African Migrants in Libya "enslaved"

Migrant “slaves” in Libya.


The world is used to hearing of and seeing pictures of migrants fleeing Africa and the Middle East and often being exploited by gangs of traffickers. Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans attempt to make the crossing form North Africa by boat to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea. Many are drowned, some deliberately by traffickers who either scuttle the overcrowded boats, or abandon the passengers to their fate.

For quite some time there have been reports and pictures of young Africans being “sold” in Libya as “works” or “slaves”. These are migrants who have no money to continue the journey on to Europe, having spent all their money getting so far across the Sahara from their homes further South. Some are simply seized. At long last the African Union (AU) has reacted and called for action to stop this vile and degrading abuse of human beings. One of the first African countries to react has been Rwanda. The Government of Rwanda, conscious of the genocide in their own country when up to 100,000 of their own people were slaughtered like animals whilst the world looked on, has offered a place of asylum for up to 30,000 migrants in Libya. The logistics and practicalities are not known, but it is a significant offer from a country which is already quite overcrowded.