[WATCH] Rwanda offers refuge to 30,000 African migrants in Libya

In the wake of a video which showed men being auctioned off as farm workers in Libya, Rwanda has offered refuge 

(Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Rwanda has offered to give refuge to about 30,000 African migrants stuck in Libya in enslaved conditions.

This came in the wake of a video released by CNN last week, which showed men being auctioned off as farm workers.


“Given our own history… we cannot remain silent when human beings are being mistreated and auctioned off like cattle,” said the foreign ministry.

Hundreds of thousands of African travel their way through Libya on a  yearly basis as they attempt to make their way through Europe but are often held by smugglers and forced to work for little to no cash.

During Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, around 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu were massacred in the span of 100 days.

“Rwanda, like the rest of the world, was horrified by the images of the tragedy currently unfolding in Libya, where African men, women and children, who were on the road to exile, have been held and turned into slaves,” said the foreign ministry statement.

Louise Mushikiwabo, foreign minister, told the pro-government New Times newspaper that Rwanda was in talks with the African union (AU) Commission, to determine how to intervene and resettle the Africans in question.

“What I expect and know is that Rwandans will welcome these people. As Rwandans we are sensitive to people who are helpless and have no way of protecting themselves. It is something that is deep in ourselves, we take pride in human beings,” the paper quotes her as saying.

Mushikiwabo added that negotiations were continuing with Israel, regarding the accommodation of African migrants seeking asylum there.

Last week, the AU expressed outrage after footage emerged, appearing to show slave markets in Libya. Youths from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries were observed, being sold to buyers for around €340, at undisclosed locations in Libya.

This came after the International Organisation for Migration’s (IOM) announcement, that it had gathered evidence of slavery in Libya, back in April.

According to an IOM official in Libya, smugglers hold migrants for ransom, and if their families cannot pay the price, the migrants were sold off to prospective buyers at different prices, depending on their qualifications. 

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