Several nationalities behind the slave trade in Libya

Sunday December 03 2017

Local residents and rescue workers help a woman after a boat carrying migrants sank off the island of Rhodes, south-eastern Greece, on April 20, 2015. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The human trafficking in Libya was conducted by many nationalities, including sub-Saharan Africans, a victim said.

A Cameroonian returnee from Libya, Mr Foka Fotsi, who was trafficked twice, said that one of the places where he was held was owned by Ghanaians and Nigerians.

Speaking to the Africareview in Abuja, the returnee, accused one Charles, a Nigerian from Edo State, as the trafficking kingpin.

“There was torture like I’ve never seen. They hit you with wooden bats, with iron bars,” he said, showing the still red wounds on his skull.

“They hang you from the ceiling by (your) arms and legs and then throw you down to the floor. They swing you and throw you against the wall, over and over again, 10 times.



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“They are not human beings. They are the devil personified,” Fotsi narrated.

The UN-recognised Libyan government has pledged a comprehensive investigation on the claims of slave trade in the country.

The Libyan Charge d’ Affairs in Nigeria, Dr Attai Alkhoder, said on Friday in Abuja that it was important to address the human trade market claims.

The claims were triggered by a CNN network report that the North African state had a human trade market.

Dr Alkhoder doubted the claims based on the teachings of Islam, traditions of Libyan people, and the commitment to the International Principles of Human Rights and the International and Regional agreement on Human Right.

“The Libyan Government has instructed the relevant authorities to carry out comprehensive investigations on the claim according to the law and to reveal its findings to the local and international community.

“Also, to apprehend and punish the persons responsible for human trafficking of immigrants and human trading,’’ he said.


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The diplomat stated that the problems associated with the illegal immigration should be addressed by the international community as a whole.

He said that Libya considered such matters, if accurate, to be as a result of illegal immigration and rejected being held responsible for them.

Solving the issue of illegal immigrants, he went on, was a collective responsibility of the countries of origin, transit and destination.

Dr Alkhoder said Libya spent a lot of money to construct and manage camps to accommodate the immigrants and facilitate their voluntary return to their countries.

“Therefore, there is a need for practical and effective measures between the countries of origin, transit, destination and International and Regional organisations concerned."