Libya says to probe ‘slave auction’ footage

A CNN footage has shown a public auction in Libya where black men are presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. (Reuters)
Updated 20 November 2017
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Libya says to probe ‘slave auction’ footage

TRIPOLI: Libya will investigate alleged slave trading in the country, the internationally recognized 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.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Metig said his UN-backed Government of National Accord would investigate the allegations, in a statement posted Sunday on the Facebook page of the GNA’s press office.
Metig said he would instruct the formation of a “commission to investigate these reports in order to apprehend and bring those responsible to justice,” the statement added.
The foreign ministry in a statement added: “If these allegations are confirmed, all implicated persons will be punished.”
The CNN report apparently showing migrants being auctioned off in Libya was shared widely on social media, provoking outrage in Africa, Europe and the rest of the world.
The grainy footage shot on a mobile telephone shows a man CNN said was Nigerian and in his 20s being offered up for sale as part of a group of “big strong boys for farm work.”
In the CNN report, a person identified as an auctioneer can be heard saying “800... 900... 1,000... 1,100...” before two men are sold for 1,200 Libyan dinars ($875).


Around 1,000 people took to the streets of Paris on Saturday to protest against slavery in Libya, according to French police. The gathering led to clashes between demonstrators and security forces.
Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also chairman of the African Union, on Friday called for an inquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a “despicable trade... from another era.”
Senegal’s government expressed “outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil” that constituted a “blight on the conscience of humanity.”
African migrants from nations including Guinea and Senegal but also Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Gambia make the dangerous crossing through the Sahara to Libya with hopes of making it over the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.
But testimony collected by AFP has revealed a litany of rights abuses at the hands of gangsters, human traffickers and the Libyan security forces, while many end up stuck in the unstable North African nation for years.
More than 8,800 stranded migrants have been returned home this year, according to the International Organization for Migration, which is also compiling evidence of slavery.


Yemeni PM: Funds from Saudi Arabia, UAE should be managed to achieve intended goals

Updated 17 December 2018
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Yemeni PM: Funds from Saudi Arabia, UAE should be managed to achieve intended goals

  • The prime minister told the Saudi Press Agency that “Yemen has received large funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE"
  • He also said any upcoming funds in 2019 should focus on supporting the economy and paying as many salaries as possible

JEDDAH: Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malek stressed on the importance of managing funds to Yemen from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to achieve the intended goals.
He said the main challenge facing the Yemeni government lies in its ability to continue paying the salaries of its employees, and “this is what the government is working on through allocating financial funds in this field as it's priority.”
The prime minister told the Saudi Press Agency that “Yemen has received large funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the latest of which was the $500 million supply initiative, stressing the need to coordinate with international organizations working in Yemen to deliver aid.”
He also added that any upcoming funds in 2019 should focus on supporting the economy and paying as many salaries as possible, which will help the budget significantly.
“The challenges that will face Yemenis next year are big. We should not think of aid only, it is also necessary to think about helping the Yemeni economy and protecting it from further deterioration,” he said.
This, he added, also requires guarantees that contribute to the arrival of food aid, as well as looking into the activities and programs related to foreign organizations, with the aim of directing them to the areas in dire need of humanitarian and relief assistance.
The prime minister also pointed to the humanitarian impact that will result from the project of rehabilitation of the Al-Dalea road, which comes within the comprehensive humanitarian operations plan in Yemen and through the Isnad Center for Comprehensive Humanitarian Aid.