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Refugee crisis in the Mediterranean: Rome negotiated with traffickers

            

              
              
                

            

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(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

              

Two years ago, negotiations between Libya and Italy were held in Sicily. Both countries want to curb the flow of refugees across the Mediterranean. According to one report, a well-known boss of a band of tugs takes part in the meeting.

              

A meeting between Italian and Libyan authorities two years ago on Sicily is said to have included a well-known trafficker. As the Italian newspaper "L'Avvenire" reports, the negotiations in May 2017 focused on monitoring flows of migrants across the Mediterranean. The trafficker should be the Libyan Abd al-Rahman al-Milad.

According to a UN report, Al-Milad is considered one of the leading masterminds in the international tug business. He should be responsible for the drowning of dozens of refugees. His organization is expected to operate in the Zawyah region, about 45 kilometers west of Tripoli.

According to L'Avvenire, Al-Milad was presented at the meeting as commander of the Libyan Coast Guard. During his stay in Sicily he is also supposed to visit a refugee camp in the city of Mineo. At the time, the camp was the largest of its kind in Europe. More than 30,000 migrants have been housed in Mineo in recent years.

According to the newspaper, the Libyan delegation is said to have put pressure on Rome for Italy to finance refugee facilities in Libya. As a result, the government in Rome started proposing to the EU the opening of appropriate accommodation in Libya. Already in the past, the Italian government was accused of colluding with Libyan militia.

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