ECOWAS Reacts To Libyan Slave Trade

By Ikenga Chronicles November 30, 2017

ECOWAS Reacts To Libyan Slave Trade

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Wednesday reacted to the alleged sale of illegal African migrants “mostly Nigerians” as slaves in Libya.

President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alain de Souza said this while presenting the Status Report on the State of the Community to the Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.

According to him, ECOWAS does not have enough funds to rescue migrants in Libya but has sought assistance from the international community for immediate assistance.

“The problem is that at this point in time, we do not have anything official from Morocco or Tunisia. We hear about it but there is no proper or thorough investigation and there is nothing documented.

“With regard to their inclusion in ECOWAS, they will be bound to ensure that they look after our citizens within their shores; but at the end of the day, there is no guarantee with regards to that.

“Through engagement, we will be able to put our interests forward to ensure that these states know that we do not take likely the maltreatment of any of our community’s citizens and what is happening across North Africa right now is unacceptable.

“We do not know how many exactly of our youths are in Libya or where all of them are because we understand that some of them are being held in different detention centres.

“We do not have enough funds to go to Libya and bring them, so we have written to the International Organisation for Migration for immediate and urgent assistance.

“We are still trying to stop the tide of youths flowing northwards; we have to keep them (youths) by giving them reasons to stay and find decent living for themselves.

“But if we continue this trend with very little funds, there is also very little we can do. We are constantly engaging our donors to try to immediately do something for us.”