Libyan Prime Minister Fajes al-Sarradsch warned Europe that a wave of migrants from Libya will soon flood the shores of the continent. Al-Sarradsch advised Europe to prepare or be swamped by hundreds of thousands of migrants:
“If Libya becomes even more precarious, Europe will have to prepare for further waves of refugees,” al-Sarradsch told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Al-Sarradsch warned that an estimated 800,000 people are waiting in Libya for the opportunity to enter Europe. For the embattled Prime Minister, the new wave of migrant arrivals could be disastrous for Europe because it would re-open a highly political issue.
Al-Sarradsch blames military strongman Khalifa Haftar who ordered his Libyan National Army (LNA) to advance to the capital, Tripoli, where UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) is based.
The PM’s deputy, Ahmed Maitik was quoted as saying Haftar will create “30 years of civil war, 30 years of ISIS rule and 30 years of devastation” in Libya.
Some western countries such as Italy, support al-Sarradsch in the conflict which are being dominated by Haftar’s troops.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has already warned against support for Haftar:
“A military option cannot be a solution.”
Haftar is backed by France, Egypt, United Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Russia. The tacit backing of France for Haftar led to strained relations with Italy.
The two countries see Libya as a key partner in stopping the wave of migration from sub-Saharan Africa.
Early this month, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani voiced out his concerns over a new migrant crisis in Libya, due to the possibility of the UN backed government being toppled by Haftar.
Tajani called on all sides in the conflict to refrain from engaging in violent action:
“There can be no military solution to the Libyan crisis. A new conflict would only cause further loss of life and enormous damage to the country and its population.”
Tajani also warned that conflict could lead to the “risk of a new migration crisis, with the increase in [migration] flows, mainly to Italy and other Mediterranean countries.”
The EU Parliament chief asked the EU for assistance:
“The EU should intervene immediately and speak with a single and authoritative voice, contributing to a peaceful and democratic solution, within the framework of the United Nations, as requested several times by the European Parliament.”