Moroccan authorities are taking the necessary measures to repatriate the migrants who are held by human trafficking networks in Libya, their crossing point to Italian coasts, Spokesperson for the government Mustapha El Khalfi said.
The Libyan army has freed several Moroccans, estimated at more than 200 people, from the yoke of the criminal networks and placed them in detention centers pending their repatriation to Morocco, El Khalfi told the press following the weekly cabinet meeting Thursday.
He said the ministry in charge of the Moroccans living abroad and migration is coordinating with Libyan authorities to take back the Moroccan nationals stuck in Libya.
This is a priority issue for the government, which is making sure to bring back the Moroccan nationals held in Libya in best conditions.
Libya’s porous borders and its proximity to Italian coasts have offered propitious conditions for the surge of illegal migration attempts organized by human trafficking networks. But the tightening of security conditions and the ill-treatment received by migrants in the war-torn country have considerably led to a shift in illegal migration routes to Algeria and Morocco.
Yesterday, Tunisian authorities announced that they have saved 22 illegal migrants at sea, including 9 Moroccans, who have embarked from Libyan coasts with the hope of reaching Italy. Other migrants include Tunisians, Egyptians, Sudanese, Bangladeshis and Nigerians.
In September, 1400 illegal migrants landed in Italy, said the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Last year, the UN said that 5000 migrants perished in the Mediterranean while trying to make the perilous crossing from Africa to southern Europe.