Libya leader Marshall Khalifa Haftar rejected any foreign military presence in the south of the country to defeat human trafficking, after the EU leaders struck a deal to establish platforms receiving migrants in North Africa.
At the Summit (28-29 June) in Brussels the EU leaders agreed to explore the setting up “disembarkation platforms” outside Europe, most likely in North Africa, to discourage migrants from undertaking risky crossing of Mediterranean.
Human traffickers have taken an advantage of the collapse of Libyan state after the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi (2011) and swiftly established at Libyan coasts a major illegal migration hub transporting people to Europe from the entire African continent. The Libyan National Army (LNA) said any attempts by “foreign parties to deploy a military presence in some areas of southern Libya on the pretext of controlling illegal migrations” is rejected.
“The army’s general command warns these foreign parties that any such (military) deployment would be considered a flagrant violation of international law and a heinous aggression against Libyan sovereignty,” a statement said.
It added that the LNA would take “all the necessary measures to protect Libya and its borders”, without elaborating.
Marshall Haftar heads the Libyan National Army (LNA) and supports a parallel government in eastern Libya, and Tobruk parliament, that challenges the authority of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli.