ACP-EU-JPA: Libya refusing to take back migrants: EU

13 Jun 2016 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 13 JUN (NAMPA) - The European Union (EU) is busy negotiating with the Libyan government to take back all African migrants who cross over to Europe through that northern African country.
Europe is now home to 1,5 million migrants and refugees, most of who are fleeing from conflict-torn countries in Asia, Africa and Europe.
The number of migrants who want to reach Europe is expected to shoot up to two billion by 2050, said Michael Gahler, the chairperson of the European Parliament delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament, during a media briefing here on Monday.
“We will continue engaging in discussions with the countries who are willing to take the migrants back and together find a solution to resettle them back into their communities,” he said.
Migration is one of the topics to be discussed by parliamentarians from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and European Union (EU) countries during the 31st Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) underway here.
Thousands of migrants and refugees cross into Europe on a daily basis in search of a better life, employment opportunities and as asylum-seekers, sparking a crisis as European countries struggle to cope with the influx which burden some countries. The migration is also creating division in the EU over how best to deal with resettling migrants.
Gahler said they are busy negotiating with the Libyan government to take back the migrants, but that northern African country is refusing the offer.
He said they have already closed the Turkey and Iraq borders, and are now planning to close the Libyan border in an attempt to stop the flow of migrants.
Migrants from Africa cross over to Europe through north Africa via the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast to Italy and other European countries.
He said the EU will continue cooperating with African countries who want to take back their migrants.
Thousands of migrants are reported to have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search for better life in Europe.
Overcrowding is thought to be one of the reasons for the disasters.
The summer months are usually when most fatalities occur as it is the busiest time for migrants attempting to reach Europe.
Gahler stated that European countries have their own problems such as security threats from the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
(NAMPA)
MMT/ND/AS