Italy deploys naval ships to Libya due to migration crisis, as 39,000 Nigerians apply for asylum
Italy will deploy two military ships to Libya in an effort to deter illegal migration and human smuggling into Europe, the Italian government announced Wednesday. The move is Italy’s latest effort to counter the country’s migration surge.
A data released recently, shows that, since January 2016, a total of 39,390 Nigerian migrants have applied for asylum in the country.
According to the International Organization for Migration, 94,802 migrants have reached Italian shores so far this year, while 2,221 migrants have died attempting the treacherous Mediterranean crossing from Libya to Italy.
According to an Italian Navy spokesperson, the two ships — a patrol vessel and a technical and logistical support unit — could be deployed to Libyan waters as early as next week.
Libya is a popular jumping-off point for migrants hoping to reach European shores. Many of them are fleeing war and persecution while others are seeking better economic opportunities.