Libya is in shambles. Police have all but given up on trying to control the passage of migrants and smugglers through the country. More people have made the crossing into Italy this year than during the whole of 2013. Reuters reports:
“The border is open day and night. Anyone who wants can cross it. There is no control,” said Mohamed Abdel-Qadir, head of Ghat’s town council. “Most (smugglers) are armed people, some of them drug dealers, some trade in weapons, goods and illegal migrants.”Border officials say up to 200 Africans cross the Ghat border strip every day, most headed north to the Mediterranean coast for the onward trip to Europe by boat. […]
Libya’s army and police, still in training, are no match for the armed smugglers. An Interior Ministry force to combat illegal migration has around 150 men covering a stretch of border 600 km (400 miles) long, according to officers.
Meanwhile, Italy, the most popular destination for migrants, is now considering closing down its rescue program. Its navy is overmatched, and it isn’t receiving support from the EU, according to the BBC:
Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has warned that a naval operation to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea may have to come to an end without EU intervention.Speaking in Sicily, he said Italy would not allow people to die but could not continue to patrol Libya’s coast.Shortly after he spoke, a Kuwaiti oil tanker arrived in Sicily carrying another 356 migrants. […]At least 39 people drowned some 65 km (40 miles) off Libya at the weekend after an overloaded, inflatable boat capsized while trying to cross to the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Just a little reminder that President Obama’s dabble in Wilsonian war continues to take a toll.