Libya-Italy Migration Deal Signed

Feb 7, 2017 | International actors

On 2 February, Fayez al-Serraj, Prime Minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and Italy’s PM Paolo Gentiloni, signed a Memorandum of Understanding intended to limit the numbers of migrants and refugees travelling from Libya to Italy. The deal includes providing support and training to the Libyan coast guard. On 3 February, during an EU summit meeting in Malta, the EU acknowledged its support for the Libya-Italy deal and pledged $200 million in support of various anti-trafficking activities in the region. The agreement includes a provision to fund and equip existing detention centers affiliated to the GNA’s Ministry of Interior as temporary migrant reception centers, and to provide support to local communities ‘receiving’ illegal migrants.

A number of House of Representatives (HoR) members, including the boycotting member of the Presidential Council (PC) Ali al-Gutrani, officially condemned the agreement. According to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), such international agreements are to be ratified by the HoR. The MoU has also drawn criticism from international organizations due to Libya’s inability to provide the necessary humanitarian support, security or facilities to humanely and legally process refugee claims or migrant repatriation in Libya.