NEW YORK: The Security Council has renewed for a year UN member states’ authorization to inspect vessels off Libya suspected of smuggling migrants between Africa and Europe.
Proposed by Britain, the resolution was approved unanimously by the 15 members of the council.
It “condemns all acts of migrant smuggling and human trafficking into, through and from the Libyan territory and off the coast of Libya, which undermine further the process of stabilization of Libya and endanger the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”
Negotiations led to friction with the US, which wanted to water down the draft text and remove several paragraphs on migrant smuggling considered too permissive for migration, diplomats said.
Plunged into chaos following the fall of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising, Libya has become a prime transit point for sub-Saharan African migrants making dangerous clandestine bids to reach Europe.
People smugglers have taken advantage of the turmoil, putting African migrants seeking to reach Europe at greater risk.
Many migrants, intercepted or rescued at sea, find themselves detained in detention centers with poor conditions.