Panafrican News Agency

Libyan Presidential Council chairman calls for sustainable solutions to immigration and humanitarian crises in Africa

Tripoli, Libya (PANA) - The Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council and Second Vice-Chairman of the African Union (AU), Mohamed Al-Manfi, said Friday that the humanitarian crisis caused by displacements and illegal migration required the provision of sustainable solutions.

Al-Manfi made the call at the 15th Extraordinary Summit of heads of state and government on the Humanitarian Situation in Africa which started on Friday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

"The real efforts we are making to address these crises require sustainable solutions embodied in the regional and continental role in sharing the resulting burdens," he said in his speech at the inaugural ceremony.

Al-Manfi said that the need for "these solutions to take into account the results of the Summits that brought us together with our partners, especially European ones, on the basis of an in-depth study of the feasibility of the efforts that have been made and the work plans, and that the conditions for regular immigration be expanded in terms of the number, professions and jobs they seek".

The chairman of the Libyan Council recalled that the African continent was facing the challenges of migration, asylum and displacement due to political, economic, social and environmental conditions and conflicts, and the forced migration of people they have caused, adding that this was not limited to a specific country or region.

"This calls for us to work with all African Union institutions and organs, regional economic groupings and partners to enrich the discussions, which will shed light on our continent's challenges on this important issue in the context of very complex regional and international circumstances."

Al-Manfi reaffirmed that Libya would remain the land of all Africans, especially those in Libya, as they received good reception and treatment, ensuring that they were engaged in many service works, and obtained benefits and financial returns for themselves and their families in a manner that benefited all.

It should be noted that among the more than 800,000 migrants in Libya, according to unofficial statistics, a majority work in Libya, mainly in the private sector and are fully integrated and generate income to support their families back home through remittances.

However, some irregular migrants in Libya seek to cross the Mediterranean to Europe and are often victims of smuggling and trafficking networks that have taken advantage of the insecurity in the country in recent years to exploit and abuse them.

Al-Manfi, in his address to the AU Summit, proposed that "in order to achieve continental benefits and contribute to solving the humanitarian problem caused by the flow of illegal immigration, "we support all efforts to address it".

He called for concerted efforts to overcome the challenges arising from this phenomenon in its illegal aspect, "which is one of the most important concerns of transit and destination countries, and to work between countries of origin and destination to find sustainable solutions that take into account humanitarian and economic aspects".

He also proposed continental programmes and partnership mechanisms as a gateway to balancing common interests, calling for a solution to this phenomenon, and not to place financial and humanitarian burdens on one party alone.

The chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council added that the current continental institutions and bodies concerned with the migration issue were sufficient if they were activated and received the necessary support.

He called for accelerating the activation of the African Humanitarian Agency, which "we consider sufficient and which prevents any involvement in other programmes to solve the problem of migration in Africa which is based on spatial development, and takes into account the conditions of the countries affected by climate change which require more support to build resilience to reduce natural disasters.

He also stressed the importance of finding a common vision that supports a new approach based on the green economy, low-carbon development and taking new measures to reduce the effects of climate change.

Al-Manfi also stressed that it was very important to focus on supporting regional economic communities and regional mechanisms within the framework of the fund programmes that have been stipulated as part of the division of labour between the African Union and the regional economic groups.

He referred to the plans and programmes of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), which aim, among other things, to combat desertification, drought and climate change, through the preservation of natural resources and the development of research in the field of renewable energy.

With regard to addressing the health problems caused by the COVID-19 epidemic and the health security of the continent, Al-Manfi stated: "We are proud of the medical cadres, scientists and local communities in Africa, and the valuable experience in containing outbreaks, efforts that help sustain a coordinated continental response, address and mobilize international support for our fight against epidemics, in line with our continental strategy."

The chairman of the Presidential Council added that national, regional and continental work and efforts were aimed at providing satisfactory levels of response, treatment and solution, and finding every means to achieve service and benefit for all, as well as the efforts of Member States and the African Union and Regional Economic Communities, which had remained active through a rapid response from the outset.

At the end of his address, the chairman recalled the communiqué of the meeting of the Bureau of the African Union Presidency, held on 10 May, which supports countries selected for vaccine manufacturing, and facilitates their access to global markets, with the right to obtain funding, knowledge and manufactured technologies, without restrictions or conditions that limit the competitiveness of African vaccines.

The communiqué also emphasized the importance of cooperation, synergy, solidarity and burden sharing, which are the principles on which the working code of this Union is based, and to highlight the broad participation that has helped to mitigate the humanitarian repercussions, following natural disasters and climate change, as well as the increase in large flows of migrants.

He added that Libya had, for decades, paid millions of dollars to be deducted from the state budget, as a contribution to solving the problem of migrants and its humane treatment, pointing out that it will continue to support it by providing all the necessary conditions to deal with this issue until the return of migrants to their country is facilitated, or they are accepted in a third country.

The chairman of the Presidential Council pointed out that his country continued to carry out its humanitarian mission despite the difficult and exceptional circumstances it was going through, ensuring and providing the necessary and urgent services, in addition to providing protection and arrangements for the voluntary repatriation of illegal migrants.

-0- PANA BY/IS/BBA/RA 27May2022