Africa: The AU-EU Summit - Human Trafficking At Top of the Agenda

Migrants have gathered in Sidi Bilal because they feel safer as a group (file photo).

Harsh action has been proposed at the African Union-European Union summit to clamp down on human trafficking in Libya. By PETER FABRICIUS in Abidjan.

South Africa has welcomed the proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron for police and military action against human traffickers and slavers operating from Libya.

But officials cautioned that any action would have to be co-ordinated carefully with the African Union. "We can't just throw money at the problem," one official said.

Macron, speaking on the margins of the African Union-European Union summit here, told French media that human trafficking was a criminal offence.

"It's not enough for us just to denounce the problem but we must act collectively in attacking these networks which operate from the Sahel all the way to Libya and have connections that enable them to reach all the way across the Mediterranean."

Did that mean armed intervention, he was asked.

"I'm calling for police and military action. This does not mean waging war in Libya. These human traffickers are connected to terrorist networks. Sometimes it is the same people who wage war on us and who create victims in the Sahel and Sahara.

"Indeed we need to offer protection to victims of...

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