Italy working so UN runs migrant centres in Libya

epa07831170 Italian Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese at the Lower House ahead of a confidence vote, in Rome, Italy, 09 September 2019. Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte presented his new government's programme in the Lower House ahead of the first of two confidence votes that the executive is set to face in parliament. His new government is a coalition between the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the center-left Democratic Party (PD). The result of the vote was 343 yes votes, against 263 no votes and 3 abstentions. EPA-EFE/ANGELO CARCONI

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Among the changes Italy will demand to a 2017 deal with Libya on migrants is the gradual closure of migrant centres criticised for human rights violations and their replacement by centres run by UN agencies, Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese told the House Wednesday in a briefing on the Memorandum of Understanding on combatting illegal immigration.

The deal is set to be renewed for another three years.

Italy will seek, she said, “the improvement of the detention centres with the goal of their gradual closure to achieve centres run by the UN agencies,” she said.

The 2017 deal, which drastically cut migrant flows from Libya, has been criticised for pushing back migrants to Libya.

Italy has denied claims it negotiated with militias and human traffickers.

Lamorgese said that when the deal was signed, migrants flows were “concerning” but “today they have fallen”.

However, she said, a “drop in our attention on migratory dynamics and humanitarian risks is unjustifiable.

She stressed that there had been a “sharp reduction in victims at sea”.

“The memorandum contributed to these results, but it is also important to avoid the isolation of the Libyan authorities.” She said the UN-backed government in Tripoli had voiced willingness to modify the deal.

Via ANSA

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