Several videos as well as pictures of people allegedly being auctioned off as slaves in Libya has gone viral on the internet and has been met with outrage from citizens of different nations, prompting the UN Secretary-General to call on the international community to “unite in fighting this scourge.”
The main video which was obtained by CNN journalists, who also witnessed the sale of a dozen men in a courtyard outside the country’s capital, Tripoli, shows how unidentified men are offered as a group of “big strong boys for farm work.”
“Does anybody need a digger? This is a digger, a big strong man, he’ll dig,” the auctioneer, who is dressed in camouflage gear, is heard saying. The men were sold for as little as £300, the U.S. broadcaster reported.
“I abhor these appalling acts and call upon all competent authorities to investigate these activities without delay and to bring the perpetrators to justice. I have asked the relevant United Nations actors to actively pursue this matter”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in statement.
After the footage emerged, protests erupted in Paris and other cities, while Libyans expressed solidarity with the victims with the hashtag #LibyansAgainstSlavery.
The Libyan government launched an investigation into the slave auctions, but said the international community needed to provide more support if it was going to tackle the problem.
Meanwhile, prominent celebrities have condemned the happenings in Libya and called for immediate actions by the International Community.
Absolutely no words.
Bringing awareness to this atrocity is
THE ABSOLUTE LEAST we can do.
I'm truly disgusted by the thought of this being possible in this day & age. It's repulsive!!! Don't let this ride…. repost. Kill Your Masters!!!! – @KillerMike voice pic.twitter.com/Ftm3lsJEcX
— T.I. (@Tip) November 28, 2017
This is PURE EVIL!!!!! I'm LIVID!!!! Satin is BUSY as a muuufucka. Spiritual Warfare in full effect.What side u on?
Fight Back… Repost!!!! For more info just google "slave trade in Libya" pic.twitter.com/8WvI0fcR0y
— T.I. (@Tip) November 28, 2017
The slave trade in Libya must be stopped. The west used Military force to help the rebels remove Gaddafi. I believe that gives the West the moral obligation to get this country back on a healthy footing. Remove the slave holders by force and help establish a stable leadership
— LLCOOLJ. (@llcoolj) November 28, 2017
LIBYA!!!! LIBYA!!!!! NOW!!!!! NOW!!! HUMAN BEINGS ARE BEING SOLD, BEATEN, STOLEN FROM THEIR FAMILIES INTO SLAVERY, MURDERERED @POTUS– ACT NOW!!!!! Here’s your chance. ACT NOW!!!!! pic.twitter.com/HdRzmNsZBX
— ⭐Jill Scott⭐ (@missjillscott) November 26, 2017
— COMMON (@common) November 28, 2017
Weeks after CNN started airing videos, President Muhammadu Buhari finally spoke on the incident on Wednesday.
According to a statement by the presidency, Mr. Buhari condemned the act in Cote d’ Ivoire on Tuesday night at an interactive session with members of the Nigerian Community.
Mr. Buhari said it was appalling that “some Nigerians (in the footage) where being sold like goats for few dollars in Libya.”
The president’s reaction comes two weeks after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on November 15 condemned the act.
“It is sad and unbelievable that such horror scenes which belong in the darker pages of the history books, could be re-enacted in this day and age,” Mr. Abubakar, who recently dumped Mr. Buhari’s APC, said according to a statement by his office on that day.