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Meanwhile, African migrants in Libya are being sold into slavery for $400 a pop
I understand the impulse to distrust anything that comes from CNN, but this is not Chris Cuomo and Wolf Blitzer yammering about American politics. This is a well-reported and verified story that's gotten the attention of governments throughout the western world.
Libya has been in chaos since that guy in a Yankees hat killed Khadafy, not because there was anything good about Khadafy but simply because no one had an idea what would come next - and the forces poised to seize control and influence were nefarious to say the least. How nefarious?
You have to see it for yourself:
France is taking the lead on this, and is getting a lot of other countries and multinational organizations together to a) put a stop to it; and b) try to rescue as many people as they can:
The CNN footage showed youths from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries being sold to buyers for about $400 (£300) at undisclosed locations in Libya.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has flown 10,000 migrants home from Libya this year under a voluntary repatriation plan. Mr Macron said the EU, UA and UN had agreed to bolster support for the OIM to "help Africans who so wish to return to their countries of origin".
The IOM said that a big increase in voluntary repatriation flights from Libya was expected as a result of “moral outrage around the world” prompted by the video of the slave market.
In Wednesday's talks, leaders also decided to "set up a proactive communication campaign destined for Africans to denounce human trafficking in Libya and to discourage those who fall for the sirens of smugglers promising the earth".
The UN, at France's request, will hold a special Security Council session on the stranded migrants in Libya this week.
Libya has promised to investigate the slavery claims, and to set up a “transit and departure facility” in Tripoli for people in need of international protection and help in being sent to third countries.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said that all Nigerians stranded in Libya and other parts of the world will be brought home and "rehabilitated," calling it appalling that "some Nigerians were being sold like goats for few dollars".
I think I join most of you in having little use for most multinational institutions, particularly the United Nations, because they have shown how useless they are in preventing real human rights tragedies. That's precisely because they back down at every opportunity to stand up to dictators, tyrants and thugs even as they pass their predictable resolutions condemning Israel for protecting itself.
But if ever there was an opportunity for these people to prove their worth, this is it. There is little law to speak of in Libya, and however ill-advised it may have been for the migrants to go there, that doesn't mean they deserved to be kidnapped and sold into slavery. These people need to be set free, and the people behind these auctions and the resulting trafficking need to be prosecuted under some sort of law. That gets tricky when you're dealing with international law, which isn't really law at all but is basically a patchwork of treaties and agreements with little force behind them.
But I'll leave the legal niceties to the lawyers. The first priority has to be to free the victims and apprehend the kidnappers, as well as their, er . . . customers.
It's astonishing how little humanity seems to value the lives of its own, whether you're talking about unborn fetuses, old people who are costing money to care for or people like these migrants. I am not an advocate of generous welfare programs that breed dependency, but you already know that. What I am an advocate of is freedom and basic decency, and the world is losing sight of why these things are important.
There needs to be more attention paid to this travesty. We beat up on CNN a lot around here - for good reason - so we'll give them credit here for bringing this story to light, and pray that those taking action in response to it are able to succeed. If the story stays in the global spotlight, that will help to prevent the perps from fading into the shadows such that the people they stole will never see the light of day again.
We can't let that happen.
Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!