Gambia’s Vice President Fatoumata Tambajang and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ousainou Darboe are in the Ivory Coast’s capital, Abidjan meeting with EU leaders, where there is plenty to discuss on migration and rights abuses.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are among the European leaders who will sit down with their African counterparts for the two-day summit in Abidjan.
EU leaders intend to boost relations between the continents at a time when concerns over migration, security and opportunities for young people are at the fore.
The issue of forcing West African migrants into slavery has become the epicenter of talks. Gambia and other West African nations have condemned the slave auctions in Libya and are scrambling to have their citizens freed and returned home.
At least 1,500 Gambian migrants have been repatriated with the help of the UN migration agency. They have reported abuse in detention centers where they were subjected to torture and hunger.
Oxfam International 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.