Libya alone cannot handle illegal immigration: PM

Libya alone cannot handle illegal immigration
Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj said Wednesday that Libya alone cannot deal with illegal immigration.

Serraj made his remarks during a meeting here with Emmanuel Ilunga, minister in charge of Congolese affairs abroad.

According to the media office of the prime minister, the meeting discussed bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries against illegal immigration.

"The normal situation for them (immigrants) is to be in their own countries to contribute to their development or departure in normal conditions without going through risky adventures," Serraj told Ilunga during the meeting.

Serraj confirmed that Libya is taking care of tens of thousands of migrants, despite the current difficult circumstances.

Serraj said that Libya is "unable to handle this heavy issue on its own, with such security, humanitarian and economic burden, and countries of origin and destination must cooperate."

Ilunga said his visit to Libya is to "meet illegal Congolese immigrants and to ask them to return voluntarily to their country."

Due to the insecurity and chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime, Libya became a preferred departure point for illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, wishing to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores.

An official of the International Organization for Migration on Tuesday told Xinhua that more than 19,000 illegal immigrants have been voluntarily departed from Libya in 2017.


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