European Commission says Libyan coast guard infiltrated by criminals

Alwasat - Cairo Sat 08 Jul 2023, 11:12 PM
alwasat radio

The European Commission stated on Thursday that there is a clear indication that the Libyan coast guard is infiltrated by criminal groups.

The statement from EU Commissioner for Migration, Ylva Johansson, follows the recent EU handover over of patrol boats to the Libyan coast guard.

"I also have to say some of the neighboring and transit countries are more difficult than others, like Libya, where we also have clear indication of criminal groups infiltrating the coastguards," she told members of the European Parliament.

"So of course, this is not an easy task. That's why it's not enough to work with these countries, we also have to work with the countries of origin," she added.

On 22 June, the European Commission along with Italian authorities transfered two boats to the Libyan coast guard, the second handover of its kind since February.

The commission's coast guard support initially fell under the EU Trust Fund for Africa programme. But the latest financing comes under the so-called neighborhood, development and international cooperation instrument.

Two years ago, the commission earmarked some €10 million from this fund to support Libya's border management. Another $45 million in regional money had also been allocated to help finance Libyan and Tunisian border management.

The European Commission itself has acknowledged that financial assistance to the Libyan Coast Guard has borne fruit. In a statement published in late June, it confirmed the interception of 120,000 migrants by Libya since 2017.

Related Topics