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Libya risks diplomatic isolation over slave trade

  • by African Times
  • 1 year ago
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CAPP calls for compensation for victims.


THE Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) is wary of a breakdown of diplomatic relations between Libya and countries whose nationals have been sold off as slaves in the North African country.

To avoid such diplomatic tiffs, the organisation is advocating for compensation to victims and punitive action be taken against the widely-condemned practice of auctioning victims in open markets.

Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, President of the CAPP, encouraged Libya to actively liaise with the various countries whose nationals have been affected by the “nefarious activities” of human traffickers, through their embassies and ministries of foreign affairs to forestall a breakdown of diplomatic relations.

“(Libya must) ensure a thorough investigation of the incident to uncover the identity and modus operandi of the gangs and syndicate and advocate for some form of compensation for the victims of the unfortunate incident, as well as appropriate punishment for perpetrators of the incident to serve as deterrent to others,” she said.

Aliyu, a Nigerian and first female leader of the CAPP, said the situation witnessed in Libya called for great concern and collective action from all stakeholders.

Her sentiments coincided with Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari directing the immediate repatriation and aid to be provided for affected compatriots.

It is believed most of the victims of the slave trade are Nigerians.

Aliyu said CAPP by its mandate and vision must play a prominent role in the resolution of the situation in Libya, whose government has pledged investigations.

The organisation plans to embark on an awareness exercise in affected countries like Cameroon, Libya and Nigeria, against human trafficking and illegal migration.

CAPP was convened in Khartoum, Sudan in 2013 with the participation of 45 political parties from 33 African countries.

Meanwhile, ADANE BIKILA reports that Libya is to deport 15 000 migrants before the end of the year as part of plans to address the auctioning of the foreign nationals as slaves.

The African Union (AU) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have put in place a Voluntary Humanitarian Evacuation of Migrants plan to facilitate the repatriations.

This would also tackle overcrowding in government-controlled detention centres and curb an epidemic outbreak such as scabies, already noticed amongst infants. Over 70 children are detained.

The AU Commission will also work with the Libyan authorities for the closure of all detention centres and de-criminalisation of irregular migrants.

Currently, there are at least 20 000 migrants in government detention centres, including the Tariq Al Matar that hosts about 3 820 migrants.

Speaking in Addis Ababa after visiting Libya, AU special envoy, Amira El Fadi, reaffirmed the strong condemnation by the AU of the auctioning and mistreatment of African migrants.

She expressed the AU’s commitment to work with Libyan authorities to carry out an immediate investigation on the inhumane situation of African migrants in Libya and to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.

“The present migrant crisis and its resolution are beyond the control of Libyan authorities and what they can handle on their own.

“There is need for the AU and the larger international community to further support their efforts,” El Fadi said.

Yearly, thousands of undocumented, desperate African refugees attempt to make their way to Europe by boat through Libya. In 2017, Mediterranean migrant arrivals reached 164 654 while 3 038 deaths were recorded. – CAJ News

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