Libyan Neo-Slavery: The Harsh Reality Nobody Is Addressing

By Ikenga Chronicles November 27, 2017

Libyan Neo-Slavery: The Harsh Reality Nobody Is Addressing

In October of this year, an exclusive report by CNN exposed what a few secretly knew of before, but never openly discussed. It is the issue of selling of human beings as if they are merchandise, in Libya. Libya’s strategic positioning as the mouth through which one may make a final leap to Europe ( and by extension greener pastures) makes it the hub of such activities, as young people from Africa, anxious for a better life, seek to cross over to Europe.

Haunted by poverty and lack of opportunities which have been exacerbated by corrupt leadership, these young people see Europe as the solution to their quest to make ends meet. So they gather whatever money they can, borrow from people even, and then seek the services of smugglers who would promise to take them through the scorching Sahara, through Libya, to Europe. But often times, the story never goes as it is marketed to the prospective travellers, by the smugglers. Many have found out the hard way that it mostly ends in severe inhuman treatment, and in some cases, tortuous death. Many Nigerians who were deported from Libya, have come back, pale shadows of the persons who left, most times, with even diseases. These young people are often times beaten with woods, stabbed repeatedly, and sometimes, their “masters”play Russian roulette with them!

Also, there is the gory fact that you can make it to Libya, survive all the harsh conditions, and ultimately ( as was the case with the 26 Nigerian women) lose your life on the Mediterranean Sea. Still daily, many still troop out.

But it is the issue of the modern day slavery which has now become public knowledge that is the most heart rending. Somehow, the world has been taken back to hundreds of years ago, when humans were sold to others for mere mirrors and cups. Except that in Libya’s neo-slavery, money has become the measure of value, and thus able-bodied young men are sold off for as little as $400! It is the height of dehumanization.

However, while many have condemned the neo-slavery in Libya, not many have seen the need to raise placards against the many governments in Africa, who have failed their citizens such that they now have to find all means necessary to flee to Europe. Without that need to run away from their country at all costs, there would not have been enough firewood, to set or maybe sustain the fire of neo-slavery that many are now shouting about. It is the presence of numerous individuals, all struggling to get to Europe through Libya that birthed this pathetic situation.

As the situation escalates, it must be remembered that as long as African youths continue to fail to find the needed opportunities in their countries, the Libyan slave trade will continue to flourish. Setting up structures to dismantle it in Tripoli, without first of all plugging the all important opening that leads to the massive exodus, will continue to fail as the youths will always find a way to try and get to Europe.

African leaders have failed Africa. It is this failure that has resulted in the commencement of a new form of slavery. A slavery that will never come to an end until those at the helm of affairs become true leaders.