(Xinhua) -- European and African nations on Thursday pledged to stem
illegal migration and bring back thousands of African migrants trapped in Libya.
“We’ve made firm decisions for
immediate repatriation of refugees ... Various countries have established a
special force to fight human traffickers,” said Guinean President Alpha
Conde at the closing of the 5th African Union-European Union
Summit in Abidjan, economic capital of Cote d’Ivoire.
Conde, also AU Chairman, called for
bringing to book the human traffickers and charging them with “crime against
On Wednesday, nine European and
African nations, along with the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and
the United Nations (UN), agreed to urgently evacuate African migrants trapped in
On the number of migrants needing
repatriation, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, said 3,800
migrants, mostly from West Africa, have been found in just one migrant camp in
Libya, which has at least 42 such camps.
Despite the official theme of
“investing in youth for a sustainable future,” issues of migration and terrorism
have dominated discussions at the two-day forum, which took place as Europe
seeks relief from its migrant crisis and frequent terror attacks.
A recent footage revealing enslavement
of African migrants in Libya, a transit hub for migrants trying to make the
dangerous Mediterranean crossing to Europe, also triggered an outcry in
Africa. Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, at the opening of the
summit, called for ending “the practice that belongs to another age.”
Africa has the world’s youngest
population, 60 percent of whom being under the age of 25, but high unemployment
coupled with instability and disasters have fueled migration to neighboring
The summit has renewed calls for
creating more jobs and enhancing training for Africa’s youths, as Europe hopes
to see young Africans shunning illegal immigration and terrorist recruitment.
Dozens of leaders from the EU, the AU
and their member states, including French President Emmanuel Macron, German
Chancellor Angela Merkel and South African President Jacob Zuma, attended the
condemns alleged slave trade of African migrants in Libya
(Xinhua) -- South Africa on Thursday joined the international
community in strongly condemning the alleged auctioning of African migrants in
Libya as slaves.
This came after a video of slaves
apparently being auctioned in Libya had gone viral on social media.
“These inhumane acts are incongruent
with the ideals of the African Union and relevant African and international
instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,” said
Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and
South Africa calls for an immediate
end to these atrocities and other criminal acts of human trafficking, Monyela
The Libyan authorities have pledged to
investigate reports that hundreds of African refugees are being bought and sold
in “slave markets” across Libya every week, with many of them held for ransom or
forced into prostitution and sexual exploitation to pay their captors and
South Africa welcomes the announcement
by the Libyan authorities to investigate and identify all the perpetrators and
accomplices of these criminal acts and looks forward to a transparent and
credible investigation, Monyela said.
Publishing the outcome of the
investigation will be the most prudent and welcome thing to do by the Libyan
authorities, he added.
“We further urge the Libyan
authorities to do everything in their power to improve the conditions of
African migrants in the camps meant to house migrants on their territory,”
South Africa will continue its work to
eradicate human trafficking and support international efforts to bring those who
abuse vulnerable people to justice, he said.
“We will continue to champion the
respect for human rights, especially those of our fellow African brothers
and sisters,” said Monyela.