14:02 GMT11 April 2021
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
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    Britain’s Prime Minister wants to step up navy efforts to return migrants back to Libya, where the majority of journeys embarked upon by refugees and migrants to reach Europe originate.

    David Cameron told his European Union counterparts at a summit in Brussels that he wanted to ramp up efforts in central Mediterranean Sea to stem the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe. 

    Downing Street sources have revealed that British warships could be used to turn back boats carrying migrants close to the Libyan coastline.

    The mission would include extending the current EU naval force, with more British ships deployed in "territorial and internal" waters, within "several kilometers off the Libyan coastline", a UK government source said.

    Send Them Back

    The EU naval mission Operation Sophia has detained 90 vessels and 53 suspected people smugglers have been arrested; but the mission can only operate in international, not Libyan waters.

    "We think Operation Sophia has achieved a lot in terms of bringing the numbers down…but one of the challenges the operation has is that it is still only operating on the high seas," a government source said.

    "He [Cameron] thinks we should be looking to return people to where they set off from," according to a government source.

    And that place would be Libya — an oil-rich North African country, where a civil war between the official government in the east and an Islamist backed government based in Tripoli continues to rage.

    The UN is trying to broker a deal for a unity government and bring peace to the country after it fell apart following the NATO invasion in 2011 and the death of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

    David Cameron recently admitted that it was in Britain’s interest to see the formation of a unity government.

    "Libya right now is a people smuggling route, that is bad for us and bad for the rest of Europe and the growth of Daesh is bad for us and bad for the rest of Europe."

    However, it appears that Britain’s Prime Minister believes it is okay to send people already fleeing war back to the conflict zone in order to stem the flow of migrants into Europe.

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

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    Tags:
    refugee crisis, migrant crisis, European Union, David Cameron, Aegean Sea, Libya, United Kingdom
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