Home / World / EU to Help Draft Libya’s Strategy on Border Security
EU to help draft Libya's strategy on border security

EU to Help Draft Libya’s Strategy on Border Security

BRUSSELS – The EU will help draft Libya’s national border security and management strategy, according to an internal EU document.
Dated September 1 and obtained by EUobserver, the document sets out what the EU border assistance mission in Libya (EUbam) intends to do over the next six months.
The decision indicates that more significant efforts are being made to prevent migrants and refugees from fleeing this war-torn country.
Written in part by Vincenzo Tagliaferri, head of Eubam’s mission in Libya, the 60-page report also provides a detailed account of what he did between February and August of this year.
He had, for example, launched a pilot project with Italy and the EU border agency Frontex to train the Libyan coast guard.
The Coast Guard has played a vital role in preventing people from fleeing – but they have often sent those “rescued at sea” to detention centres, where they risk torture or worse.
But it is in his closing remarks that Tagliaferri emphasizes a so-called “white paper”, the European language of proposals.
He said the White Paper, once implemented, “will include comprehensive reform of border administration, aimed at stabilizing border control and security and migration administration.”
The report itself noted that “the mission (EUbam) has started working on a draft roadmap, including a WP implementation plan (white paper) and aims to create with the development of a national security and border management strategy in the next month.”
He is also helping the Libyans draft their maritime strategy, the report notes.
The white paper was not appended to the leaked report and has yet to be approved by the Libyan presidential council.
But a wave of high-level contacts was maintained throughout the summer between EU missions in Libya and authorities in Tripoli in light of the pandemic and conflict.
At the end of June, for example, Tagliaferri met the Minister of the Interior of Libya in Tripoli. He also met officials from the Libyan Ministry of Defense, Justice and Foreign Affairs.
Tagliaferri had only three years earlier called these Libyan institutions chaotic, pointing out how Libya suspended its defense minister following the Brak Shati massacre.
Now EUbam is on the verge of signing a new agreement with Libya’s interior minister, which aims to strengthen relations “including on border management and law enforcement”.
This comes against the backdrop of a spike in Libyan COVID-19 cases, the report notes, as well as an increased risk of roadside bombings for those returning to Tripoli from the lines of the front of what Tagliaferri clearly describes as an active conflict.
Meanwhile, the European Commission was also busy planning a money shuffle to give the Libyan Coast Guard an infusion of funds.
In June, they met with, among others, the EU Naval Operation Irini to discuss EU support for the Libyan Coast Guard.
These talks resulted in an “action plan” to further strengthen Libyan maritime law enforcement, the Tagliaferri report noted.
Asked for comment, far-left Swedish MEP Malin Björk said such investments risked making the EU complicit in crimes against humanity.
“While it is true that the EU is stepping up its support for the so-called ‘Libyan Coast Guard’, it is a scandal,” she said in an email.
She said paying Libyans to prevent people from fleeing is outsourcing the EU’s borders.
“Border forces are active in pushing back and trapping people in Libya, where we know migrants are locked up, tortured, sexually abused and even sold,” she said.
The leaked report predates the European Commission’s long-standing pact on migration and asylum.
Last week, commission Vice-chair Schinas said the pact intended to prevent people from leaving their countries in the first place.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

Check Also

Britain signs first major post-Brexit trade deal with Japan

Britain Signs First Major Post-Brexit Trade Deal with Japan

LONDON – Britain and Japan officially signed a trade deal on Friday, marking the UK’s …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *