Italy to renew 2017 bilateral deal with Libya to stem migration - The Libyan Report

Italy to renew 2017 bilateral deal with Libya to stem migration

Italy is calling for government-run migrant centres in Libya be taken over by UN agencies, public news agency ANSA reported on Wednesday.

Rome wants to review a 2017 deal with Libya for combatting immigration.

However, Rome wants the closure of centres criticised for human rights violations and their replacement with new facilities run by UN agencies. According to ANSA, the UN-backed government in Tripoli had voiced willingness to modify the terms of the 2017 deal accordingly.

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese briefed the Italian parliament on a new MoU on Wednesday. The minister credited the 2017 bilateral deal with Libya for a sharp decline in migration flows, credited the deal with the reduction of deaths at sea, and expressed her support for a three-year renewal of the agreement. However, she vowed vigilance on humanitarian issues.

The 2017 deal drastically cut migrant flows from Libya but has put Italy on the defensive. Italy has consistently denied claims it has negotiated with militias and human traffickers to stem the flow of migrants.

Centre-left Democratic Party (PD) former chairman Matteo Orfini made reference to “concentration camps,” and called Lamorgese’s testimony “embarrassing.”

“Do we really want to continue to pretend we don’t know?,” Orlini asked. source