Wake Up Africa, Slave Trade Is Back!
The sound of this silence is very deafening. Trivial issues have taken over all conversation but a serious humanitarian issue occupies the space. Are we blind to it? Or only choosing to ignore it? Brotherhood seems to have died, the founding principles of the African Union thrown out of the window. Where are the Pan Africanists as these disturbing and heart-wrenching images of our brothers tied from hand to foot, bloodstained clothes clinging to their battered bodies?
In a very shocking video published by the CNN over a month ago, young West African migrants are seen being auctioned off for as little as $400 at a compound reported to be near the capital, Tripoli. They are then taken into households or small-scale operations as help. It is reported that they are forced to work for free until they repay the ‘debt’ of their ‘freedom’.
With the rise of unemployment and the springing up of conflict zones in West Africa, some have decided to try their luck in Europe. This involves a rigorous process a trudging into Arab lands like Libya and Tunisia so as to access the Mediterranian ports which give them passage into Europe via Italy and France. These migrants find themselves in their hands of slavers who tack them to auction towns such as Zuwara, Subratah, Castelverde, Garyan and Gadamis amongst others.
The Libyan Government has been mostly ineffective in curbing this atrocity. A torn government emerging from a brutal civil war between warlords who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi has failed to ensure that all its departments are functional. The Anti-Illegal Immigration Authority currently holds about 8,000 migrants in detention centres and is failing to deport them. This under- capacity has allowed the slavers to prey on these innocent job-seekers from Nigeria, Niger and Ghana.
“If you are not angry, then you are not paying attention!” – Begotten Sun (Zimbabwe)
While we tweet about how fresh Nicki Minaj’s outfit is and how Beyonce is the biggest female artists of this era, let us discuss the very important issues. Currently, our leaders act like nothing is happening in Libya. States like Burkina Faso have been leading the pack of so-called ‘big states’ by withdrawing its envoy to Libya. The AU finally showed concern only a few weeks back after the emergence of the video despite receiving numerous reports from activists.
This goes to show the apathy our leaders have when it comes to real issues on the continent. An American news agency had to report on this for them to act. It’s this sad precedent they are setting that is wiping their Pan Africanist stance. Our backs are now against the wall, its time this bullshit stops!