Rabat - The closure of the AU-EU Summit bore fruitful progress towards the liberation of the alleged slaves detained in Libya. In the upcoming days, 3,800 enslaved migrants are expected to be freed and returned to their home countries. Morocco will put its airplanes at the disposal of the AU to help speed up the operation.
Rabat – The closure of the AU-EU Summit bore fruitful progress towards the liberation of the alleged slaves detained in Libya. In the upcoming days, 3,800 enslaved migrants are expected to be freed and returned to their home countries. Morocco will put its airplanes at the disposal of the AU to help speed up the operation.
The complete release of the estimated 700,000 African slaves in Libya is a far cry. But nevertheless, the AU-EU summit has began its action plan to “repatriate all migrants from Libya” with a modest target of 3,800.
“As part of African solidarity efforts,” Morocco “quickly affirmed” that it will mobilize its airplanes to help return the detainees to their home countries, said Josephine Mayuma Kala, special representative of the president of the AU Commission. The number of the aircraft is not yet determined.
Kala said that the role of Morocco as well as the contribution of King Mohammed VI to strengthening the partnership with the African continent has been greatly appreciated.
A Grain of Sand in Libya’s Harsh, Remote Desert
The targeted 3,800 migrants to be evacuated are detained in a camp near Tripoli, the easiest slave market zone to access.
“The Libyan government told us that there are 42 camps, and there are certainly more than that,” Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union Commission (AU), told Agence France Presse.
The latest statistics from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) revealed that 15,000 migrants are in detained in centers controlled by the Libyan National Unity Government and were handed over to militias loyal to the current government.
In order to profit from selling migrants, the militias have set up a well-organized network of human trafficking: They kidnap and torture migrants before phoning families and ordering them to pay ransoms, according to AFP.
The dominance of the militias has made the majority of camps where human are bought and sold hard to access. “First we must start by retrieving those who are in camps easy to access,” an AU member told AFP.
This year has seen 13,600 migrants retrieved. For William Lacy Swing, the director of IOM, this is a positive step, reports AFP.
However, Swing says that the countries concerned must send emissaries to identify their nationals and provide them with papers before they can be deported back. “We can only repatriate volunteers,” he added.
Morocco on the Go
A delegation from the Moroccan embassy in Tunis paid a visit to the Zouara detention center in northwest Libya on Tuesday, November 28, to take the fingerprints of about 235 migrants detained in the center and verify their identity, reported the news outlet Telquel.
This is a major step forward taken by the government towards the repatriation of Moroccans stranded in Libya.
Representatives of the Moroccan embassy in Tunis crossed the Tunisian-Libyan border to reach Zouara, as was confirmed by the director of the detention center, Anouar Abu Dib, and by the migrants in Libya themselves.
In addition to the fingerprints taken, passes will be given to those who did not or no longer have passports.