EU, African leaders agree on ‘action plan’ for asylum seekers

Published November 12th, 2015 - 01:18 GMT
Senegalese President Macky Sall criticized the action plan, saying it did not do enough for African asylum seekers. (AFP/File)
Senegalese President Macky Sall criticized the action plan, saying it did not do enough for African asylum seekers. (AFP/File)

AFP reports that on Thursday, The EU and African leaders approved a $1.9 billion USD action plan to decrease the amount of aslyum seekers entering their countries.

The plan involves faster repatriation of failed asylum seekers and expanding legal migration opportunities for students and academia. The $1.9 billion USD will fund the "Emergency Trust Fund," supporting projects that address the root issues of forced mass migration, including conflict, repressive governments, religious persecution, and famine.

The plan was approved at a summit in Malta, though some African officials feel that it unfairly favors European nations over African ones. Africans account for about 17.5% of the asylum seekers or economic migrants attempting to move to the EU this year, yet many are getting denied and sent back.

According to AFP, Senegalese President Macky Sall addressed this disparity. "I think there is also a fundamental, philosophical question: you cannot insist on Africans being readmitted to their countries of origin when you are welcoming Syrians and others. The numbers of Africans migrating towards Europe are not as great as people say."

Sall continued, saying that the deal did not provide enough structure and details on facing Africa's issues, but instead "putting too much emphasis on readmission (of illegal immigrants), perhaps because of public opinion."

As Al Bawaba previously reported, Africa is not only dealing with African asylum seekers, but an influx of Syrians who are trying to cross into Europe through first flying to Mauritania, and then traveling through the Sahara desert.

The EU is also undertaking a union-wide project to redistribute asylum seekers more evenly throughout participating countries, with the first successful relocations happening last week.


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