- Italy has given the Libyan government three patrol boats on Thursday as part of the joint agreement to root out the high illegal influx of migrants to the Italian shores. Libya and Italy signed an agreement to maintain joint naval patrols in the Mediterranean to crack down on illegal immigration of Africans crossing to Europe daily.
Libyan Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, said the three patrol boats which would monitor its 1,770km Mediterranean coastline, will drastically reduce the high influx of illegal immigrants in the sea. The ministry says another three boats will be given to Libya in coming weeks.
Rome is pressing Libya to improve coastal patrols, saying Libya is a starting point for thousands of migrants traveling to Europe from the northern and sub-Saharan Africa.
On Thursday, the Italian government passed a law which would impose fines of up to 10,000 euros ($13,600) on illegal immigrants and jailing terms of up to three years to people who let out accommodation to them.
Italy recently started sending migrant boats back to Libya after intercepting them in international waters, without first screening them for asylum claims. The returns have drawn criticism from the UN refugee agency, the Vatican and human rights organisations.
Libya has no functioning asylum system and is not a party to the 1951 UN convention relating to the status of refugees.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sparked further controversy when he defended the decision by saying he did not want to see a multi-ethnic Italy, but welcomed only those who meet the conditions for political asylum.
Libya has been a major staging post for migrants from Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa wanting to reach Europe.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.