Saturday, June 19, 2010

Libya, once the gateway for African immigrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, is increasingly putting up its shutters

Apparently, Muammar Gaddafi's Libya - once a pariah state accused of promoting terrorism to threaten Western interests - is now a key ally in efforts to tackle illegal immigration from Africa. Libya is now fighting illegal immigration on land and at sea. This has led to a crackdown on human-trafficking syndicates, the detention and deportation of illegal migrants, and joint sea patrols with the former colonial power, Italy - something that was once unthinkable as Libya promoted a pan-African vision free of Western influence. Expressing his satisfaction with Libya's actions, Adrianus Koetsenruijter, the EU ambassador accredited to Libya, said illegal immigrant landings on Italian and Maltese shores are almost zero now.

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