The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, warned of the possibility that the outbreak of violence in Libya will provoke a humanitarian crisis and a massive arrival of migrants to the Italian coasts.
"There is a serious risk of a humanitarian crisis that ends up exhausting a population already exhausted by eight years of instability," Conte said in an interview published today in the newspaper "Fatto Quotidiano."
Conte warns that "if an armed conflict breaks out" the Libyan way could be interrupted for migrants from Africa, but it will be the Libyan people themselves who will escape the country in a massive way.
"This would put a hard test on a reception system that does not work at European level and that we are trying to change in Brussels," the prime minister added, supported by a coalition formed by the anti-system Movimiento 5 Estrellas and the ultra-right Liga.
The Italian Minister of Defense, Elisabetta Trenta, rejected on her part any type of military intervention in Libya to "avoid the mistakes of the past", in an interview published today by the "Corriere della Sera".
He added that "a new wave of migrants is possible with a war", as was the case with the military intervention in 2011.
And he pleaded to treat the crisis "with head" and to work for "a true process of national reconciliation".
Currently Italy has implemented a tough anti-immigration policy and has closed the ports to the arrival of migrants rescued by humanitarian vessels.
In addition, the countries of the European Union (EU) temporarily suspended the participation of ships in the Sofia naval mission against migrant mafias in the central Mediterranean.
On the other hand, the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for the immediate release of refugees and migrants who are in detention centers, since many of these facilities are in areas where there are currently fighting.
"It is believed that more than 1,500 refugees and migrants are trapped in these detention centers," he said in a statement Friday.
Since the escalation of the conflict in Libya last week, more than 9,500 people have been forced to leave their homes, UNHCR added.
To date, UNHCR has been able to facilitate the transfer of 150 vulnerable refugees from the Ain Zara detention center.