Libya deports 100s of African immigrants
28 November 2013, 11:55
Libya has deported more than 500 African immigrants, state news agency Lana
said, sending them to Niger as it tries to tackle an influx of refugees and
powers fear Libya has become a safe haven for al-Qaeda fighters as its
government struggles to rein in militias and former rebels who helped topple
Muammar Gaddafi two years ago.
controls and a small army lacking training and equipment have turned Libya into
a weapons smuggling route for al-Qaeda in sub-Saharan countries and a transit
route for Islamist fighters heading to Syria's civil war.
traffickers also use the remote desert borders with Egypt, Sudan, Niger and
Chad to smuggle refugees into Libya from where many try to reach Europe by
deported 350 illegal immigrants from Niger and 208 from Chad via its remote
al-Tum crossing to Niger, Lana reported late on Tuesday, citing a security
In total 4 875
illegal immigrants of various nationalities were being held in detention centres,
the agency said.
illegal migrants have died in the past two months on their way from North
Africa to Italy. Many set off in small boats from the Libyan coast which
authorities struggle to monitor.