Seventy Egyptian illegal immigrants were arrested on Tuesday, July 17, in Libya. Head of media office in Ajdabiya security directorate, Mustafa Boufjra, told Egypt Today that all the defendants have forged documents to enter the country.
The Libyan public prosecution will launch an investigation into the incident, according to Boufjra.
In December 2017, the Libyan authorities announced to media outlets that the country hosts nearly 700,000 illegal immigrants from different nationalities planning to travel to Europe. The officials affirmed that they are doing all the needed efforts to cooperate with all governments to control illegal immigration.
Egypt’s government has been cooperating during the past period with several countries, especially Italy and Libya, to reduce illegal immigration.
Illegal immigration topped Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s discussions during their meeting that took place early in July in Germany.
In statements to ON live, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said that both ministers had long talks on strategies to combat illegal immigration. “Both ministers agreed they need to reach new mechanisms to eliminate illegal immigration by uprooting its economic and social causes and by dealing with the crises from a comprehensive perspective,” Abu Zeid stated.
Abu Zeid affirmed in his statements that Seehofer expressed his admiration of the efforts exerted by the Egyptian government to control illegal immigration.
Also, on the sidelines of a mini-summit that was held in the Belgian capital of Brussels earlier in July, Egypt’s Shoukry met with Johannes Hahn of the European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, where they discussed Cairo’s efforts to combat illegal immigration.
Egypt described its efforts as a “successful model” in dealing with the phenomenon of illegal immigration.
In an official statement, Abu Zeid said Shoukry highlighted Egyptian efforts, including stopping boats in Egyptian territorial waters that might carry migrants to Europe, and asked other European partners to support Egypt in its efforts.
Following a September 2016 migrant boat disaster off its Mediterranean coast, Cairo raised its focus on the illegal immigration issue and introduced an illegal immigration law, in addition to toughening sentences against human traffickers.
A huge number of Egyptians escaped harsh living conditions and sought to improve their living standards by illegally migrating from Egypt, often travelling first to Libya and then to Europe across the Mediterranean.
Human-trafficking gangs operate in Libya and charge migrants large sums of money to make the perilous journey.