Libya allows emergency migrant evacuations amid slave scandal

(From left) French President Emmanuel Macron, Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council Fayez Al Sarraj, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of Niger Issoufou Mahamadou, and President of the Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ABIDJAN (AFP) - Libya agreed on Wednesday (Nov 29) with EU and African leaders to allow migrants facing abuse in detention camps to be evacuated within days or weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

The decision was taken after Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara called for "all urgent measures" to end slave trading and other migrant abuses in Libya at an EU-Africa summit in Abidjan.

The leaders of Libya, France, Germany, Chad, Niger and other countries "decided on an extreme emergency operation to evacuate from Libya those who want to be", Macron told reporters after their talks on the sidelines of the summit.

"Libya restated its agreement to identify the camps where barbaric scenes have been identified," Macron said, adding Libya's UN-backed President "Sarraj gave his agreement that access be assured".

African Union, European Union and United Nations officials at the meeting offered increased support for the International Organisation of Migration "to help with the return of the Africans who want it to their home countries", said the French leader who called the meeting.

"This work will be carried out in the next few days, in line with the countries of origin," he said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.