Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 03 May 2018: The AU-EU-UN Task Force on the Stranded Migrants’ Situation in Libya held its Ninth meeting of the Task Force on 26 April 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Madam Amira Elfadil, Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and Commissioner for Social Affairs and attended by the Head of EU Delegation to the AU and the director from the IOM, as well as representation from several AU Departments.
The Special Envoy in her opening remarks recalled the conclusions of the Fifth Meeting of the AU High-Level Committee on Libya held on 17 April 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that took note of efforts being made at regional, continental and international levels to fast-track the political situation in Libya. She reiterated that this would have an impact on the current situation in Libya and further observed with concern, the urgent need to address security challenges faced by Libya as efforts are being consolidated to facilitate the repatriation of stranded migrants who may wish to return to their countries of origin. She also highlighted that addressing root causes in countries of origin and implementing a comprehensive reintegration approach for returnees were key to sustainable returns. She informed the meeting that the proposed initiative from Qatar to support repatriation efforts would go a long way in addressing existing gaps and challenges.
The meeting was informed by the IOM representative that approximately 700,000 migrants are currently in Libya, according to the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix. Further noting that since January 2018 more than 6,000 migrants were assisted to return to their countries of origin bringing the total number of returns facilitated by IOM to 12,536 under the Assisted Voluntary Humanitarian Return Programme post the establishment of the tripartite Task Force in November 2017 to 26 April 2018.
The Head of EU Delegation to the AU on his part, reiterated concerns of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as contained in a letter dated 20 April 2018 addressed to the Principle Heads of the AU-EU-UN tripartite Task Force. He further observed an increase in the number of detention centres, which are in deplorable condition and the fact that the resettlement process in Niger is not keeping up with the pace of evacuations from Libya.
The Task Force members took note of the statements, reiterating the need to double efforts in supporting Libya to build its capacity and to comprehensively manage migration in all its dimensions and undertake rehabilitation of its institutional framework. It also noted with concern the urgent need to further strengthen protection mechanisms available to migrants’ including those that ensure respect of their human rights and make available basic services such medical services, child protection, as well as to seek alternatives outside detention centres.
The Task Force welcomed the “Qatar initiative for the Repatriation of Stranded African Migrants in Libya” as presented by the Special Envoy and Commissioner for Social Affairs and, expressed its commitment to further develop concrete areas of intervention that could be supported by the Initiative.
For more information, please contact:
Beatram Okalany, Migration Expert, Social Affairs Department: Email: OkalanyB@africa-union.org
For further inquiry, please contact:
Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission II Addis Ababa | Ethiopia / Web Site: www.au.int/