Monday 18 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
More than 30 migrants died and 200 were rescued on Saturday after their boats foundered off Libya's western coast, the Libyan navy said. The coastguard conducted two rescue operations off the city of Garabulli, 60 kilometres (40 miles) east of Tripoli, spokesman Colonel Abu Ajila Abdelbarri said. He added that patrols had found 31 bodies and 60 survivors from one boat, while all 140 passengers had survived in a second boat. "When we arrived at the spot, we found an inflatable dinghy with several people clinging to part of it," he said. Libyan navy spokesman Ayoub Qassem told AFP that 18 women and three children were among the dead recovered from the sea...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday urged the international community to "do more" following reports of the "abhorrent and despicable" enslavement of vulnerable African refugees arriving in Libya. "Canada will not stay silent in the face of such inhumane atrocities," Trudeau said in a statement published on a government website. "While it is clear that the Libyan government is investigating this horrific injustice, and humanitarian organizations have launched efforts to help the victims, more must be done," he said. The prime minister called on all United Nations member states to implement and enforce a protocol against human trafficking, particularly of women and children. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday, in response to the reports, that "slavery and other such...
(APA 11/27/17)
APA-Brazzaville (Congo) - Le président du Haut Conseil des tribus et villes libyennes, Ladjili Brini, a qualifié dimanche à Brazzaville « la maltraitance des frères africains en Libye de crime contre l’humanité ». Intervenant lors de la réunion de cette instance avec le président du Comité de haut niveau de l’Union africaine(UA) sur la crise libyenne, le chef de l’Etat congolais Denis Sassou N’Guesso, M. Brini a déclaré : « la situation tragique en Libye s’aggrave de jour en jour, les gouvernements mis en place pendant les sept dernières années ont tous échoué dans la protection des citoyens contre les violations graves et crimes horribles contre les populations », a-t-il expliqué. « La maltraitance de nos frères africains nous fait...
(AFP (eng) 11/23/17)
The number of migrants who have reached Italy via Libya has dropped significantly since July, when the European Union reached a deal with Libyan authorities to stem migrant flows, the UN said Thursday. The EU's decision to help Libya intercept migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean and return them to detention centres was condemned as "inhuman" earlier this month by the United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. But a report from the UN refugee agency indicated that the pact has achieved its objective of curbing migrant arrivals in Italy. "Over the past three months, 21,666 refugees and migrants have crossed the sea to Italy, the lowest number for this period over the last four years," the UNHCR...
(AFP (eng) 11/23/17)
The EU's anti-trafficking operation is working to train Libya's coastguard on how to respect the human rights of migrants recovered at sea, the mission's commander said Thursday. The operation, dubbed Sophia, was created two years ago to combat human trafficking in the Mediterranean, and has rescued about 42,000 people attempting the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe since then. "We have arrested 119 alleged smugglers, destroyed boats, (and) trained 201 coastguard personnel," Italian admiral Enrico Credendino said on the sidelines of a seminar on migration and security in Rome. The coastguard training has proved controversial, though, with critics saying that Europe...
(AFP (eng) 11/23/17)
France on Wednesday called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over slave-trading in Libya as President Emmanuel Macron blasted the auctioning of Africans as a crime against humanity. "France decided this morning to ask for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss this issue," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament. "We are doing it as a permanent member of the Security Council. We have this capability and we are using it." Macron said the auctions, captured in shocking footage aired by US network CNN, were "scandalous" and "unacceptable". "It is a crime against humanity," he said after meeting with African Union chief Alpha Conde in Paris. "I hope we can go much further...
(AFP (eng) 11/23/17)
Rwanda is willing to provide refuge to 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". The 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...
(RFI 11/23/17)
African migrants in Libya have begun returning to their home countries. Côte d’Ivoire repatriated over 350 citizens from Tripoli on Wednesday, after video footage appearing to show migrants being auctioned off as slaves sparked global outcry. The UN says the auctions may amount to crimes against humanity. “I was shocked at seeing the footage of the CNN report, but I wasn't surprised,” Umberto Profazio, an analyst with the International Institute for Security Studies in London told RFI Tuesday. In the footage, migrants--predominantly black--are seen being put up for auction as potential farmhands and being sold for, in some cases, four hundred dollars each. The images sparked protests against slavery in Paris and cities across the world, prompting Libyan authorities to...
(The Associated Press 11/23/17)
Rwanda is offering to host some of the African migrants who reportedly face abuse in Libya. Rwanda’s government says in a statement that “we cannot remain silent when human beings are being mistreated and auctioned off like cattle.” Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo tweeted Wednesday that “Rwanda is small, but we will find some space!” U.N. chief Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate investigation into the reported sale of African migrants in Libya, saying transactions may amount to crimes against humanity. Guterres said he was “horrified” by video footage, broadcast on CNN, of the bidding and sale of migrant men seeking a better life. Thousands of African migrants make the dangerous journey to Libya hoping to cross the Mediterranean...
(RFI 11/23/17)
France on Wednesday called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over slave-trading in Libya as President Emmanuel Macron blasted the auctioning of Africans as a crime against humanity. "France decided this morning to ask for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss this issue," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament. "We are doing it as a permanent member of the Security Council. We have this capability and we are using it." Macron said the auctions, captured in shocking footage aired by US network CNN, were "scandalous" and "unacceptable". "It is a crime against humanity," he said after meeting with African Union chief Alpha Condé in Paris. "I hope we can go much further...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/17)
PARIS (Reuters) - France has called for a United Nations Security Council meeting on the treatment of migrants in Libya and will seek sanctions if Libyan authorities do not take action, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday. Le Drian said he wanted the International Organization for Migration and the U.N. Refugee Agency to publish details about the trafficking of migrants in the country. “Libyan authorities, who have been alerted several times, including by myself because I was there in September, have decided to open an investigation into the facts,” Le Drian said. “We want it to go fast and if the Libyan justice system can not carry this procedure through then we should open international sanctions,” Le...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
After months on the road into exile and inside the hell of Libyan jails, migrants rescued by the UN refugee agency have found safety and shelter in Niger's capital before leaving for Europe. The refugees from three distant Horn of Africa nations breathe easy for a while at a comfortable transit centre in Niamey, a city on the broad Niger river south of the daunting Sahara desert. "Since we left Libya, things have been OK," says Amina, a 20-year-old Ethiopian sitting on the terrace with her husband. Like those of her companions, her name has been changed. Amina says she is "in a hurry to leave" for France, which will take in the 25 people from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Burkina Faso’s foreign minister said on Monday it had recalled its ambassador to Libya over a report that black African migrants were being auctioned as slaves there. The decision by the West African nation followed the broadcast by CNN of footage of what it said was an auction of men offered to Libyan buyers as farmhands and sold for $400, a chilling echo of the trans-Saharan slave trade of centuries past. Libya’s ambassador to Burkina Faso said his country was being unfairly blamed for a global problem that all nations affected must come together to solve. Foreign Minister Alpha Barry announced the decision by President Roch Marc Kabore in a news conference. “The president of Burkina Faso...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Medical staff in the southern Libyan city of Sabha said on Monday they were suspending work for 10 days in protest over poor security after a doctor was kidnapped. Health services in Libya have been severely disrupted by years of conflict with the remote south particularly affected. Salem al-Selhab, who worked in the surgical department of the Sabha Medical Centre, the biggest hospital in southern Libya, was kidnapped by an unknown group on Thursday evening. “For a long time the medical staff of the Sabha Medical Centre have suffered attacks, abuse and been shot at,” said Osama al-Wafi, a spokesman for the center, adding that Selhab’s kidnapping was a serious setback. “This doctor was very important,”...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice. This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday he was horrified by video footage showing migrants sold as slaves in Libya and that these auctions should be investigated as possible crimes against humanity. US television network CNN aired the footage last week of an apparent live auction in Libya where black men were presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. "Slavery has no place in our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity," Guterres told reporters. "I am horrified at news reports and video footage showing African migrants in Libya reportedly being sold as slaves," he said, adding: "I abhor...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
France will be the first to welcome African refugees evacuated from Libya to NIger by the United Nations refugee agency, French officials announced Monday. After experiencing appalling living conditions at camps in the north African country, the refugees were taken to Niger on November 11 by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), where they have been looked after. The 25 Eritreans, Ethiopians and Sudanese -- including 15 women and four children -- should reach France "at the latest in January," the interior ministry said. Libya has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many of them have fallen prey to serious abuse at the hands of traffickers and others. US television network CNN...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
Libya will investigate alleged slave trading in the country, the internationally recognised government announced Sunday, following the release of video footage appearing to show migrants being auctioned off. Chaos-ridden Libya has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many of them have fallen prey to serious abuse in the North African country at the hands of traffickers and others. US television network CNN aired the footage last week of an apparent live auction in Libya where black men are presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
Five months after he was appointed to lead UN peace efforts in Libya, Ghassan Salame says he is focused on building institutions as a way to unite the country. The 66-year-old Lebanese-born academic told AFP in an interview that if state institutions can begin to work, Libya will finally change course after years of chaos since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. "The key to my approach is institutions," Salame said. "If in a year or two, we can began to reunite, revive and liberate institutions, then the country will be on a different path." A UN-mediated political deal in 2015 was supposed to unite Libya, but the country remains divided between a government in Tripoli that enjoys UN...

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