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Italy Is Paying Libya To Intercept Migrants On The Mediterranean

In the first six months of 2017, the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy dropped by around half.  This drastic fall in numbers was likely a result of the $236 million deal signed in February, in which Italy funds and trains the Libyan coastguards to divert migrants right back to Libya.  While the Italian government sees this as reason for celebration, the brunt of the migration crisis is now firmly on Libya.  This is a problem given that the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord doesn’t have the means to effectively handle migrant trafficking and relies on the country’s 1,700 militias to do the job for them.  By outsourcing this work to armed groups who themselves are implicated in smuggling, a bloody power struggle has erupted.

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