Ibrahim Bushnaf, the Interior Minister of Libya’s Interim Government, expressed his concern about the changing demographic composition in Libya, due to the presence of Syrian and African mercenaries.
Bushnaf claimed that the security elements of the Ministry were able to secure the country, and extend control over the whole of Libya.
“We have had many successful experiences in terms of being able to secure cities with the Libyan National Army (LNA), during its battles to eradicate terrorism. We have been able to secure them effectively and we can do that again, and carry out our role assigned against these groups”, he said in statements to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
The Minister clarified that the MoI is completely prepared to deal with any military developments that may take place, especially concerning Sirte, and the air base of Al-Jufrah. This preparedness would extend throughout Libya if state institutions are unified in the future.
“A few months ago, we met with all managers in all of Libya’s security districts and directorates, and only four of the security managers were absent from the meeting conducted in the city of Benghazi”, he added.
Bushnaf claimed that most cities are aligned with the interim government, explaining that cities and regions in eastern and southern Libya, which are under the control of his ministry, are witnessing remarkable security and stability. This is due to the ability to enforce the law, achieve security, and ensure that criminals do not go unpunished. The minister pointed out that the crime rate has decreased, according to statistics prepared by the relevant departments over the past few years.
Concerning the situation in the south of the country, he said: “Currently, it can be stated that the Ministry is in reasonable control, contrary to what was happening in the previous period”.
The south is plagued by smuggling, and human trafficking networks, as well as a base for extremist groups expelled from other cities.
“The Libyan government will not abandon its duty in the western regions of the country. We have elements in the west that are working to provide the Ministry with information regarding the security situation. It is completely out of control, as a result of the armed militias”, he added.
Regarding the issue of illegal immigration, Bushnaf explained: “The areas under our control are free of illegal immigration. The area managed by our government extends from the Egyptian border in the east, to Sirte in the west. The international community has not registered any cases of illegal immigration in this region”.
He concluded: “We are almost unable to combat the phenomenon due to the lack of resources. The countries of the final destination for migrants must assume their responsibility in this regard. We are going to conduct a conference on this matter in December”.