More Than 16,000 African Migrants Repatriated from Libya:AU Special Envoy

30 Mar 2018
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Addis Ababa  March 29/2018 The tripartite Task Force AU-EU-UN for addressing the plight of stranded African migrants in Libya has repatriated more than 16,000 migrants since its formation at the end of November in 2017.

At a joint press conference of the Special Envoy of AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira Elfadi said the tripartite task force repatriated the migrants in collaboration of the Libyan government.

The task force which was created on the sideline meeting of the 5th African Union- European Union summit in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, is led by high-level officials from AU, EU, and UN at political, working, and operational levels.

Elfadi said she has witnessed a marked improvement in the situation of migrants in government controlled detention centers during her visit and as a result the task force was able to facilitate their departure to different countries.

 “Libyan authorities have positively responded to the AU call to dismantle the detention centers business model. A total of 20 detention centers under Libyan authorities control have been closed as of 28 February 2018” the Special Envoy revealed.

She added that the issuance of the over 200 arrest warrants aimed at apprehending and dismantling organized criminal groups issued by the Libyan authorities is appreciable.

According to Elfadi, full cooperation and collaboration of the Involvement of Committee of Intelligence and Security Service (CISSA), and Institution of an Investigation by Banjul Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on alleged slavery markets and mass violation of human rights with Libyan authorities were other achievements of the task force.

She stressed that the task force needs to strengthen cooperation between Africa and Europe, specially in sharing information and and intelligence to address the issue of non-governable space in Libya being exploited by human traffickers and migrant smugglers.

Head of Anti-illegal Migration Authority of Libya, Mohamed Ali Bishir, said Libya needs strong support, including in social services, to manage the migration crisis.

He added that over 27,000 illegal migrants are living in the country and out of these 5,600 migrants are living in refugee centers.

The Head called on media outlets to migrate legally if they choose to leave their homelands.

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