Libyan Slave Market– The thought of an existing and publicly functioning slave market in Africa is an embarrassingly hideous crime.
The International Organization for Migration has discovered that there is a somewhat slave market where human beings are traded like commodities.
Ever since the destabilization owing to the depose and death of Gaddafi, Libya has become vulnerable to a lot of odd situations.
First off, it has become a hub for ISIS terrorists and a take off point for African illegal migrants who wish to cross over to Europe.
Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies says that the North African country has deep rooted criminal establishments that take advantage of stranded African migrants.
“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],”
“The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”
As survivors of slave trade in the past it is most appalling that Africa now trades fellow Africans within Africa.
Countries like Yemen have been found by Human Rights Watch to be improving the nation’s economy with human trafficking dealings.
Human trafficking is one of the leading global crimes after illegal drug dealings.
A common fate that usually awaits desperate African migrants is the exploitation that comes afterwords.
Smugglers make promises of jobs for the migrants. They fall for it, take the journey, only to be disappointed in the long run.
Disregarding the death rates from these illegal migrations, it appears as though the crime will not cease anytime soon. An international agency projected that a total of 30 million Africans may find their way to Europe in 10 years time.
IOM has come to the rescue of many abused migrants in Libya. From them, the agency gathered first hand information on what migrants face in Libya.
“There are now more migrants coming back from Libya, so that’s also why all these stories are coming to the surface,”
“And conditions are worsening in Libya so I think we can also expect more in the coming months.”
The returnees confirmed to IOM that Libya has an unofficial prison where some migrants are held and sometimes left to die in highly unsanitary conditions.
Stranded in a strange land, these migrants become victims of human trafficking, smuggling and commercial prostitution.
On another dimension, Guardian reveals that the captors hold them hostage while contacting their families requesting a sum as much as £380.
They are greatly tortured and abused. Some other times they are sold and re-sold at the Libyan slave market.
Livia Manante, an IOM officer who helps people to return to their home countries narrated a description of the Libyan slave market.
“The men on the pick-up were brought to a square, or parking lot, where a kind of slave trade was happening. There were locals – he described them as Arabs – buying sub-Saharan migrants,”
“Several other migrants confirmed his story, independently describing kinds of slave markets as well as kinds of private prisons all over in Libya,”
Week after week Africans are taking the extremely life threatening sojourn out of the continent. And for what? Same old reason, poor governance, economy/wealth distribution, conflicts, survival instincts, and a perfect blend of frustration and desperation.