Slavery in Libya: African Union-European Union Leaders Raise Concern
Monrovia – African and European leaders gathered in Abidjan for the 5th AU/EU Summit to discuss the terrible media reports on inhuman treatment of African migrants and refugees by criminal groups.
The AU/EU leaders condemned in the strongest terms any such criminal acts and expressed their firm resolve to work together for an immediate end of these criminal practices and to ensure the wellbeing of the migrants and refugees.
They also agreed to widely communicate to the youth about the dangers of such hazardous journeys and against the trafficking networks.
The group 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, to confirm the validity of media allegations.
The gathering called to support 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.
They stressed the imperative need to improve the conditions of migrants and refugees in Libya and to undertake all necessary action to provide them 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 organizations and by consular officials of countries of origin.
They welcomed the African Union Commission for swift engagement, including the AUC Commissioner visit to Libya.
They 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.
They have committed to work together between AU, UN, EU, Libyan government and countries of origin and transit, and to take the necessary means and actions, in order to accelerate exponentially this work, while continuing to ensure with international organizations that voluntary resettlement is available for those in need, whether to countries of origin or third countries.
They agreed that lasting resolution of the issue of African migrants 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, they stressed the imperative need for coordinated action involving all the stakeholders concerned, especially the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union 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