The AU (African Union) urged its member states to allow unrestricted movement of people within the continent in order to reduce dangerous forms of migration, particularly to Europe.
Amira Elfadil Mohammed, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, was quoted by Xinhuanet as saying that unrestricted movement of people will aid in reducing riskier migration trends, especially to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.
The unrestricted mobility of people will offer prospective foreign migrants, especially those venturing on hazardous routes, new options and, in turn, assist their quest for better living conditions and employment in the African continent.
Elfadil Mohammed said that she was pleased now that Africa was striving for the continent’s unity and taking measures to eliminate or relax visa rules in many of the African countries.
Indicating that over 80 percent of their continent’s migrants move within Africa, she said that relaxing of visa regulations within their continent will increase the possibility of reducing further the current 20 percent of migration to Europe and other countries in the world, particularly via dangerous routes.
Lauding the accomplishments of the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) to enable free movement of African nationals, she exhorted other regions in Africa to take a leaf out of the book of the ECOWAS and create a continent that is integrated.
The unrestricted mobility of goods and people were one of the crucial flagship moves that member states of the AU may have looked at during the 30th Summit of AU leaders, which took place in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, during 22-29 January.
Thousands of migrants from Africa have been using Libya in recent years as a transit route to Europe.
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