The head of the African Union’s executive commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Thursday said around 3,800 migrants needed to be repatriated urgently from Libya.
“They want to get out of this mess as swiftly as possible,” he said at a summit of the AU and the European Union in Abidjan dominated by the issue of migrant abuse in Libya.
He said there were between “400,000 and 700,000” migrants in Libya, and at least 42 migrant camps there.
Faki said that the AU’s commissioner for social affairs had been to Tripoli, where she visited a camp that had around 3,800 people, mostly from West Africa.
“There are women and children, living in inhumane conditions,” he said.
“We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people,” he said.
“But it’s just one camp… the Libyan government tells us that there are 42 in all. There are definitely more than that. There are estimates of 400,000 to 700,000 African migrants in Libya.”
He added: “We must urgently save those who are in this (dire) situation, and then together, Libya, the EU, AU and UN, we must think about devising longer-term solutions for the migration issue.”