23:44:Libyan state television cites a senior security source as saying that Libya has decided to "absolve itself from taking responsibility for stemming illegal immigration to Europe"Gaddafi, until recent events, was paid by Italy (I don't know what's happened to those payments) to police his Med coast - something he seems to have done effectively.
By Associated Press, Sunday, March 27, 11:32 AM
ROME — Boatloads of illegal African migrants have resumed setting sail from Libya for Italy, authorities said, overwhelming tiny islands and towns in southern Italy already struggling to host thousands fleeing unrest in Tunisia. Before dawn Sunday, Italian coast guard vessels escorted a boat crowded with 284 Somalis, Eritreans and Ethiopians to shore, the first boat to resume the long-established routes of smugglers’ boats toward Italy from Libya’s long coastline.
Since Lampedusa, a tiny island off Sicily, is already straining from sheltering the thousands of Tunisians, who have taken to sleeping on docks and fields after housing space ran out, the boat from Libya was diverted to Linosa, an even tinier island in the Pelagie archipelago south of Sicily.
Authorities said at least two other boats coming from Libya with hundreds of migrants aboard were spotted by fishing boats or coast guard air and sea patrolling the southern Mediterranean Sunday.