US Libya: Coastguard official accused of smuggling migrants arrested
Greek minister: 5,000 move into new refugee camp on Lesbos
KARA TEPE, Greece (AP) — More than 5,000 asylum seekers left homeless after Greece's notoriously overcrowded Moria camp on the island of Lesbos burnt down have now been housed in a new facility, the country's migration minister said Thursday afternoon. Speaking on the island, Notis Mitarachi said rapid coronavirus tests found 135 of the former residents of Moria positive for the coronavirus, and these people were being kept "in special areasSpeaking on the island, Notis Mitarachi said rapid coronavirus tests found 135 of the former residents of Moria positive for the coronavirus, and these people were being kept "in special areas where they receive the appropriate medical conditions.
The Libyan government in Tripoli announced on Friday (October 16th) the arrest of a coast guard official suspected of being a trafficker, including migrants to Europe.
Captain Abdelrahman Milad - known as "Al-Bidja" - was a senior coast guard official in Zawiya, some 50 kilometers west of Tripoli. His name is on a list of people subject to sanctions by the UN Security Council and he is wanted by.
For human rights activist and Eritrean journalist Meron Estefanos, who has extensively investigated human trafficking in Libya, Al-Bidja is a known figure. “If you look at the number of migrants who have passed through Libya - especially after the fall of Gaddafi - the numbers are huge and the vast majority passed through Zawiya where Al-Bidja was captain. Almost all of the refugees I have spoken to - and I interviewed hundreds, if not thousands - almost all of them indicated that a coast guard was involved in the smuggling of migrants, she said. But it took years for it to come out. But he is a known trafficker, who smuggled many things, gasoline, migrants. And what is sad is that at the same time he was participating in discussions with Europeans on how to stop illegal immigration. I have been saying for years that there are Libyan coast guards responsible for smuggling migrants. When Italy decided to make an agreement with its coast guards, I was among the first to denounce this agreement, to say that those who traffic are the same who are paid by Europe to stop these networks of traffickers. . "
Italy condemns detention of fishermen seized off eastern Libya
Italy condemns detention of fishermen seized off eastern LibyaROME (Reuters) - Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio accused Khalifa Haftar's administration in eastern Libya of "unacceptable" behaviour on Thursday for detaining 18 sailors who were seized while fishing in the southern Mediterranean.
" I am waiting to see where he will be brought to justice "
Meron Estefanos welcomes the arrest of Al-Bidja. According to her, Bidja is responsible for the deaths of many people. “The way this trafficking operates is this: when someone wants to get on a boat for Europe, they come into contact with a fixer, a trafficker who promises to put it on a boat. But after that, the coast guard takes over. Often it is people like Bidja - who are in high places, who have connections - who will put migrants on board such and such a boat, she explains. And if you put 500 people on a boat that can only hold 100 and there is an accident, well you are responsible for the deaths of these people. Until now, those who have been pinned down by the government have been second knives, so this time I am happy with the arrest of Abdelrahman Milad "Al-Bidja". But I wonder what will happen to him: will he be transferred to the ICC or will he be tried in Libya, where there is a lot of corruption and where he can pay and be released. . So I’m a little worried and I’m waiting to see where he is brought to justice. "
UN representative speaks of historic moment: Armistice decided in Libya .
Libya has been sinking into chaos for years. Military representatives in Geneva have now taken a decisive step towards peace. © Photo: Violaine Martin / dpa Stephanie Williams, UN Commissioner for Libya, during talks between UNSMIL (United Nations Support Mission in Libya) and the conflicting parties on October 19, 2020. The rival camps in the civil war in Libya have agreed on a truce.