Rwanda has come out against the sale of African migrants as slaves in Libya by offering shelter and transportation to thousands of the victims.
This morning, African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki revealed that Rwanda has offered to ‘transport and offer shelter’ to thousands of these migrants.
The news caused social media frenzy with thousands of people hailing Rwanda – a small, landlocked East African nation for coming out fast to save thousands of people from modern slavery.
Commenting on the decision, Rwanda’ Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said it was a noble decision for Rwandans – given the bad experience they have gone through as ‘stateless’.
“Indeed, Rwanda’s political philosophy and the experience of many Rwandans for many years of not having a country they call home, have led this country to feel for refugees, migrants, stateless persons,” Mushikiwabo tweeted this morning.
“For Africans being sold in Libya: Rwanda is small, but we will find some space!”
Shortly after announcing Rwanda’s decision to shelter the migrants, AU chief Moussa Faki Mahamat challenged the continent saying; “I am deeply appreciative of the offer made by the government of Rwanda to resettle up to 30 000 African migrants languishing in Libya or transport those who wish to return to their countries of origin.”
“I call on all African Member States, private sector and African citizens to pool resources and add the voices to support our brothers and sisters suffering in Libya,” Mahamat said this afternoon.
Demonstrations have been sweeping throughout Libyan embassies as Africans resisted what they termed ‘heinous modern style of slavery’ following live footage of Libyan forces selling migrants mostly to Europeans.
The International Organization for Migration says an estimated 700,000 to 1 million migrants are camped in Libya – with more than 2,000 already dead.
These migrants mostly arrive in Libya while fleeing armed conflict and persecution from their home countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
They trek through the vast deserts to Libya and later sail the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Many sink and die due to overcrowded boats.
Francine Muyumba, President of the Panafrican Youth Union had appealed to African leaders and the African Union in general to “set up an emergency commission to visit Libya to end these atrocities immediately.”