EDITORIAL: AFRICAN UNION FAILURE IN AFRICAN MIGRANTS’ SLAVERY IN LIBYA
“Never attribute to malevolence what is merely due to incompetence”
― Arthur C. Clarke, 3001: The Final Odyssey
WITHOUT doubt, AFRICAN UNION, an organization of African states established in 2002 as successor to the Organisation of African Unity; whose aims are to encourage economic development and political stability through increased cooperation between its members AU has obviously displayed a high level of incompetence, failure to contain the rising dehumanization of African migrants in slavery market of Libya.
- Advertisement -
Unfortunately this is not the first time this horrific incidence had happened in Libya. In 2015, we exclusively reported inside Tripoli how Libyan human traffickers detain Africans, especially Nigerians, Ghanaians, Sudanese, Ivorians, Cameroonians and Kenyans who in their desperate bid to seek ‘greener-pasture’ albeit illegally-which is condemnable beat up, humiliate, tortures and eventually forced these Africans to sell off their organs-liver, kidney for money. Then, we brought this news report to the attention of AU, European Union, EU and other members of International community.
Then, following alleged defiance denial by Libya government officials, AU did not warn Libya, reprimand them or conduct any investigation. But the latest action taken by Libyan human traffickers leading to sale of African migrants for as little as $800 like ‘commodities’ in the Tripoli market under the cover of darkness has shown that Libya authorities and the human traffickers are obviously ‘wicked,’ and should be so condemned by all human beings.
In Africa, it was only during the Slave Trade era which brought pain, discrimination, suffering, humiliation, segregation, a reminder of the past is the reflection that has come to the fore. And this nonchalant attitude of Libya government of passive look has caused outrageous anger across the world.
In our news report 24 hours ago, we detailed the harrowing experience of few Nigerian girls who were beat-up in hideouts within Tripoli, starved of food and made to engage in sex slavery with Libyan human traffickers who already seized their Nigerian international traveling passports to avert escape from their grips.
Investigation conducted by our correspondents showed hundreds of Nigerians perish while trying to cross the Mediterranean. Eye witness account and one of the survivor, a Nigerian man, Kolade Iluade told our reporter that in desperate bid to travel Overseas, sells off all his properties, embark on ‘unknown journey’ to Libya without a single knowledge of the dangers ahead. His confession: “Over 70 percent of Nigerians on the journey had no idea of dangers ahead. Many of us are captured by Libyan Human Traffickers, beaten, humiliated and locked in detention. Few Nigerians, other Africans that are lucky to escaped, perish and die in the Med. sea. Thousands die weekly, 75 percent of African Migrants are Nigerians. I can say that hundreds of Nigerians die in the Mediterranean sea”
- Advertisement -
For Tina Ugbade, an hair stylist from Edo state who also embarked on this journey said she regretted ever to have traveled on Libya’s expedition as she saw death daily. Her words: “I regretted ever to have decided that I had to travel illegally to Europe through Libya. I was deceived by a Nigerian man who may of us know in Benin city to be a European, promising to give me a good hair stylist job in Europe where I would be paid huge sums of money in euro currency. Time has shown me that not all that glitters are gold. On arrival in Libya after a long, exhaustive and tortuous journey, all the Nigerian girls were handed over to Libyan wicked-looking human traffickers as sex slaves. We were beaten, raped, starved for food. Some of us are even pregnant. We want to go back home. Nigerian government should help us.”
Even though investigation confirms that are still 120,000 Nigerian migrants stranded in Libya, with no hope in sight on how they are going to escape the detention of Libyan human traffickers who are holding them hostage against their will, these Nigerians have no money, no food to eat and many are dying daily.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari while addressing AU-EU yesterday expressed sadness when he said he was shocked to know that Nigerians were being sold as ‘goats’ in the Libyan market. Promptly, the United Nations, UN General Secretary and former Prime Minister of Portugal, António Guterres lambaste Libya government in the ‘African Migrants’ human sale’ embarked upon by traffickers in Tripoli, “We will investigate human rights violation against African migrants. We will get to the bottom of it all and all culprits will be prosecuted.”
- Advertisement -
With demonstration against Libya government in Paris, France over 72 hours ago by huge black community, in Nigeria by human rights group in front of Libya Embassy, Abuja in a peaceful sit-out, fearing that the matter may be going out of hand, Libya government now seem to have found its voice.
The United Nations-backed Libyan Government of National Accord, or GNA, said it’s keen to address violations against illegal immigrants but called upon regional and global partners to provide assistance. Libya “is going through difficult times which affected its own citizens as well. It is, therefore, not fair to assume responsibility for the consequences of this immigration, which everyone unanimously agreed that addressing this phenomenon exceeds the national capacities,” the GNA statement read.
“We affirm again that the practical solution is to address the real reasons that drive people to leave their home countries, treat them and develop final solutions for them.”
On Tuesday, Libya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated that a committee has been established to investigate the auctions but asked “the international community to intensify in a spirit of responsibility and joint cooperation to assist Libya.”
The editorial board of Naija Standard Newspaper fully condemn GNA, Libyan human traffickers and they should be held accountable by UN, AU on the various attacks, dehumanization of Nigerians and other Africans in Tripoli. We all must have common front to condemn such inhuman, barbaric behaviour unedifying of human beings.