Burkina Faso recalls envoy to Libya over ‘slave markets’ report

A migrant, returning from Libya, sits while waiting for registration in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Monday. (Reuters)
Updated 21 November 2017
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Burkina Faso recalls envoy to Libya over ‘slave markets’ report

OUAGADOUGOU: 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 has decided to recall the ambassador to Tripoli, Gen. Abraham Traore, for a consultation,” Barry said.
He had also “summoned the Libyan charge d’affairs in (Burkina Faso’s capital) Ouagadougou to express our indignation at these images that belong to other centuries, images of the slave trade.”
In a news conference on Wednesday, Libya’s ambassador to Burkina Faso, Abdul Rahman Khameda, appealed for help from both the EU and African Union (AU) to help Libya reach a lasting resolution of the migrant crisis.
“Libya alone can not solve this problem,” he said. “We call on the international community to intensify efforts to help Libya cope with this danger (illicit migration), which is tearing at its social fabric.”
African and European leaders are due to meet next week in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, where migration and Europe’s efforts to tackle it by co-opting Libya will be high on the agenda.
“Adopting an effective solution will prevent certain parties from exploiting such unfortunate events to tarnish Libya’s name,” Khameda said.
An agreement between Europe and Africa to stem the flow of migrants coming through Libya to Europe had failed to tackle the severe abuses they face, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein wrote in an article published in September.


Israel reopens people, goods crossings to Gaza

Updated 18 min 25 sec ago
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Israel reopens people, goods crossings to Gaza

  • Hamas disavowed the launch and said it was investigating the incident, as fears of a new war rose
  • Near daily protests along the border since March 30 against Israel’s crippling 11-year blockade of the impoverished enclave have sparked repeated clashes with the army

JERUSALEM: Israel ordered the country’s goods and people border crossings with Gaza to be opened on Sunday, just four days after shuttering them following a Palestinian rocket attack that sparked retaliatory strikes.
“The decision comes after a decrease in the violent events in Gaza over the weekend and efforts (militant Islamist Gaza rulers) Hamas made to restrain” demonstrators, a statement from Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman office read.
On Wednesday, Lieberman had ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom goods crossing and the Erez crossing for people, after a rocket from the Palestinian territory hit a home in southern Israel, prompting the Jewish state to strike 20 Hamas targets in Gaza.
Hamas disavowed the launch and said it was investigating the incident, as fears of a new war rose.
Near daily protests along the border since March 30 against Israel’s crippling 11-year blockade of the impoverished enclave have sparked repeated clashes with the army.
On Friday, thousands again gathered for protests in northern Gaza, but demonstrators largely remained at least 100 meters (yards) from the border.
Hamas officials were seen discouraging protesters from nearing the fence.
Israel had on Wednesday also suspended the delivery of fuel for the Palestinian territory’s power plant that had been trucked daily into Gaza under a deal brokered by the United Nations.
“The decision on the renewal of the fuel from Qatar has been put off as for the time being, and will be examined in a number of days based on the events,” the Sunday statement from Lieberman said.