General News of Saturday, 2 December 2017
A civil society group known as “The Future Group”, has petitioned the African Union (AU), to investigate reports of a supposed modern day slave trade in Libya.
Some 127 Ghanaians were last week rescued from Libya after reports that these Ghanaians and some other black Africans were reported to have been subjected to inhumane treatment after giving away their life’s earnings and making torturous journeys through the Sahara hoping to make it big in Europe.
The reports also suggested that some of the African migrants in Libya were being sold into slavery; although the Ghana government said no Ghanaian was involved.
The group said the reports are “heart wrecking” and are “very serious crimes against humanity” hence AU must take up the issue.
“Slavery and slave trade are very serious crimes against humanity. In light of that, the African Union has enacted many Charters, Protocols, Principles and Treaties to prevent its repeat. Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights states that, ‘every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status.’ This Libyan case will show if the African Union is any organization that must be taken seriously,” the group said in the petition.
Ghanaian detainees in Libya paid for their release
While briefing Parliament on the Libyan issue last week, Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, disclosed that some of the Ghanaian detainees in that country were forced to pay various amounts before they were released.
According to her, some of them paid as much as GHc5, 000 before they were discharged.
“Some family members of the Ghanaian detainees have had to pay ransoms, sometimes as much as GHC5,000 to secure their release. It is possible that those detainees whose families could not mobilize resources to pay the ransom had been sold off,” she added.
Slave trade in Libya a mockery of African unity – Nana Addo
Pictures of slave markets and gross abuse of black Africans are awash on social media after CNN uncovered the disturbing human trade in the once safe country that is now in tatters after the overthrow of Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi.
The heartbreaking images also showed some migrants being tortured to death by individuals in Libyan military wears.
There has been a wave of condemnations across Africa, especially due to the silence of the continent’s leaders and groups like the AU and ECOWAS over the incident.
In a statement on social media, President Akufo-Addo condemned the slave auctions, saying they make a mockery of African unity.
Below is the full petition