The Libyan Interior Ministry has stepped up security patrols along the porous border with Tunisia in an attempt to curtail the flow of illegal migrants, according to a government statement released Monday.
The heightened police presence comes amid reports of ill-treatment of migrants by Tunisian security forces. Video footage recently emerged showing Tunisian police expelling migrants stranded in border areas by pushing them en masse toward Libya.
In contrast, Libya has provided humanitarian assistance to migrants amassed along the border. The Libyan Red Crescent and other aid agencies have delivered critical supplies to migrant families unable to enter Tunisia.
A high-level committee convened by Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeibeh met Sunday to review security around the Libyan-Tunisian border area. Officials discussed forming an interagency security task force to better coordinate border policing operations and counter irregular migration.
The committee also examined ways to extend additional humanitarian assistance to stranded migrant families in coordination with aid agencies. Authorities plan to address the status of migrants detained in Libyan territory pending deportation procedures.