Friday, February 22, 2019
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Human smugglers in Libya have links to security services: UN

Most armed groups involved in human smuggling and trafficking in Libya have links to the country's official security institutions, sanctions experts said in a confidential report to a UN Security Council committee.
People smugglers operating with impunity in Libya have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants to Europe, mainly Italy, by sea since 2014. Thousands have died during the voyages.
"Armed groups, which were party to larger poltical-military coalitions, have specialized in illegal smuggling activities, notably human smuggling and trafficking,"experts reported to the 15-member Security Council committee. They said most of these armed groups"were nominally affiliated to official security institutions."
The experts were reporting on an arms embargo and targeted sanctions that the U.N. Security Council imposed on Libya in 2011 when former leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.
Eritrean migrants told the sanctions monitors they had been arrested by the Special Deterrence Force (SDF), which is an armed group affiliated with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord's Ministry of Interior, the report said.
The migrants said the Special Deterrence Force handed them to various smuggling rings."The panel is assessing whether the SDF's leadership was aware of collusion and trafficking being conducted within its ranks,"the sanctions monitors wrote.
They also noted:"The panel is concerned over the possible use of state facilities and state funds by armed groups and traffickers to enhance their control of migration routes."


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