By Sami Zaptia.
Tunis, 27 September 2016:
A group of 167 Libyan women activists signed a statement yesterday denouncing the call by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s request for the establishment of a large city for refugees on the Libyan coast as a ‘‘violation of Libyan sovereignty’’.
It will be recalled that Orbán had said on Saturday that Libyan territory should be used by the EU to set up a giant refugee city.
Orban had made his suggestion in Vienna at the end of a European summit on the EU’s refugee crisis. The Balkan migrant route into Europe has been disrupted since last year when Orban ordered Hungary’s borders closed and fenced with razor wire.
Orban had said that migrants were able to set sail from Libya because the Libyan authorities had no controls. He had said that the EU needed a new Libya policy. Libyan unity should be preserved, he explained, by setting up a new government with whom the EU would sign a cooperation agreement on migrants.
“Unless we preserve Libya as one and stabilise it we cannot create the gigantic refugee city by Libya’s Mediterranean coast,” he had said.
Orban had added that the EU needed total control of its borders. The refugee city he was proposing in Libya would be used to house would-be migrants while their EU entry applications were being processed.
The women activists’ statement sent to Libya Herald read: ‘We, as a group of Libyan women from all areas of our beloved homeland, make this appeal to the international community, the United Nations representative, the representative of the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union as well as our regional and international neighbours based on what came in the Hungarian Prime Minister (Viktor Orbán)’s request for the establishment of a large city for refugees on the Libyan coast’’.
‘‘Our historical responsibility requires from us to declare openly that any interference in Libyan private affairs will not be tolerated, as these are flagrant violations of Libyan sovereignty’’, added the statement.
‘’Such a proposal could be converted to the banks of the Danube River, which are characterized by an abundance of water and food security, if necessary. We also stress the need for serious national and international efforts to address the threats to the sovereignty, peace and security in Libya’’, it added.
‘‘Long live Libya and its people. May God protect our people from all harm, and we will endlessly continue our fight in order to achieve security and peace’’, concluded the statement.
The statement was signed by a total of 167 Libyan women activists whose names were revealed to Libya Herald but we chose not to publish them.