Tripartite taskforce facilitates repatriation of over 50,000 African migrants from Libya

ADDIS ABABA: September 26 (EI) – The African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) disclosed that more than 50,000 African migrants were repatriated from Libya through a tripartite taskforce over the past two years period.

The Tripartite Taskforce on the Situation of Stranded Migrant and Refugees in Libya, which was formed by the AU, EU and the UN in November 2017, has so far facilitated the voluntary repatriation of more than 48,000 African migrants to their home countries as well as the evacuation of over 4,000 refugees from the war-torn North African country, the three international organizations revealed in a joint statement issued on Wednesday.

The tripartite taskforce initiative, since its launch back in November 2017, “has allowed the launch of a major assisted voluntary humanitarian return program and evacuation operation, which until today has led to over 48,000 voluntary humanitarian returns of migrants from Libya to their home countries facilitated by IOM and AU Member States, as well as over 4,000 evacuations of refugees by UNHCR from Libya,” the statement read.

According to the joint statement, the tripartite AU–EU–UN taskforce on the situation of stranded migrants and refugees in Libya mainly envisaged to save and protect the lives of migrants and refugees along the migratory routes, and in particular inside Libya.

The announcement came after the meeting of senior officials from the three organizations on Wednesday, which brought together the AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira El Fadil, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, and the IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino.

The officials have also “agreed that the AU-EU-UN Taskforce represents a unique framework for joint, trilateral action that has proven to be successful in achieving results on the ground,” it was noted.

 “They reiterated their commitment as well as the need for further strengthened coordinative mechanisms of the Taskforce and agreed to explore possibilities to increase AU-EU-UN cooperation.”

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