Texarkana, TX 37° View Live Radar Tue H 56° L 33° Wed H 65° L 38° Thu H 58° L 34° Weather Sponsored By:

Thousands of African migrants in 'inhuman' conditions

Thousands of African migrants in 'inhuman' conditions

December 1st, 2017 by Associated Press in International News

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast—Between 400,000 and 700,000 African migrants are living in camps in Libya, often under "inhuman" conditions, the chairman of the African Union Commission said Thursday at the close of a summit of European and African leaders.

Moussa Faki Mahamat stressed the urgency of removing the thousands of migrants, including women and children, from the camps as he addressed the summit where migration was a top issue after recent footage of a migrant slave auction in Libya drew global horror and condemnation.

At least 3,800 migrants in one camp in Tripoli need to be removed as soon as possible, Mahamat said. Most of them come from West Africa.

"That's just one camp," he said. "The Libyan government has told us there are 42," and some contain an even larger number of migrants.

The International Organization for Migration says more than 423,000 migrants had been identified in the chaotic North African country as of last month. The majority are men from impoverished countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

In a communique Thursday, the European and African leaders agreed to "accelerate exponentially" efforts to repatriate the migrants and vowed to combat the crimes committed against them.

The leaders also pledged to do more to help the migrants stranded in squalid detention centers in Libya, the main jumping-off point for desperate people setting out in unseaworthy boats in search of better lives in Europe.

French President Emmanuel Macron said leaders from EU and African countries, including Libya, and the United Nations were discussing going after human traffickers with "concrete, military and police actions on the ground to trace back these networks."

"These smugglers are deeply linked to many terrorist networks and feed, sometimes finance, sometimes are the same as those who make war with us and who kill people every day in much of northern Africa," Macron told French broadcasters France 24 and RFI.

Some African nations are working to bring their citizens home.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Wednesday that all Nigerians stranded in Libya and other parts of the world will be brought home and "rehabilitated," calling it appalling that "some Nigerians were being sold like goats for few dollars in Libya."

Nigeria's government said on Twitter that 242 Nigerian migrants returned home from Libya on Tuesday and that more than 4,000 stranded there have "safely retuned home" this year.

Ivory Coast's government in the past week repatriated 316 citizens stranded in Libya.

Europe has struggled to slow the flow of tens of thousands of Africans making the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean. European countries are trying to discourage the stream of migrants with development aid and other means, including funds to tighten border controls. But many Africans feel pressured to make the journey, risking death and abuse, saying high unemployment and climate change leave them little choice.

At least 3,000 drown or go missing annually in attempts to cross the Mediterranean, but with Africa's population forecast to rise significantly in coming decades many more are likely to take the risk.

To focus efforts, the EU, the African Union and the United Nations also announced that they would set up a special task force to help protect migrants, notably those detained in conflict-torn Libya.

Details of its work must be fleshed out, but the main aim is to "save and protect lives of migrants and refugees along the routes and in particular inside Libya."

The task force, which will work closely with Libyan authorities, will also try to speed up the process of returning willing migrants to their home countries and finding new homes for those fleeing violence or conflict and who need international protection.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com