CNN’s revelations of apparent slave auctions in Libya have sparked worldwide condemnation. President Ouattara says the outrage should be followed by the prosecution of the perpetrators in international court / Photo: FRANCE 24 screenshot

Condemning Libya’s migrant slave auctions not enough, says Ivorian leader

President Alassane Ouattara has expressed his “disgust” at recent revelations over African migrants being sold as slaves in Libya, demanding that those guilty of these crimes be brought to justice by the International Criminal Court.

President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire has said that condemning the auctioning of African migrants as slaves in Libya is not enough, calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Speaking in an interview with FRANCE 24, Ouattara described the auctioning of human beings as “disgusting” and the world should not be contented with simply condemning the despicable crime. “The issue should be pursued by the ICC,” he advocated.

The Ivorian leader identified youth unemployment at the root of the ongoing migrant crisis and said that African countries had an important role to play in solving the problem. In his words, if the youths would be gainfully employed at home, they would not venture out of their countries in an irregular manner.

A Nigerian interviewed by CNN in a migrant detention centre near Tripoli who revealed that he was sold. The report by the American news channel reveals a Libya where Africans are sold for as little as $400 / Photo: Screenshot CNN


Ouattara refused to lay the blame of the crisis on Europe, saying that Africa had a primary responsibility to its own citizens.

“For us Africans, we have to make our countries more attractive for private investment. What I am most concerned with is what we can do for ourselves.

“What others can do for us is fine.”

Ouattara also said issues such as climate change affect the economic fortunes of Africa even though it is the least polluters in the world. He called for an international response to the negative impact of climate change on the continent.

The president said the EU-African Summit, which takes place in Abidjan on 29-30 November, will address the issues of migration and youth employment in Africa.

Sola Jolaoso


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