UN, EU, and AU team up against Libya ‘slave trade’

A picture taken on June 27, 2017 shows illegal immigrants being transported to a detention centre in the Libyan coastal town of Zawiyah, 45 kilometres west of the capital Tripoli, after their rescue while attempting to reach Europe. / AFP PHOTO / Taha JAWASHI (Photo credit should read TAHA JAWASHI/AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG – The United Nations, European Union and African Union on Thursday agreed to an emergency plan to stop the on-going slave trade in Libya.

The three institutions met at an African Union-European Union summit in Ivory Coast on Wednesday and finalised details of the strategy on Thursday.

They released a statement on Thursday saying they have agreed to step in and dismantle people smuggling networks in Libya, and repatriate stranded migrants whose lives are in danger.

European Council President Donald Tusk has coined events happening in Libya as “horrifying” adding that the issue of migration is a joint responsibility for African and European governments.

Tuck added that the situation in Libya needs an urgent response and all those involved in human trafficking should face the full might of the law.

French President Emmanuel Macron also added that the plan included the establishment of an “operational task-force” composed of African and European police and intelligence services.

“The goal will be in very short order to be able to arrest identified traffickers, dismantle these networks and their financing which goes through banks and payments that in the region contribute … to sustaining terrorism,” he said.

The EU, UN and AU also agreed to freeze assets and endorse financial sanctions to everyone involved in human trafficking and slave trade.

German officials also confirmed that the Libyan government has granted UN agencies access to migrant camps where migrants are being traded on a daily basis.

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