The Head of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Serraj has told the African Union- European Union Summit attendees in Abidjan that Libya is not the criminal but the victim of the human trafficking, slamming the reports about slave markets in the country as implausible and irrelevant to the Libyan culture and principles.
Al-Serraj said Wednesday that illegal immigration is a shared concern to all countries including Libya, adding that over 2.000.000 African workers used to work in the country legally before the current conflict tears Libya apart.
"Those who choose to enter Libya illegally will at last fall at the hands of international and local human trafficking networks, nonetheless; Libyan authorities have always offered to help them and protect them despite the little support the country has." He explained.
Al-Serraj also explained that the current political, security and economic challenges in Libya are impeding any further action by the country against the issue, saying the international community and the two unions must assist Libya to be able to undermine and terminate the smuggling gangs and then secure its borders, besides providing work opportunities to African or other continents' workers.
"There are 500.000 migrants from 24 countries - 95% African - are in Libya, according to international and local statistics. 40 Libyan shelter centers host 20.000 migrants, which is 4% of the number of migrants in the country, so the rest are either working or crossed the sea to Europe. A number of them also got recruited by terror groups, which we are fighting on behalf of the world, or engaged in local conflicts." Al-Serraj further explained.
"We all know that terror groups use immigration corridors to infiltrate to Libya and then off to Europe." He remarked.
He also said that human traffickers must be punished wherever they are and not in Libya only, adding that African countries must bear the responsibility of returning their nationals to their homelands with the EU's assistance.
"We will always belong to Africa and will always support its causes including development and stability." Al-Sirraj indicated, adding that African officials from the AU Social Affairs Commission arrived in Libya earlier this week and were invited to see the ongoing investigations into the claims of "slave trade" and other violations.