The Address | Benghazi – Libya
BRUSSELS – The European Union’s High Representative, Federica Mogherini, maintained that EU’s policy regarding the migration crisis in Mediterranean is effective, and called for Libya’s migrant detention centers to be closed.
In a press conference following EU’s Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, Mogherini was asked about the recent indent involving the death of more than 100 migrants off Libya’s coast.
“This was not discussed during the Foreign Affairs Council,” said Mogherini who avoided “commenting on news not discussed at the Council,”
“But I already said yesterday evening, even if not through official channels, that I believe that what has happened in the last hours in the Mediterranean confirms the importance of a European Union’s presence at sea.” She added.
“Through our Operation Sophia we have in recent years saved lives and countered traffickers and trained the Libyan Coast Guard not only to search and rescue, but also to contrast the traffic on land and at sea and to do so in respect of human rights – which is always difficult,”
“We are committed as the European Union together with the International Non-Governmental Organisations, together with the UNHCR [Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] and together with the IOM [International Organisation for Migration].”
“We have also managed in the last years to begin the process of emptying the detention centres in Libya, which must be closed, together with UNHCR and IOM – we are the ones to finance the activities of the IOM and UNHCR – in particular the opening of the UNHCR centre [Gathering and Departure Facility] recently in Tripoli.” She said.
The EU is facing increasing pressure for its policy to fund and train bodies of the Tripoli-based Interior Ministry which its detentions centers witnessed serious human rights abuses against migrants as documented by several international organizations.