By Sami Zaptia.
London, 9 May 2021:
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Najla Mangoush visited Libya’s southern border regions over the last few days, including Qatrun.
Libya-Niger border crossing
Speaking at the Tumu border crossing with Niger (300 km south of Qatrun), Mangoush said that the situation in Libya today is not the same as it was ten years ago, calling on neighbouring countries to urgently put in place regional mechanisms to combat smuggling, migration and human trafficking.
Bilateral visits to countries of origin of immigration
The minister affirmed that during the coming period she will make bilateral visits to countries of origin of immigration, and to countries whose citizens fall victim to trafficking in order to invite them to bilateral understandings with Libya, to return their citizens to them with dignity and humanity. He revealed that she will submit to Parliament a draft law that strengthens the penalties for smugglers and traffickers so that the penalties become the same: A deterrent to all involved parties in smuggling.
Reiterates call for ‘‘departure of foreign forces and mercenaries “Wagner, Janjaweed, Syrians and other mercenaries in all of Libya.’’
In the context of her discussion of the neighbouring countries, she mentioned, “We wish stability to the neighbouring country, Chad, according to what its people decide and what achieves their aspirations and by peaceful means.
In Libya, we have suffered a lot from armed groups of different nationalities crossing our borders and from their employment by the conflicting Libyan parties. We have repeatedly called on these countries to help us to control their citizens and reach solutions in their countries that protect us and protect them from the evils of war.
Today we renew the same demand for the necessity of the departure of foreign forces and mercenaries “Wagner, Janjaweed, Syrians and other mercenaries in all of Libya, whether in the south, west or east by working immediately from our country and cooperating with us through a time plan that will be drawn up by the 5 + 5 Committee under the supervision of the United Nations. In accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, we are working on liberalizing our sovereign decision and preparing for free and fair elections free from the pressure of arms and force.’’
Libya will not act as a border guard for European borders
The Minister also made clear during her speech that the Libyans will not act as guards for Europe’s borders, and Libya cannot be a transit point for suffering and persecution against African brothers, calling on European countries to adhere to and fulfil their agreements signed with Libya, especially since Libya has assets with these countries according to the signed agreements close to half a billion dollars earmarked for border protection, while stressing the necessity of concluding electronic monitoring and information protection contracts. The security and stability of Libya can only be achieved through tight control over and securing the borders, she added.
At the end of her speech directed at European countries, the Minister said that their role has come to fulfil their obligations and put their promises into effect, explaining that Libya is not seeking support and funding, as these are contractual obligations and must be fulfilled now.