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Libya to activate desert patrols to stop Nigerians, others from deadly Europe voyage

Following months of pressure from the African Union and Italian authorities, Libya’s Interior Ministry is set to activate desert patrols consisting of security services, in order to stem the influx of illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and mainly Nigerians.

Business Hilights recalls that more than 5,000 Nigerians have returned via a federal government brokered repatriation in the last four months.

The country’s Illegal Immigration’s Under Secretary of Interior Ministry, Mohamed Al-Marhani, made this known on Wednesday during a football event between local football veterans and a group of immigrants from different African nationalities in Tripoli.

Al-Marhani said that illegal migration was rife in the south and south-west of the country, from which most immigrants infiltrated illegally through borders with neighbouring countries.

He noted that the plan will also activate passport investigations which according to him, is a considerable role in checking the official documents of migrants.

Al-Marhani said that there is also a plan for the coast guard to carry out rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

He said, “We call on all neighbouring countries, from which large numbers of immigrants come or cross through, to firmly stand with Libya on the security level to stop the flows of immigrants.”

“Libya pays a high price as a result of the terrifying numbers of immigrants that enter the country on a daily basis.”

The undersecretary explained that illegal immigration flows from Libya towards European shores increase particularly in the summer due to the improved weather conditions.

According to official figures from the Libyan anti-illegal immigration department, more than 4,000 migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast during the first quarter of the year.

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