Africans seem to be stuck between slavery and the deep blue sea. Over the past few weeks, a simple announcement of the death of 26 young women – said to have been Nigerians – on November 7, 2017, has given way to the horrific discourse on the sale of Africans in Libya and how now to stop Libyan slave trade.
The young women were discovered to be Africans from a myriad of African countries (prevailingly Nigeria) who supply immigrants to Europe to meet the demand for these modern-day slaves over there.
CNN’s Nima Elbagir reported that Africans who were hoping for greener pastures in Europe were sold at slavery auction markets in Libya, for as little as $400 per person. The world was swift in its reaction against this heinous act and soon the clamour to stop Libyan slave trade became deafening.
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, for one, reacted to the news on November 21, 2017, by stating that “Slavery has no place in our world”. He also voiced that the UN would look at how mandated UN Agencies can, in a concerted manner, deal with this problem.
At the AU-EU Summit in Cote d’Ivoire, President Kagame offered resettlement in Rwanda to the detained Africans being offered for sale. President Buhari of Nigeria gave orders to repatriate Nigerians from Libya. Even the French President, Emmanuel Macron, who was in attendance at the summit spoke about undertaking military action into Libya to stop Libyan slave trade.
Some of those who have been repatriated have been giving the world some insight into the well-organised criminal framework that had brought them to that point. It is one that includes the victims, their families and traffickers. Parents and other family members would raise money to give to traffickers to facilitate the journey of a ward to reach Europe.
Some of these words would die along the way, other would reach the destination and it has become evident now that others are simply auctioned off as slaves to help the traffickers gain additional proceeds.
One of the great concerns in the world but most, especially, in Africa should be how to stop Libyan slave trade. How can African governments deter their citizens from risking this terrible fate in a bid to find greener pastures? Below we present some ideas.
Five Ways To Stop Libyan Slave Trade
One obvious solution that cannot be ignored is that of good governance. Most people who make this tortuous journey do so out of an inability to see hope in their own home countries. Poor policies, corruption, little respect for the rule of law have rendered a number of the economies of African countries to weak to support citizens.
Leadership is the longterm approach to solving this problem that has existed long past its due and will continue to exist if citizens do not gain more confidence in their governments.
Finding Those Behind The Demand In Europe
Arresting the kingpins behind the demand-side in Europe should be the priority of European authorities who are also raising alarms about the heinousness of the act.
Giving Funding Directly To Beneficiaries
European governments obviously do not want these migrants and have agreed at earlier summits to support efforts to create opportunities in African countries to stem the tide of migration. Such funding needs to find its way directly to the beneficiaries rather than be given to their governments. With this, more people may pursue the path of entrepreneurship rather than migration.
Punishing The Middlemen
The Libyan slave trade has middlemen who are agents in the originating countries (the traffickers spoken about earlier) that market illegal immigration to other citizens. They do this by making irresistible offers to less educated citizens. African governments must find ways of identifying and making these traffickers fave the law.
Each government must take on the responsibility of educating their citizens against these illegal migrations. The media can also help in continually reinforcing the danger that is inherent in these illegal migrations until everyone is aware of the risk inherent in it.