Afro-Arab Summit adopts plan to combat terrorism, human trafficking

Kuwait City, Kuwait (PANA) - African and Arab leaders adopted a wide-ranging plan to fight terrorism and illegal migration into their countries after both sides agreed to respect international laws in dealing with illegal immigrants.

The leaders from the two regions made a rare note of the international interests in their new found partnership while vowing to remove political, economic and socio-cultural barriers that have affected past efforts to kick-start the three-decade-old bid to unite the two regions politically.

The Third Arab-Africa Summit, which opened in Kuwait City, closed after intensive talks on an economic plan aimed at curbing illegal migration and seeking to empower the youth through additional funding.

“We firmly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as transnational organized crime such as hostage taking, human trafficking, drug trafficking, piracy, ransom payment and illicit arms proliferation and resolve to work together in this regard,” they vowed in their Kuwait Declaration.

An intensified pattern of immigration into the Middle East, notably to the rich Arab and the Arabian Gulf states, has been feeding an international human trafficking ring that also thrives on other crimes.

UN’s International Migration Organisation (IOM) has recently documented dangerous criminal patterns. In East Africa alone over the past year, at least 3,000 illegal immigrants making their way into the Arabian region were kidnapped, notably for ransom.

International crime syndicates fleece those escaping hardships in Africa into the Arab world through Yemen. They also kidnap them for ransom while others are targeted for their human organs.

The Africa-Arab Summit also resolved the governments in the two regions would share intelligence in order to combat terrorism.

The Summit considered measures it said could be implemented to address causes of conflict and violence in Africa and the Arab world. They sought the creation of an environment to enhance the fight against poverty and prosperity in both regions.

It is estimated that 500,000 immigrants have entered the Arabian states from Africa.

The Summit resolved to back the creation of an Africa-Arab Centre for exchange of information as a step to minimize illegal migration.

Meanwhile, the Summit endorsed the setting up of Africa-Arab Technical and Coordination Committee to work on ways of tackling migration in both regions.

They also directed that migrants be provided with the necessary support and social protection.

Burkina Faso and Yemen were identified as countries in the two regions that require particular support as strategies are implemented to facilitate migrants.

Earlier, leaders warned the handling of migration could make or break the Arab-Africa friendship.

“We reaffirm our commitment to continue our efforts to overcome the challenges and removing obstacles facing the activation and development of Africa-Arab cooperation and organize the meetings of this follow up mechanism,” the leaders said.
-0- PANA AO/MA 20Nov.2013

20 november 2013 23:01:47

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