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Migrant smuggling undermines peace, security in Libya: Kuwait

Kuwait concerned at issues in African Great Lakes region

NEW YORK: The continued smuggling of irregular migrants into, through and from Libyan territory contributes to undermining peace and stability in Libya, Kuwait’s mission at the United Nations said on Friday. This came during a speech delivered by the First Secretary Abdulaziz Al-Ajmi at a Security Council session after the adoption of resolution 2491 on the inspection of ships off Libya’s coasts, suspected of migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

Ajmi called on countries to support UN efforts by providing these migrants with safe shelter until their asylum applications are processed or to assist them until their return home. This would contribute to maintaining the security and stability of Libya and its territorial integrity and ensure non-interference in its internal affairs. He welcomed the resolution, mentioning that Kuwait voted in favor due to the “importance of addressing the challenges posed by the smuggling of migrants and human trafficking in the Mediterranean, off the Libyan coast.” He also praised the efforts of the UK as the country responsible for the Libyan issue.

Meanwhile, Kuwait affirmed necessity of intensifying efforts for facing “challenges” in the Great Lakes region. The Gulf state has also welcomed UN efforts aimed at involving regional countries to “boost implementation” of the framework agreement for peace and security in the republic of Congo. The Kuwaiti stand was expressed by Bader Al-Munaikh, Minister Plenipotentiary, also the State of Kuwait’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, during a UN Security Council’s session on the Great Lakes issue, on Thursday.

Ambassador Munaikh noted significance of the existing coordination between the UN and regional organizations, namely the African Union, for maintaining stability in the Great Lakes area. He welcomed formation of a government in the Congo and the Congolese president efforts to communicate with many leaders of regional countries. Such an approach will bolster confidence and create an adequate atmosphere for greater regional cooperation. Moreover, he expressed satisfaction at the framework agreement reached at the Luanda conference, during which leaders of the regional countries resolved some issues.

Boosting development in the region is helpful for stability and averting strife, Munaikh said, also pinning high hopes on a trade conference for the Great Lakes countries, due next year. However, the senior Kuwaiti diplomat voiced concern regarding lack of security in East Congo and prospected ramifications on regional security. Moreover, he called on regional countries to ensure success of the 10th summit for the regional supervision, due in Kinshasa and expressed concern for armed groups’ non-abidance by the peace accord for Central Africa.
Stable security in Burundi is a positive indication “which we hope will persist after the 2020 elections,” he added. At the humanitarian level, large numbers of the relocated and refugees add to the burden borne by the regional countries, he said and called for greater efforts to face such a challenge. In conclusion, he praised some regional countries’ measures against the epidemic Ebola. – KUNA

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