African, EU leaders meet in West Africa's Abidjan city

Over 80 heads of states meet in Ivorian capital for 5th African Union-European Union summit

African, EU leaders meet in West Africa's Abidjan city

World Bulletin / News Desk

Over 80 heads of states from Africa and Europe met in the Ivorian capital Abidjan for the two-day long fifth African Union-European Union AU-EU summit Wednesday to discuss economic ties and migration.

Apart from Senegal’s President Macky Sall, French President Emmanuel Macron and Nigerian President Muhamadu Buhari were in attendance.

Enroute to the summit Tuesday night, Macron made a stopover in Burkina Faso where he met President Christian Rock Marc Kabore and later addressed students.

Burkina Faso’s radio Omega FM reported that few people with few placards demonstrated on the streets and called on France to withdraw French troops from their home.

“I will work with Africa to facilitate equal partnership between France and Africa. Let me also assure you that France will pursue migrant’s smugglers and will work with AU leaders to tackle this problem,” Macron later told Ivorian state Television.

Several statements were made by several African and EU leaders on migration and security.

Buhari expressed outrage on the situation in Libya. “Nigerians and other Africans are being sold like goats in Libya. This is unacceptable. We need to stand up together against this,” he said.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara said the security situation of the region depends on the ability to resolve the situation in Libya and put an end to the inhuman treatment of migrants there by all means.

“The news about Libya challenges us to tackle the despicable drama that reminds us of the slavery days. I am also calling on you all to support the G5 Sahel force to tackle conflict in the region,” Ouattara added.

Ibrahima Kane of the Open Society Foundation told sub regional broadcaster West Africa Democracy Radio in Dakar that France was not allegedly sincere in handling the migrant’s crisis in Libya and accused the country of being part of the problem.

“Former President Sarcozy was key in ousting [former Libyan leader] Gadhafi. France and their allies created the Libyan mess.

“We have also seen France make discriminatory comments against migrants entering their country. This is just lip service,” Kane said.

Bassolma Bazie, head of Burkina Faso’s labor union, said France should start treating Africa as equal partners in all its deals.

“France and Europe’s attitude towards Africa has always been unfair. Europe set up the rules. How can France and Europe empower Libya -- a country that is still unstable -- to control migrants flow?” He asked ina phone interview with WADR News.

Meanwhile, Oxfam said the AU-EU Summit needs to take responsibility for African migrants being traded as slaves in Libya.

Imma de Miguel, Oxfam’s lead campaigner, told a news conference in Abidjan, that “despite recent reports of slavery, it’s nothing new.

“Europe knows, the African governments know already about the conditions of these immigrants and the slavery conditions and non-respect of human rights. I think this summit needs to take responsibility,” Imma de Miguel said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Kasım 2017, 23:50