By Samuel Opio and Peter Ssebulime
Pan-Africanists in Uganda under their umbrella Organization The Pan-African Pyramid on Thursday 7th held a peaceful match to the Libyan Embassy in Kampala demonstrating over the alleged modern day ‘slave trade’ of African migrants and refugees, allegedly taking place in various parts of Libya.
According to CNN report released recently, more than twenty thousand (20.000) migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are allegedly being unlawfully held in detention centers under inhumane conditions with little access to food, water or medical care. They also face brutal treatment like beatings, torture and rape.
“Fully aware of the definition of Pan-Africanism as an ideology and movement that encourages the solidarity of Africans worldwide. It’s based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to ‘unify and uplift’ people of African descent.
The ideology asserts that the fate of all African peoples and countries are intertwined. At its core Pan-Africanism is “a belief that African peoples, both on the continent and in the diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny” read part of the petition.
“In the same spirit above, following CNN’s recent allegations of ‘migrant slave auctions’ taking place in Libya, it’s crucial that we effectively call on Libyan Gov’t, European Union whose role in the killing of one of Africa’s greatest sons brother Col. Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi is still fresh in our minds and African leaders to protect African migrants and refugees from horrific human rights abuses” read part of the strongly worded petition.
In their petition read by the Organization’s Speaker/ Chairman Andrew Irumba Katusabe, Pan-Africanists made four (4) demands; A detailed response statement from the Libyan Gov’t on the aforementioned allegations ,release all African migrants and refugees from illegal detention centers and end the arbitrary detention of refugees and migrants in Libya, Investigate all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of refugees and African migrants in Libya,and ensure that the perpetuators are prosecuted, review the migration policy cooperations to prioritize protecting the human rights of refugees and African migrants, instead of trapping them in Libya and formally recognize the UNHCR and allow them to carry out their mandate including protecting the asylum seekers and refugees-the petition read in part.
In her response, the Libyan Ambassador to Uganda H.E Naima Algihani (minister plenipotentiary) confirmed the Libyan Gov’t was closely following up on the ‘fabricated’ media broadcasts by CNN on Libya.
“Basing on the teachings of our true Islamic religion, values and traditions rooted in our culture and inherited from our forefathers, which urge the honor of the guest and the passerby, and respect for humanity regardless of religion and race, the government of National Reconciliation and its commitment to the principles of the universal declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human Rights and regional and international agreements in this regard, initiated the task of investigating the incident and revealing its truth and to inform the local and international public opinion on the dimensions and bring those responsible to justice and pledged to prosecute and punish officials, if this practice shall be proved to have occurred from any person who was inside Libyan territory” Libyan Gov’t’s statement read in part.
“The photos being spread by CNN of alleged torture and detention are 2011 photos taken during the war which was suctioned and supervised by NATO and European Union against Libya. They are the same people now recycling them to suit their interests in Libya” added Mr.Salah Gyryani the Embassy’s P.R.O & IT.
Niger refutes CNN claims that their citizens are being sold in Libya:
According to the statement released by the Embassy of Niger in Tripoli on 26th Nov 2017 which the Embassy in Kampala shared with the press on Thursday, the Nigerian Embassy in Tripoli refuted as ‘total lies’ claims that its citizens are being sold as slaves in Libya.
“The number of Nigerians imprisoned in Libya is 211 people, sixty seven (67) of them for crimes have been tried and are serving their sentences in three Libyan civilian prisons. The rest of the detainees are related to illegal immigration, where the Embassy negotiates with the Libyan authorities for their release, and often succeeds in this endeavor. Therefore the Embassy rubbishes the claims that say the Nigerians detained in Libya are being sold as slaves.” Read part of the statement from the Nigerian Embassy in Tripoli Libya.
Libya is the main gateway for people attempting to illegally reach Europe by sea, with more than 150,000 people making the crossing in each of the past three years.
The Pan-African Pyramid is an intellectual non-partisan discussion forum built on the Pillars of Pan-Africanism, Patriotism and Nationalism whose Ideal/pre-occupation is to revive intellectual discourse among the youths with a bias of re-constructing our lost Pan-Africanism, patriotism and Nationalism Values and spirit, registered as anon-profit non-racist Organization.