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Up to 1 mln migrants 'ready to leave Libya', says Frontex

Executive director warns of possible ISIS risk

06 March, 19:37

    Migrants in Porto Empedocle, Sicily Migrants in Porto Empedocle, Sicily

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - There are reportedly between 500,000 and one million migrants ready to leave from the Libyan coast and head towards Europe, Frontex's executive director told ANSA in an interview on Friday. The leader of the EU's external border control agency, Fabrice Leggeri, warned that there may be risks related to the Islamic State (ISIS). ''In 2015,'' Leggeri said, ''we must be prepared to deal with a situation that is even worse than last year.'' ''Depending on the source, we have been told that there are between 500,000 and one million migrants ready to leave Libya.'' In response to a question about ISIS possibly being behind the trafficking of migrants in Libya, he answered that ''we must be aware of the risks. I do not currently have any evidence to say that they control undocumented migration. But we must be careful.'' ''We do have proof that migrants have been forced to get on the boats by armed men,'' he said. ''I have received no indication that they were terrorists. There is concern among states, since even if this is not happening now it could in the future.'' Greater resources are needed, he added.

    ''If we want Frontex to conduct more operations, we need resources and staff and a commitment from member states to make their vehicles available.'' Leggeri underscored that ''Frontex is a part. Alone it is not enough to deal with this enormous problem. For example, cooperation with third countries is very important.'' (ANSAmed).

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