Media reports about alleged migrant slave markets in Libya have resulted in strong reactions across the continent. African politicians demand an investigation and the prosecution of those responsible
Who’s the highest bidder? 800 Dinar! 1,000 Dinar! 1,100 Dinar! In the end, the winning bid is 1,200 Libyan Dinar – the equivalent of $800 (€680). A done deal; however, this isn’t just any auction for a car or a piece of art. What’s being sold here is a group of frightened young men from Sub-Saharan Africa.
The low-resolution images, apparently taken at a market in Libya earlier in 2017 were shown on the US-based network CNN last week, which looked further into the issue. Journalists working for CNN discovered several such slave markets in the country’s interior, proving what experts had feared for a long time: migrants trying to reach Europe via Libya continue to be subject to abuse.
Heavy criticism across Africa
Politicians in Africa have expressed their outrage at the scandal – especially in West Africa where most African migrants originate. President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou felt particularly revolted by the reports, summoning the Libyan ambassador to Niger and demanding the International Court of Justice investigate Libya for trading slaves.