Creating new perspectives since 2009

Nigeria flies migrants home from Libya after slavery scare

November 29, 2017 at 7:03 pm

African migrants are being sold as slaves in Libya [PapillonBelier/Twitter]

Nigeria’s president said today the government had started bringing stranded citizens home from Libya after a global outcry over reports that migrants there were being sold into slavery.

Muhammadu Buhari’s comments came days after CNN aired footage that appeared to show men being auctioned as farm hands in Libya after being smuggled across the Sahara.

Libya’s UN-backed government has said it is investigating.

“The situation in Libya, of people being sold into slavery, is appalling and unacceptable. We will do everything to protect our citizens wherever they might be,” Buhari wrote on his Twitter account.

Nigeria had “started bringing back home all Nigerians stranded in Libya and elsewhere,” he added.

The UN’s International Organisation for Migration said 239 Nigerians flew home from Tripoli yesterday.

Migrants have regularly faced abuse in Libya where their money is taken by smugglers in return for space on dinghy boats where people often drown while attempting to cross the Mediterranean or they are forced to live in detention centres where they face torture and rape.

Read More: France seeks UNSC meeting on migrants in Libya