Gambia, one of the country’s with the largest human exodus trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean on Wednesday condemned the selling of its citizens and other African migrants in slaves markets.
The West African nation’s Foreign Secretary, Ousainou Darboe said he is dismayed by the ongoing horrific and indignant reports on the sale of African migrants as slaves in Libya.
“Gambia denounces in the strongest terms, slavery in all its forms and considers the practice an egregious violation of human rights and human dignity,” said Darboe.
“Such inhumane and degrading acts are against the high values of freedom, justice, and respect for human rights cherished by all civilized societies.”
Gambia’s condemnation came after Burkina Faso recalled its ambassador to Libya over the CNN report that black African migrants were being auctioned as slaves there.
The migrants, mostly from Western Africa trek across the Sahara to reach Tripoli, where traffickers huddle them on rubber dinghies across the sea to Italy or Greece.
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.
Abdul Rahman Khameda, appealed for help from both the European Union and African Union to help Libya reach a lasting resolution of the migrant crisis.
“Libya alone cannot 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.
[Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Reporting from Reuters]