"The increase in the number of migrants has greatly weakened the security situation in Libya [..] there are terrorist and criminals among them, and the traffickers, have no interest in human rights," said Fayez Serraj, the head of the Presidential Council in Libya's Government of National Accord.
"We have set up shelters for tens of thousands of people, but there are hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in the country," he said in an interview with German newspaper Bild.
Serraj described the situation as "horrible" and said that in order to improve it, "we must fight those entities. But we also need more international assistance. It starts at the borders of our country. It is necessary to better control them. "
He pointed out that the continued deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean in this way is "a terrible thing that must not be accepted," but added that the Libyans are still on their own to a large extent in to rescue them.
"The most important thing is that there is no global plan to resolve the refugee crisis," he said, adding that Libya "is only a transit country for those who exploit it to escape."
"We need more technical and material support so that we can save lives faster and more efficiently," he said, calling on the world to provide better support to African countries exporting migrants.
The goal, he said, should be to prevent these migrants from embarking on that perilous journey to Europe in the first place.
Responding to a question about the rescue of migrants by private non-governmental organizations, Serraj said that governments should organize rescue operations themselves and improve support for Libya's Coast Guard.
"Europe has to find a solution to deal with private rescue boats," adding that in some cases they made it harder for the Libyan Coast Guard to operate and sometimes even obstruct it.