The Libya Slave Trade - Another Failure in African Leadership
By Abdul Suhood Komeh,
Here’s a recap: Thousands of Africans, including large proportions of women and children have perished in the Mediterranean in recent years. African governments or their continental body, the African Union have done nothing to address the situation.
The main source of the Mediterranean stream of disasters is Libya. So the current Libyan slave story cannot have just emerged out of nowhere. African governments knew about it. But folded their arms.
As is political culture, they expected Europeans to pay them to solve the crisis. So their hopeless supporters can falsely laud them as saviours of their own people (who in essence are victims of their failure). Like they praise them for roads and emergency facilities paid for by international aid.
At the beginning of this just concluded November 2017, 26 Nigerian women were reported dead in the Mediterranean. The African Union did or said nothing serious. Some of you probably never even heard the story - I have not yet seen any ‘Pray for African Women’ posters or solidarity memes here, or on any other platforms. Are they out of fashion now? But of course, the rest of the world has moved on since - it’s just Africans, right?
When we have a situation where it is left with isolated voices in the Western media to lament the lack of coverage for an African tragedy that happened in Europe, you just know, inevitably, frequency has rendered observers numb. This means with the source left uninterrupted, a constant tragedy is normalised to mutate into something far more grotesque. And voila!: the leviathan that is a slave market in Libya, at home, in Africa. Not in 1720 but 2017. Its full circle.
As symbols go, this is the worst, most shameful monument ever to Africa’s failure. Nothing will surpass this. The nadir of nadirs.
Every African leader should be ashamed, very ashamed. The African Union should just do the decent thing and disband - with the three words, UNFIT FOR PURPOSE emblazoned across its multimillion dollars Chinese-sponsored headquarters in Addis Ababa.