The Address | Benghazi – Libya
ROME – Former Italian Interior Minister, Marco Minniti, warned that “the situation in Libya is getting out of hand” as he criticized the policies of his successor, Matteo Salvini, regrading the migration crisis.
Minniti made the point that Italy and the European Union must assist the Libyan Coast Guard in the rescue operations at the Mediterranean Sea. He also called for his country to be more involved in the “stabilization process” in Libya.
“The Italian Coast Guard no longer operates in the Mediterranean, the Sofia Mission is a naval mission without ships at sea, the NGOs are prevented from operating and everything is unloaded on the Libyan Coast Guard which does not have the means.” He said during an interview with Italy’s Rai Radio1 on Thursday.
“The situation in Libya is getting out of hand. We should be more concerned with Libya and its stabilization process,” Minniti said.
The former minister also defended the policies of the government of former Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, under which he served.
Minniti said that he never adopted the slogan ‘Let us help them at home’ with respect to migrants. He said the slogan belongs to Salvini’s party Lega Nord.
The former minister said that during his time in office, he sought to govern the migration flow, not to ban it.
“Migrations cannot be canceled,” he said “No one can do it. It is a structural datum of the planet. What a government can do is try to govern migration flows, not make them suffer.”
In February 2017, Italy made a deal, backed by the European Union, to spend tens of millions of euros funding the Libyan Coast Guard of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which intercepts boats heading for Italy and returns those on-board to Libya.
The United Nations and human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, do not consider Libya to be a safe harbor for migrants as severe abuse and crimes were reported to have been committed inside detention centers in Libya.