The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, has said chaos in Libya is allowing criminal and terrorist networks to thrive, a news report said on Monday.
Chergui, speaking on the sidelines of the second day of session of the 30th AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, said the Libyan crisis is having a continental ripple effect.
He said: “Libya is becoming a hideout for Islamic State terrorists defeated in the Middle East with the Libyan crisis emboldening those engaged in arms trafficking, drug smuggling and human trafficking.”
Chergui also condemned reports of African migrants being enslaved by criminal networks in Libya, which he said made it even more urgent to find political situation to the Libyan crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of African migrants have in recent years used Libya lying on the southern coast of Mediterranean Sea as a transit route to be smuggled to Europe.
However, with Libya being in a state of anarchy ever since the demise of long time ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been a haven for terror groups and criminals.
Chergui said AU member states are trying to support peace efforts through a high-level committee of Heads of State led by Republic of the Congo President Dennis Sassou Nguesso and AU High Representative for Libya Jakaya Kikwete.
He said: “The AU is also trying to create dialogue between various warring sides in Libya for elections to take place, to ensure the North African state doesn’t become a failed state.
“We have to prepare solid ground for a peaceful, inclusive and credible elections, so results will be respected by all parties.”