Libya: The Alarm Bell Is Ringing - Gambians and Other Migrants in Libya

Photo: Irin
Over 400 migrants intercepted by the Misrata Coast Guard in four inflatable boats in April 2016 reach out for bottles of water being thrown from the shore. Many were later transferred to the Krareem Detention Centre.

The alarm bell has been ringing. Governments in Africa are told that crimes against humanity are being committed in Libya. Murder, rape, torture and slavery are being alleged. The AU has to take the situation of migrants in Libya as an emergency, requiring extraordinary measures. Maximum effort should be made to restore the viability of the Libyan state so that civil rights would be respected. The AU should be seen to give support to aggrieved migrants, who have returned to provide evidence so that those who engage in buying and selling slaves, would be pursued and brought to book as criminals. Those who are so evil as to sell and buy their fellow human beings in the 21st Century, need to be exposed as brutes who do not deserve to be counted as members of the human race.

Finally, the situation of migrants confirm that African governments have so far failed their people and need to engage in self-reflection. Leaders have the duty to save their people from domination, degradation, poverty and humiliation. What moral authority does one have to lead if one cannot save one's people from such scourge of the human race? We must now move from protest to action, to defend the integrity and humanity of the African people.

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