By Zeinab Mohammed Salih.
New York, 28 November 2017:
In a special session called by France to discus reported auctions of West Africans as slaves in Libya, the UN Security Council today condemned the alleged trade. France itself said that those involved should be sanctioned and that it would try and find out who they were.
“Impunity cannot be tolerated,” France’s UN ambassador, Francois Delattre, stressed.
“France will propose to assist the sanctions committee … in identifying responsible individuals and entities for trafficking through Libyan territory,” he told the SC today.
“We must go much further, much further in terms of saying ‘no’ to an unacceptable situation,” he added,
UK deputy representative Jonathan Allen said that it was only through sustained, united action that the slave trade and the exploitation of migrants could be eradicated.
“The United Kingdom would continue to work with the authorities on improving centres under their control and providing other assistance, but a stable Libya is the most important element in improving the situation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fadi El Abdallah told journalists at the UN today that the issue of the enslaving sub-Sahran Africans in Libya might be brought to the court if there was enough evidence. “Crimes including slavery and sexual slavery and so on can be actually brought before the ICC judges but it’s something that investigators have to get evidence for.”
He added: “We have to focus on the crimes of that falls on our own jurisdiction first, and then we need to see what evince are available.”
Ivorian President Ouattara last Saturday demanded that anyone involved in slave trading in Libya should be sent to the ICC.