illegal migration and smuggling primarily concerns Europe.”
He highlighted that “migrants aim for European countries, and Libya serves as a transit state with open borders.”
Al-Trabelsi expressed hope for assistance from countries like Germany, Italy, France, and Spain in resolving the crisis.
The minister clarified that “anyone entering Libya unofficially would be legally and systematically repatriated to their country through voluntary return procedures.”
He announced the government’s rejection of localizing migrants in Libya. He also underscored the ministry’s commitment to comprehensive security, beyond borders and cities.
Al-Trabelsi stated, “We do not intend to act as a coastal guard by returning migrants inland. We bear the security, economic, and social burdens, aiming to repatriate them to their homelands.”
He pointed to the ongoing efforts to control the Tunisia-Libya border, including the installation of security towers for surveillance.
He revealed that plans are underway to secure the borders with Algeria in the coming period.
Earlier, Libya’s former Representative to the United Nations, Ibrahim Al-Dabbashi denounced what he described as Italy’s “attempts at settling immigrants in Libya.”
Al-Dabbashi claimed that an Italian NGO is behind the settlement project. He claims that it is an executive arm of the project funded by the Italian Immigration Fund, through the Department of Italians Abroad and Immigration Policies of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He stressed that “this project is an Italian governmental project, and that the organisation has an executive role only. This framework cannot deviate from the responsibility of the Italian government, as well as the responsibility of the Libyan government.”
Al-Dabbashi added that “the information published on the organisation’s website says that the agricultural project targets the regions of Sebha, Murzuq and Ghat, and it will be supervised by a re-established centre called the Peace Centre in Sebha.”
According to Al-Dabbashi, the project’s “hidden main goal is to integrate immigrants into the indigenous people in Libya.”
In August, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani defended the “Mattie Plan,” saying it is an extremely useful tool and means to enhance relations between Italy and Africa.
Concerns have been raised by observers regarding the suspicious nature of Italy’s Mati Plan, as some perceive it as an attempt to relocate migrants to Libya, as well as other African countries. However, all Libyan stakeholders have staunchly rejected this proposal.