|President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo|
Pictures of slave markets and gross abuse of black Africans are awash on social media after CNN uncovered the fledging human trade in the North African country.
The horrible images show some migrants being sold for $400 while others are tortured to death by individuals in Libyan military wears.
Some Africans have condemned the apparent silence of the continent’s leaders over the development as the AU, ECOWAS and other known regional blocks are yet to comment on the issue.
Tweeting on the matter Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo said the incident is undermining the cohesion campaign being canvassed by the leaders on the continent.
“The current slave auctions of Africans in Libya are not only gross and scandalous abuses of human rights, but are also mockeries of the alleged solidarity of African nations grouped in the African Union (AU), of which Libya is a member”.
Meanwhile, France’s ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre has urged the Security Council to impose sanctions on the people involved in Libya’s slave trade of African refugees and migrants.
“France will propose to assist the sanctions committee … in identifying responsible individuals and entities for trafficking through Libyan territory,” he told the council on Tuesday.
“We count upon support of the members of the council to make headway to that end” .
A sanctions programme set up in 2011, the year of the US-supported invasion of Libya which saw the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi, allows the Security Council to place sanctions on “individuals and entities involved in or complicit in ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in Libya”.
Slavery and human trafficking have been present in Libya for years.
International news channel, CNN, captured a video in which some stranded Africans who had hopes of embarking on journeys to Europe through the Mediterranean, were being sold off at various prices.
The Libyan government has since started investigations into the matter.
There had been concerns that Ghanaians could be involved, but Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister says no Ghanaian has been caught up in that despicable development.
168 Ghanaian detainees in Libya to return home
The Ministry however says it is facilitating the return of some 168 Ghanaians who have been detained in Libya. A statement from the Ministry said the 168, who were thought to be victims of a torturous slave trade activity in Libya, were rather illegal migrants arrested by the Libyan government.
“Following disturbing reports of African nationals being sold off as slaves in Libya, the Ghana Mission in Malta, with concurrent accreditation from Libya, paid a consular visit to the three detention centers in Tripoli, namely, Tajoora, Trek Al Sika and Trek Mate.”
The purpose was to ascertain the veracity of the claims, assess their condition, and offer assistance to those detainees identified as Ghanaians, among many other illegal migrants held at these centers.
It emerged that 168 Ghanaian detainees who were identified, were not part of the slave trade as alleged, but had rather been arrested on illegal immigration charges, and were already being held in detention camps,” the statement said.
The Ministry said it was working together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to get the identified Ghanaians back into the country via a chartered flight from Tripoli.
“The undocumented Ghanaians were immediately issued with the necessary travel documents to facilitate their repatriation to Ghana on a chartered flight, with support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).”
Although there were no details about their timelines concerning the repatriation exercise, the Ministry assured Ghanaians that it was closely monitoring the situation in that country, and will provide details if need be.
Meanwhile, the Ministry is holding talks with some stakeholders to get a consulate opened in Libya. The existing consulate had to be closed down during the Libyan crises several months ago.