Composed of civilians, policemen and soldiers, an armed group works against the departure of migrants’ boats from the Libyan coast. It would have contributed to the fall of the number of illegal immigrants in Italy.
An armed group calling itself “Brigade 48” prevents migrants’ ships from reaching the European Mediterranean coast from Tripoli, Libya, according to local sources in Sabratha, quoted by Reuters.
Composed of several hundred civilians but also policemen and members of the Libyan army, this group has been conducting a very strong campaign against the departure of migrants. It was allegedly initiated by a “former chief of the mafia,” according to a Sabratha source that closely monitors the smuggling activities in the region.
The armed group, which works both on land and on the beach, would particularly prevent migrant ships from leaving for Italy. The action of this armed group would have contributed to the 50% reduction in July of the flow of clandestine migrants from North Africa to Italy.
The migration situation off Libya is of particular concern.
At the beginning of August, the Libyan navy announced the creation of a search and rescue zone along its territory , prohibited to foreign ships unless they obtain the agreement of the authorities. This action had prompted many humanitarian NGOs to operate close to the Libyan coast. Indeed, since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country is divided and plagued with great instability, which benefit traffickers to send tens of thousands of migrants every year to Europe, their Demanding large sums of money.