Saturday, a thousand people demonstrated in Paris to denounce the cases of slavery in Libya.
The Libyan national unity government (GNA), referring to “inhumane” acts, said Sunday that an investigation was opened on slavery cases near the capital Tripoli, following a shocking report from the CNN chain.
The government follows “with great attention media reports on the exploitation of illegal migrants by criminals,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement read to the press.
The facts described as “inhuman and contrary to the culture and traditions of the Libyan people” are “investigated”, it continued.
“If these allegations are confirmed, all those involved in these crimes will be punished,” promised the same ministry.
While recalling “its total and clear commitment” to the UN Charter and its commitment to the criminalization of trade in persons, Tripoli has however criticized the position of countries in the region on the issue.
The idea of setting up shelters in Libya was put forward at the end of August at a mini-summit in Paris in the presence of European countries, Niger or Chad. However, it had been abandoned due to persistent insecurity in the country.
Earlier on Sunday, Libya’s deputy prime minister, Ahmed Metig, had already issued a statement on Facebook expressing “his dissatisfaction” with “the resurgence of the slave trade in the suburbs of Tripoli”.
Mr Metig said he would charge “a commission to investigate this press information in order to apprehend and bring those responsible to justice.”
A recent CNN report showing migrants being auctioned in Libya, and widely shared on social networks, provoked strong emotions, provoking outrage in Africa and the UN.
One sees there, in particular, on a picture of bad quality taken by a mobile phone, two young men. The sound is that of a voice auctioning “big boys and strong for farm work. 400 … 700 … “before the reporter explains:” These men are sold for 1200 Libyan dinars – 400 dollars each “.
Saturday, a thousand people demonstrated in Paris to denounce the cases of slavery in Libya, according to the police headquarters.
Since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi’s regime in 2011, the smugglers, taking advantage of the security vacuum and total impunity in Libya, are letting tens of thousands of people seeking a better life pass through Italy, which is 300 kilometers from the Libyan coast.
According to the latest figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), nearly 156,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe by sea since 1 January (against nearly 341,000 during the same period in 2016), of which 73 % in Italy. Nearly 3000 died trying to cross.