One of the leading smugglers at the main departure point for Mediterranean migrant crossings in Libya has scoffed at plans to launch a military campaign against people traffickers, and recommended that the EU provide more support for his marginalised ethnic minority instead.
The smuggling kingpin, who organises about 60% of the boat trips from Zuwara, according to claims by his associates, questioned how European navies would be able to break the sprawling spider’s web of smuggling networks that span several countries in north Africa.
The 33-year-old law graduate, who asked to be known simply as “Hajj” – an honorific generally used by people who have completed the pilgrimage to Mecca – said the EU would be better off investing in local infrastructure for the long-marginalised Amazigh minority, the Berber tribe whose members run the smuggling networks in Zuwara.
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