By Libya Herald staff.
Tunis, 13 May 2015:
Libya’s ambassador to the Vatican has told a special conference of African ambassadors to the Holy See that the root cause of the emigrants flooding through Libya seeking to reach Europe by sea was the lack of opportunities in their homelands.
Mustafa Rugibani has reported that Vatican is asking African ambassadors accredited to the Holy See to, “recommend to their governments solutions that would ensure development for the people in Africa.”
However, in an interview with Vatican Radio, Rugibani accepted that this would have to be a long-term solution. He said the real answer was Libyan stability.
“Our army is trying to increase security” he said, pointing out that the government had no control over the parts of western Libya through which the migrants are being passed by people traffickers.
“ We have proposed to the Italian government that they help our army in training and giving ammunition” he said.
Rugibani pointed out that it 2010 there had been just 500 migrants from Libya arriving in Italy. Last year the figure had been 170,000 and this year it was already around 400,000.
“This means we have no security in the country,” he said, “especially in the west part of Libya. They are mainly coming from three or four ports, like Zuwara, Sabratha, Tripoli. The legitimate government is not effective there”.
Rugibani was leery of the EU plan to destroy the smugglers’ boats before they could be loaded with migrants.
“ I don’t think they have touched the real problem” he said, “They have only scratched the surface. The issue is not the ships. The problem is the smugglers. These migrants are big business for organised crime, the armed militias. If their vessels are destroyed today, they will have other ships tomorrow. The solution is to create stabilisation in Libya with the legitimate government”.