From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Thursday 26th January 2017
EUROPEAN Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker urged European leaders yesterday to endorse sweeping measures to bar tens of thousands of desperate people from leaving Libya in search of better lives in Europe.
The commission published documents insisting that leaders should “deploy the full range of EU missions and projects” to help Libya manage its borders …”
Libya, which has been ravaged by war and corruption since Britain and France deployed air power to assist the overthrow of late dictator Muammar Gadaffi, is a main departure point for African migrants trying to reach Europe via Italy.
More than 181,000 people attempted the dangerous central Mediterranean crossing last year, with about 4,500 dying or disappearing.
Some senior EU officials predict that record new migrant arrivals are likely again this year, but Libya has no stable central authority that the Europeans can negotiate effectively with.
The EU has tried for several years to cobble together migration polices while people died at sea.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, has warned that a new migrant crisis could reach European shores in coming months as the weather warms.
The EU leaders, who will meet in Malta’s capital Valletta on February 3, are urged to earmark more funds to train Libya’s coastguard.
Libya’s Red Crescent recovered the bodies of 74 migrants when they washed ashore in northwestern Libya near the town of Zawiya (30 miles west of Tripoli) early Wednesday morning. The Red Crescent indicated there were many more casualties, but that the rough seas prevented them from recovering the rest of the bodies: here.