NORTH AFRICA

France calls UN Security Council meeting over Libya slavery

A migrant embarks on the ship Vos Hestia after being rescued by "Save the Children" NGO in the Mediterranean sea off Libya coast. (Reuters)

France on Wednesday called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over slave-trading in Libya as President Emmanuel Macron blasted the auctioning of Africans as a crime against humanity.

“France decided this morning to ask for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss this issue,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament.

“We are doing it as a permanent member of the Security Council. We have this capability and we are using it.”

Macron said the auctions, captured on film in footage aired by US network CNN, were “scandalous” and “unacceptable”.

“It is a crime against humanity,” he said after meeting with African Union chief Alpha Conde.

“I hope we can go much further in the fight against traffickers who commit such crimes, and cooperate with all the countries in the network to dismantle these networks.”

CNN aired footage last week of an apparent auction where black men were presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.

But the European Union -- which is increasingly influenced by the French president -- has also been criticized for cooperating with the Libyan coastguard to prevent migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

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Last Update: Thursday, 23 November 2017 KSA 23:53 - GMT 20:53
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