The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice.
This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men.The demand followed the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths were presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.
African migrants from nations including Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Gambia make the dangerous crossing through the Sahara to Libya with hopes of making it over the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.
According to the InternationalOrganization for Migration more than 8,800 stranded migrants have returned home this year.
Conde appealed to the Libyan authorities to “improve migrants’ detention conditions” following revelations about squalid jails and detention centers that await migrants who are caught trying to reach the coast to Europe.“These modern slavery practices must end and the African Union will use all the tools at its disposal,” he added.
Libya has opened an investigation into the practice, CNN reported Friday, and pledged to return those taken as slaves to their countries of origin.