A report from Libya’s state-run media claims the recent Rome International Conference on Migration and Development “will not establish mechanisms” to stem irregular migration from Africa to Europe, raising concerns about hidden motives to permanently settle migrants in Libya.
The report from the Libyan News Agency (WAL) pointed to the conference’s slogan, the “Rome Process to Address the Root Causes of Irregular Migration,” noting participating nations agreed to finance development in migrant origin and transit countries without clear implementation plans.
“Despite the fanfare surrounding it, this is not the first nor last conference to produce impractical proposals on south-north migration,” wrote WAL’s Africa editor.
Real Causes of Migration “Kept Quiet,” Says WAL
The editor argued migration won’t stop until the real drivers are addressed, including Western corporate exploitation of Africa’s vast mineral and natural wealth, stifling technology transfer, and blocking major development projects like the Great Green Wall across the Sahel and utilizing the Congo River.
Rome Conference Seen as Imposing Western Agenda
WAL reiterated Libya rejects “Western dictates” and the exploitation of its instability to permanently settle migrants and make it “pay the price” for Europe’s benefit.
Both the head of Libya’s Presidential Council, Mohamed Menfi, and Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dabaiba used the conference to firmly reject outside pressure to host migrants and insisted on addressing root causes.
WAL remains skeptical the Rome conference represents another attempt “to impose Western colonial-era policies on North Africa” and settle migrants permanently in Libya and the Mediterranean “under the guise of cooperation.”
Absence of Haftar Raises Questions
Some Libyan observers have expressed concerns over the notable absence of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, from the Rome conference. As a key figure exerting control over much of southern and eastern Libya, some analysts critique his exclusion as overlooking a pivotal player in Libya’s divided political landscape. They question whether this risks straining relations between Italy and Haftar’s forces, potentially impacting security coordination along Libya’s borders to restrict illegal migration into Europe. While the implications of Haftar’s non-participation remain uncertain, it underscores the complex challenges facing diplomatic efforts to resolve Libya’s internal rifts and instability.