as many as 30,000 African migrants suffering abuse and slave-like
conditions in Libya, the foreign minister told AFP Wednesday. “Rwanda
is currently under discussions… to see how we can help in welcoming
migrants held captive in Libya,” said Louise Mushikiwabo. “It has just
been decided so numbers and means are still under discussion but Rwanda
estimates the number to be welcomed around 30,000,” she said, adding
that this figure “is not confirmed yet but an estimation”.
African Union (AU) added its voice to the outrage that greeted footage
last week of African migrants being auctioned at a “slave market” in
Libya, and on Tuesday AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat called
on African countries to help.
“I appeal to all member states of
the African Union, the African private sector and African citizens to
make financial contributions to help alleviate the suffering of African
migrants in Libya,” Faki said Tuesday. “I urge member states that have
logistical means to make them available to facilitate the evacuation of
African migrants who wish to leave Libya.”
Wednesday Mushikiwabo tweeted in response: “For Africans being sold in
Libya: Rwanda is small, but we will find some space!”
told AFP that, “Rwanda, like the rest of the world, was horrified by
the images of the tragedy currently unfolding in Libya, where African
men, women and children who were on the road to exile, have been held
and turned into slaves.”
“Given Rwanda’s political
philosophy and our own history, we cannot remain silent when human
beings are being mistreated and auctioned off like cattle,” she said
referring to the 1994 genocide in which around 800,000 mostly Tutsi
people were killed while the outside world looked on.
is a tiny country, roughly the size of Macedonia, with a population of
nearly 12 million and Mushikiwabo acknowledged that her nation, “may not
be able to welcome everyone, but our door is wide open,” she said.
offer follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya
where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential
farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.
migrants, mostly from the west and Horn of Africa make the dangerous
journey to Libya with hopes of making it across the Mediterranean Sea to
Testimony collected by AFP in recent years has
revealed a litany of rights abuses at the hands of gangmasters, human
traffickers and the Libyan security forces, while many end up stuck in
the unstable north African nation for years.
8,800 stranded migrants have been returned home this year, according to
the International Organization for Migration, which is also amassing
evidence of slavery.
google_ad_client = “ca-pub-7823325978435516”;
google_ad_host = “pub-1556223355139109”;
google_ad_slot = “7893254985”;
google_ad_width = 300;
google_ad_height = 250;