There has been resistance in Italy to migrants trying to enter the country from Libya, despite pressure from the European Union to allow those migrants to enter the country. Part of the reason Italy doesn’t want to allow Libyan migrants to enter the country, is to keep smugglers from coming in.
Per Fox News, “Italy announced some 30 million euro (US$34 million) in new investments aimed at preventing migrants from ever reaching or leaving Libya’s lawless shores where smugglers operate. And EU interior ministers warned they might sanction migrants’ home countries with visa restrictions if they refuse to take their people back when their European asylum bids fail.”
Many of these boats are run by human traffickers. The European Commission has been given the responsibility to stop human traffickers from entering Europe.
BBC reports, “The commission proposes to use more than 50% of the funds to boost the Libyan coastguard’s capacity to stop traffickers launching boatloads of migrants out to sea to be rescued.”
Italy has raised complaints that the number of refugees entering the country is too much for Italy to bear on its own. To allow more migrants, the rest of the EU has to comply. Italy has threatened to allow only ships with an Italian flag on it.
Fox News explains, “Amid mounting anti-immigrant sentiment across Europe, Italy has increased its complaints that it can no longer shoulder the burden of the migrant crisis alone. Faced with national elections later this year or next, the Italian government has recently threatened to close its ports to non-Italian flagged rescue ships in hopes of forcing other European countries to take migrants in.”
Many of those trying to reach land from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
Per VOX, “Those trying to reach European shores include desperate migrants and asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, all making a dangerous voyage across the waters from Libya to Italy and from Turkey to Greece and then walking across Europe. Many don’t make it, like Alan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian boy, whose lifeless body stirred the world if but for a moment.”
Charity Reaches Out
Medecins Sans Frontieres seeks to help refugees safely to land and provide medicine for them.
Medecins Sans Frontieres reports, “With no safe and legal passage to Europe, thousands of people have attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea. MSF teams aboard search and rescue boats have rescued more than 50,000 men, women and children, and documented firsthand accounts of the alarming level of violence and exploitation those desperate people experienced in Libya at the hands of security forces, militias, smuggling networks, criminal gangs and private individuals.”
Please pray for Libyan refugees, that they would be rescued and for many of them to come to know the hope of Christ.