European Commission denies helping human traffickers in Libya

The European Commission has denied helping smugglers in Libya, following a deadly shipwreck near Greece that reportedly sailed from Tobruk in the eastern region, EUobserver reported on Friday.

The European Commission chief’s spokesperson told reporters in Brussels that they were not helping smugglers in Libya, but fighting against smugglers.

The comment came as the European Union continued to step up cooperation with the Libyan coast guard, which – according to the website – is accused of colluding with smugglers and traffickers.

An internal document, dated 9 June and seen by EUobserver, was pressing the EU to extend the mandate of its border mission to Libya (EUBAM) by another two years.

“This includes “enhancing the capacity of the relevant Libyan authorities and agencies to manage Libya’s borders”. EUobserver said.

The document and Mamer’s comment also came following a UN special report earlier this year that accused high-ranking officials in the Libyan coast guard and its department of combating illegal migration of working with traffickers and smugglers.

The same report said the European Union and its member states, directly or indirectly, provided monetary, technical, and logistical support to the the Libyan coast guard that was used in the context of interception and detention of immigrants.


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