Libya: AU reaction to the macabre discovery of migrants’ bodies in a mass grave

In Libya, human rights organizations have long been drawing attention to the plight of refugees and migrants in the country. This North African nation is traversed by one of the deadliest migration routes on the continent.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) is deeply alarmed and saddened by the discovery of a mass grave containing at least 65 bodies of migrants in southwest Libya, whose nationalities, genders, and circumstances of death have yet to be identified.

According to a statement released on Thursday, March 28, information received by the Commission indicates that the migrants perished during their clandestine journey across the Libyan desert.

The ACHPR extends its sincere condolences to the grieving families of the victims and condemns all violations of migrants’ rights that could lead to their disappearance, including the right to life.

«Recalling its Resolution ACHPR/RES. 486 (EXT.OS/XXXI1I) 2021 on missing migrants and refugees in Africa and the consequences for their families, and following this latest tragedy, the Commission once again expresses deep concern about the ongoing disappearances of migrants in various circumstances, notably due to the surge in irregular migration flows and the use of the most precarious and perilous migration routes», the statement reads.

It emphasizes that migrants, often extremely vulnerable, are exposed to various abuses by smugglers and traffickers, including human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and other forms of organized transnational crime.

The ACHPR calls on the Libyan government to shed light on this tragedy by conducting a swift, impartial, and effective investigation to determine accountability.

Additionally, it urges the government to facilitate, while upholding human dignity, the recovery, identification, and communication with families of deceased migrants as soon as possible.




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