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    Migrants and refugees call out to Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms workers, after being located out of control sailing on a rubber boat in the Mediterranean Sea, about 18 miles north of Sabratha, Libya

    Activists: Migrants' Rights Abuses Logical Result of 2011 NATO Invasion of Libya

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    European NATO member-states are responsible for the violations of human rights of refugees in Libya, commentators have told Sputnik, stressing that the ongoing human trafficking, terrorism and illegal migration is the logical result of the alliance's invasion of the country in 2011.

    Europe, in general, and Italy, in particular, are the main culprits behind the spread of human rights abuses against migrants in Libya, Usef Shakir, an analyst specializing in Libyan affairs told Sputnik Arabic.

    "The NATO countries are responsible for the destruction of Libyan forces that controlled the country's borders and border crossings," Shakir emphasized.

    The Libyan analyst noted that the EU's methods aimed at preventing human rights violations against asylum seekers are ineffective.

    According to Shakir, the local mafia that oversees the smuggling and illegal border crossings on the territory of Libya and neighboring African countries is much stronger than any international organization. "They are well aware of all possible loopholes that can be used in their activities," he stressed.

    "The European governments are well aware of what is happening in Libya and in local camps for migrants through their intelligence services," the analyst pointed out. "We see the fruit their actions in 2011 have finally borne, when the [Libyan] army and police which successfully carried out their tasks [in the country] were eliminated [due to the NATO invasion]."

    Muhammed Zuaida, the general secretary of the Association of NATO Victims in Libya echoed Shakir: "The current situation [in Libya] is the logical result of the 2011 NATO invasion [of the country]."

    He stressed that due to the rise of terrorism, human and arms trafficking, illegal migration and human rights abuses have engulfed the country.

    Zuaida pointed out that criminals are receiving stable payments for the delivery of migrants from North Africa to European shores. He highlighted that it is not a spontaneous phenomenon, but a well-thought-out trading scheme.

    The Libyan activist focused his attention on the dangerous situation in southern Libya. This region boasts the richest deposits of oil, gas and water. At the same time, it remains practically empty: The population of the region does not exceed 5,000 people. As a result, Sub-Saharan African families are flooding into southern Libya, filling the vacuum.

    This disturbing trend may lead to a complete displacement of the Libyans in the region and further exacerbate tensions in the war-torn country. 

    Amnesty International (AI), a human rights watchdog, has recently accused the leadership of the European countries of involvement in the torture and abuse of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants by held by the Libyan immigration authorities in detention centers on the territory of the country.

    The AI report, entitled "Libya's dark web of Collusion: Abuses against Europe-bound refugees and migrants," sheds light on the EU support of "a sophisticated system of abuse and exploitation of refugees and migrants by the Libyan Coast Guard, detention authorities and smugglers."

    "European governments have not just been fully aware of these abuses; by actively supporting the Libyan authorities in stopping sea crossings and containing people in Libya, they are complicit in these abuses," John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International's Europe Director, said in an official statement.

    In November, the broadcaster CNN released footage of a slave auction in Libya, at which destitute refugees were sold to residents of North African states. The video prompted the UN Security Council (UNSC) to focus on the disturbing issue.

    Speaking to Sputnik in early December, Terry Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for the US-based anti-trafficking group Free the Slaves, emphasized that the lack of a strong central government in Libya was one of the factors that contributed to the rise in human trafficking in the region.

    The civil war has been raging on in the country which has de facto ceased to exist as a unified state since Muammar Gaddafi's ouster in 2011. The creation of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez Sarraj, who assumed the position of prime minister of the GNA in March 2016, has not resulted in a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

    Currently, a vast part of Libya remains under the control of the elected parliament based in Tobruk and backed by the Libyan National Army (LNA). Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan commander and the head of the LNA, does not recognize the authority of the UN-backed GNA government.

    The views and opinions expressed by Usef Shakir, Muhammed Zuaida are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    oil, refugee crisis, human rights abuse, water, torture, gas, refugees, 2011 Libya military intervention, NATO, Amnesty International, European Union, Italy, Europe, Middle East, Libya
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