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Europe’s Libya Problem

How to Stem the Flow of Migrants

Migrants after being picked up by the Libyan coast guard, July 2017. Ismail Zetouni / Reuters

In July, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the self-proclaimed leader of the Libyan National Army, one of the major armed groups in the battle for Libya, announced that his forces had liberated Benghazi from jihadist fighters. Although Benghazi’s emancipation was viewed by many as a welcome development, it does little to push back the massive tide of migrants using Libya as a transit country nor to prevent the numerous abuses perpetrated against them. Nearly 11,000 migrants arrived on Italian shores in just the last five days of June, following nearly 80,000 in the first half of 2017. Over 2,000 have perished at sea since the start of this year. The vast majority came from sub-Saharan Africa and embarked from the Libyan coast.

The European Union (EU) has been searching for a way to stem the flow of migrants and handle the tens of thousands who arrive in Italy on a daily basis. The EU’

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