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ADDIS ABABA, tripartite task force set up by the African Union (AU), European Union (EU) and the United Nations to address the plight of stranded African migrants in Libya has repatriated more than 16,000 migrants since its formation at the end of November 2017.
Amira Elfadi, the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, told a media conference here Thursday that task force repatriated the migrants in collaboration of the Libyan government.
The task force, which was created on the sidelines of the 5th AU-EU Summit held in Abidjan, CAte d'Ivoire, is led by high-level officials from the AU, EU and UN at political, working, and operational levels.
Elfadi said she had witnessed a marked improvement in the situation of migrants in government-controlled detention centres during her visit to Libya and as a result, the task force was able to facilitate their departure to different countries.
The Libyan authorities have positively responded to the AU's call to abandon the detention centre model. A total of 20 detention centres under Libyan authorities' control have been closed as of Feb 28, 2018, she added.
She also revealed that the issuance of more than 200 arrest warrants aimed at apprehending and dismantling organized criminal groups issued by the Libyan authorities was highly appreciated.
According to Elfadi, the full co-operation and collaboration of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Service (CISSA), and yhe institution of an investigation by the Banjul Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights on alleged slavery markets and mass violation of human rights with the Libyan authorities were other achievements of the task force.
She stressed that the task force needs to strengthen co-operation between Africa and Europe, especially in sharing of information and and intelligence to address the issue of non-governable space in Libya being exploited by human traffickers and migrant smugglers.
The Head of the Anti-illegal Migration Authority of Libya, Mohamed Ali Bishir, said Libya needs strong support, including in social services, to manage the migration crisis.
He added that more than 27,000 illegal migrants are still living in the country and out of these, 5,600 migrants are living in refugee centres.
The Head called on migrants to depart legally if they choose to leave their homelands.
Source: Nam News Network