AU, EU leaders condemn maltreatment of African migrants

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (PANA) - African and European leaders who gathered in Abidjan for the 5th African Union-European Union (AU-EU) Summit have condemned “in the strongest terms” inhuman treatment of African migrants and refugees by criminal groups.

In addition, they expressed their firm resolve to work together for an immediate end of these criminal practices and to ensure the well-being of the migrants and refugees.

A joint statement issued Thursday at the conclusion of the two-day summit, said the AU and the EU leaders have also agreed to widely communicate to the youth about the dangers of such hazardous journeys and against the trafficking networks.

“They welcomed ongoing efforts of the Presidential Council and the Government of National Accord of Libya in undertaking appropriate measures to address such incidents, as a thorough and swift investigation has been launched in Libya, including to confirm the validity of media allegations [on inhuman treatment of African migrants and refugees by criminal groups],” read part of the statement.

The summit, held under the theme ‘Youth’, also appealed for support to Libya, through international cooperation, in undertaking immediate action to fight against the perpetrator of such crimes, inside and outside Libya, and to bring them to justice.

“This international cooperation should cover enhanced police and judicial mutually agreed cooperation, including freezing of assets of convicted perpetrators,” said the statement, stressing the imperative need to improve the conditions of migrants and refugees in Libya.

According to the statement,  the AU-EU summit has agreed to undertake all necessary action to provide migrants and refugees in Libya with the appropriate assistance and to facilitate their voluntary repatriation to their countries of origin as well as durable solutions for refugees.  

In this regard, they stressed the need for all Libyan stakeholders to facilitate access by international organisations and by consular officials of countries of origin.

The summit also commended the existing work by UN agencies, African countries of origin, and the EU, which together have already allowed for 13,000 assisted voluntary returns of stranded migrants to their countries of origin.

Lasting resolution of the issue of African migrants, the summit agreed, “is closely linked to addressing the root causes of the phenomenon and requires a political solution to the persistent crisis in Libya.”

In this respect, the AU-EU leaders meeting stressed the imperative need for coordinated action involving all the stakeholders concerned, especially the AU,  the UN, the EU and the League of Arab States, in order to expedite the lasting solution to the crisis. “To this end, they committed themselves to convey a common and coherent message,” the statement concluded.
-0- PANA AR 30Nov2017

30 november 2017 19:10:41

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