Al-Sarraj refuses to take responsibility for abuses against migrants in GNA’s detention centers

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – Prime Minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj, lashed out against the European Union over the migration crisis and accused it of not doing enough. At the same time, he refused to take responsibility for the abuses that migrants suffer in detention centers ran by his government.

In an interview, published on Sunday, with Spanish newspaper El País, Al-Sarraj criticized a report by the United Nations which documented torture, rape and other sever human rights violations in GNA-ran detention centers.

“Instead of dedicating so many resources to creating these reports, why not also help Libya to solve the problem? Why not support the countries that export these migrants? Why not find a better place for them, maybe integrate them into Europe? Other solutions, instead of just creating reports and reading them.” He said.

Al-Sarraj complained that EU leaders only look at the figures of those who arrive at their shores, and not those of those who remain in Libya. However, when asked if he considers Libya a safe harbor in which to disembark migrants and refugees, he avoided answering the question.

“This question raises again but I have another question: Why not help our coastguards? Why not find alternatives such as securing ports or the passage?” He said before adding, “Libya is going through difficult and unstable times […] and we are trying to do the best we can with the available resources”.

Al-Sarraj acknowledged that he’s unable to contain the militias funded by his government. These militias are accused by several human rights organizations of cooperating with human traffickers to take advantage of migrants.

“It is difficult to attract all the armed forces under certain discipline, to ensure their control and their professionalism in the use of force. But we hope to achieve it.” He said without explaining how is he going to achieve that after four years of failure.


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