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The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 782nd meeting held on 27 June 2018, adopted the following decision on the security and migration situation in Africa:

Council:

1.  Takes note of the presentation by the Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E. Amira Elfadif, as well as of the statement made by the representatives of the State of Libya on security and migration situation in Africa;

2.  Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on migration, particularly communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM(DCLXI)] adopted at its 661st ministerial meeting held on 23 February 2017 and communique [PSC/PR/COMM(DCCLXXI)] adopted at its its 771st meeting held on 11 May 2018. In this context, Council further also recalls decision [Assembly/AU/Dec.607(XXVII))] on the Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government at its 27th ordinary session held in Kigali, Rwanda, in July 2016 in which the Assembly urged all Member States to adopt the African Passport and to work closely with the AU Commission to facilitate the process towards the issuance at national level based on international, continental and national policy provisions and continental design  and specifications;

3.  Further recalls the 2006 African Common Position on Migration and Development, as well as the Migration Policy Framework for Africa, which provide a sound basis for addressing issues of irregular migration on the Continent, caused by among others, violent conflicts, governance deficits, human rights violations, environmental factors, social exclusion, marginalization, poverty, inequality and underdevelopment, as well as lack of opportunities, particularly for the youth. Council also recalls the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) - signed by 44 Member States at 10th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly held in Kigali, Rwanda and the Common African Position (CAP) on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration which was also adopted by the 30th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in January 2018;

4.  Expresses deep concern over the scourge of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, including violation of their human rights. Council also expresses deep concern that transnational organized criminal networks have hijacked the otherwise historically harmless migration routes into a multi-billion criminal industry with devastating consequences for migrants and have profiteered from the misery and suffering of migrants. In this context, Council strongly condemns the acts of smugglers and traffickers and all their accomplices. Council underlines the importance for Member States to consolidate efforts and to increasingly coordinate and cooperate, towards fostering and strengthening existing mechanisms for better migration governance and management in the Continent;

5.  Reaffirms the relevance of the Migration Policy Framework for Africa and welcomes its revision and development of a Plan of Action (2018 – 2030), as it provides Member States with an updated and overarching framework in developing their own national frameworks. Council emphasizes that the full implementation of AU instruments on migration is a signal of political commitment of Member States to fully utilize and leverage socio-economic opportunities in Africa to harness the Continent’s development potential;

6.  Commends the AU-EU-UN Tripartite Task Force on the Situation of Stranded Migrants in Libya for its efforts to ensure the safety of the migrants in Libya and welcomes the mechanism, which was established during the AU-EU Summit held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in November 2017, to save and protect lives of migrants and refugees along migration routes, particularly in Libya, as well as to accelerate assisted voluntary returns to countries of origin and resettlement of those in need of international protection;

7.  Underscores the need for reinforcing coordination and cooperation between Member States in addressing the issues of migration and security in the Continent. In this regard, Council reiterates its appeal to Member States to consolidate and strengthen national intelligence agencies and to fully make use of Committee for Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) and the African Union for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL) to identify and dismantle transnational organized criminal networks in the continent;

8.  Emphasizes the importance of addressing root causes of migration in countries of origin and focus on creating more conducive environment and opportunities, especially for youth, in the Continent. In this context, Council urges Member States to take urgent steps to effectively address the factors driving irregular and forced migration. Furthermore, Council stresses in particular, as the need to promote stable, secure, prosperous and inclusive societies;

9.  Requests the AU Commission to accelerate the establishment of the Regional Operational Centre (ROCK) in Khartoum, Sudan for sharing of information on human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as the establishment and operationalization of the Continental study Centre for Migration, Research and Data in Mali, and the Observatory for Migration, in Morocco, which will provide a platform for sharing data and information among Member States on migration in the Continent for enhanced governance and management of migration;

10.  Reiterates its commitment to strengthen efforts, among others, to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, through the implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants. In his regard, Council calls on Member States to sign, ratify and fully implement legal instruments on migration, including the African Common Position on Migration and Development, as well as the Migration Policy Framework for Africa, with a view to reversing the persistent trend of irregular and forced migration on the Continent;

11. Expresses its appreciation to the support provided by Member States, international community, as well as partners and in particular by the Libyan authorities, in addressing the situation of stranded migrants in Libya. Council calls for further mobilization of support to Libya as rebuilds its institutional frameworks and capacity, including capacity to manage migration in all its dimension;

12.  Stresses the importance of the AU and the RECs/RMs extending their early warning capabilities towards the phenomenon of human trafficking and irregular migration in order to better tailor responses in a timely manner, within the continent;

13.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

 

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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