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Archbishop Tutu Fellows condemn auction of black Africans in Libya


Illegal immigrants, who were rescued by the Libyan coastguard in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast, arrive at a naval base in the capital Tripoli on May 26, 2017.<br />At least 20 boats carrying thousands of migrants on their way to Italy were spotted off the coast of the western city of Sabratha, the Libyan navy said. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA

The Archbishop Tutu Fellows, a collection of about 300 emerging African leaders, have condemned the live auction of black Africans in Libya and called on nations whose citizens were sold into slavery to cut diplomatic ties with the North African country.

In a footage aired on Cable News Network (CNN) about two weeks ago, migrants from sub-Saharan nations were seen being auctioned off for as low as $400 at an undisclosed location in Libya. The men were bought to work as farmhands.

“Slavery in Libya is a crime against humanity and immediate action is required by all stakeholders, including African governments, to put an end to this outrageous practice and hold responsible parties accountable,” the Fellows said in a statement on Wednesday.

Besides, the Fellows urged African leaders, the United Nations (UN) Security Council, and its related organs, to urgently declare the practice of slavery – particularly in Libya – a threat against humanity.

They also urged the continent’s leaders to work closely with civil societies and member-states to arrest the illicit trade and create an effective punitive frame-work to combat slavery globally.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday described the situation as “appalling and unacceptable.” His Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Akufo-Addo, said the situation had made “mockeries of the alleged solidarity of African nations grouped in the African Union (AU) of which Libya is a member.”

Although only one of the auctioned men was confirmed to be a Nigerian, the CNN report that broke the story indicated that some of the black African migrants currently being held at Libya’s Treeq Alsika Migrant Detention Centre were from Nigeria and Ghana.

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