Alpha Blondy wants AU, ECOWAS action after CNN exposé on African migrants being traded as slaves in Libya / Photo courtesy of Radio Uhuru

Alpha Blondy calls for African action on Libyan slave markets

Legendary Ivorian reggae musician, Alpha Blondy, known in private life as Seydou Kone, has waded into the debate for sub-Saharan African leaders to help protect their citizens wherever they find themselves.

His recent call is on the African Union and the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, to take decisive action on migrant abuse in the North African country of Libya, failure for which civil society must stand up to fill that role.

Blondy was reacting to a recent investigative piece by American channel, CNN, on the strife and hustle that migrants in the country suffer at the hands of their captors and traffickers.

In a Facebook post titled “To Presidents of the African Union and ECOWAS,” he wrote a message in French – a translation of which is as follows.

“Let me apologize for telling you that we are Africans who count on you to defend us and to protect us, we are surprised and amazed at your silence over the dismal, humiliating and unacceptable situation that your nationals, brothers, sisters, our sons and daughters are sold as slaves in Libya (a member of the African Union).

Some of the more than 16,000 migrants, mostly sub-Saharans, rescued in Sabratha, a town located 80km west of Tripoli, in early October. About 6,000 others are believed to still being held by trafficking gangs in the area / Photograph: UNHCR


“You and your information services must have seen CNN reporting on a ‘slave auction’ of your nationals, in captivity in Libya (at the very moment I’m talking to you). What are you waiting for before you respond and intervene? But what are you waiting for?!

“This cry of the heart is not a call to violence, but I ask all Africans and all those who have been shocked by this act that constitutes a crime against humanity to assemble at all Libyan embassies in their respective countries, until the total liberation of all captives in Libyan territory.”

Blondy is on record to have called on the AU to address issues of rising conflict across the continent. He is also a UN Ambassador for Peace for his native Ivory Coast.

Alpha Blondy, in an interview with Africanews last year, bemoaned how the political bloc had looked on as foreign forces entered Libya and joined rebel groups to kill then leader Muammar Gaddafi.

“I am very disappointed by the fact that the African Union allowed Colonel Gaddafi to be killed,” he said.

“The African Union exists but it is France that has to protect Mali. What is the role of the African Union if the African Union is not capable of defending the African interest? What is their role?”

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban/Africannews

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