The Meloni government is highlighting the link between migratory pressure and the destabilising activities of the Russian mercenaries in the continent. While Enterprise Minister Urso called out Moscow’s (and Beijing’s) impact on Africa, Italy looks favourably upon a budding Libyan plan

The joint army approach to Libya. 

In the latest round of diplomatic meetings in Tunis (attended by Italian diplomats along with UN Envoy Abdoulaye Bathily), the Libyan Joint Military Committee sketched out a plan to build a joint rapid intervention force to deploy in the Southern regions.

  • As Agenzia Nova anticipated, this entity – operating under the UN-backed National Unity Government in Tripoli and the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army – could comprise three battalions representing Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan, i.e. all parties involved in the ongoing, difficulty-ridden reunification process.

Hopes and issues. 

Arming such a force would require relinquishing the ongoing UN arms embargo preventing European countries from supplying weapons and poses the dual risk of clashes between parties and losing high-tech equipment to terrorist actors.

  • When presented with the idea, US Secretary of State for the Near East Barbara Leaf stressed that it could only happen if the Kremlin-affiliated Wagner Group left the region. To which the Cyrenaican General Khalifa Haftar replied by requesting alternative military guarantees against possible attacks by Tripoli and its sponsors.
  • Italy, on its part, expressed interest in the plan for a joint mission – not least because such a task force would aid in controlling one of the main spigots of migratory trafficking from the Sahel to the Italian coast.

Why Putin lingers in the South. 

“The hybrid war against the West uses all systems, from grain to energy, from water to immigration”. The reminder was issued by Enterprise Minister Adolfo Urso through the daily Libero to highlight the overlap between migration and the Kremlin’s foreign policy aims.

  • The minister recalled when thousands of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees were airlifted to Belarus and then directed by local authorities to the European border – namely Poland and the Baltic countries, “which were and are the main supporters of Ukraine.
  • It all happened on behalf of Russia, stressed the minister, “to get Europe into a crisis before invading Ukraine”. In parallel, Russian gas exports dwindled for the same reason.
  • “So, if that happened in Europe’s northeastern border, do you think it won’t happen in the southern border, Africa’s, where there is no border, where there is the Mediterranean Sea?”

It’s a matter of policies. 

As Minister Urso pointed out, much of Africa “is now in Russia and China’s orbit.” And the respective leaders, he stressed, “just held a summit in Moscow to plan how to penetrate and dominate some continents to condition the West.”

  • That’s why Europe and Italy must consolidate their policy towards Africa, he stressed, recalling Enrico Mattei’s example to push for a “win-win policy” towards Mediterranean countries.
  • “We must resume that policy to grow together with them and free the African continent from the Chinese and Russian penetration that today risks encircling Europe, basically taking the monopoly of what we need in our transition, of our economic, social and industrial development.”


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