On 12 December 2017 more than 300 people marched with African Diaspora Forum (ADF) against slave trades and human trafficking in Libya. The mood of the marchers was emotional as others roped themselves with chains to express their feelings about what their fellow Africans are experiencing. Shouts of “we are not for sale!”, “we are not slaves!” and chants of struggle songs could be heard in the streets of Tshwane.
According to videos making rounds on social media African men are being sold at slave auctions in Libya for $400. Many international organisations, including the United Nations, have raised concerns about the slave trafficking in Libya and have called for it to stop.
African Nationals gathered at Church Square in Pretoria to handover the memorandum to the Presidency of South Africa, Libyan Embassy to South Africa, African Union Pan-African Parliament, United Nations, and the European Union. Zwelinzima Vavi, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) General Secretary said “shame on you African leaders who do not care about our fellow Africans”. He continued by saying “we urge all African leaders to stop what is happening in Libya”.
Chairperson of African Diaspora Forum (ADF) Marc Gbaffou said “We the people of the world, on the African Continent, represented here in South Africa by the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), faith denominations and community based organisations, trade unions and concerned citizens of the world, have come to you to express our indignation with regard to the ongoing slave trade and human trafficking in Libya”. “We demand your immediate intervention to stop this crime against humanity”, Gbaffou concluded.
After the speeches Gbaffou read the memorandum to the Libyan Embassy, which included a call for the Libya to stop the slave trade and to take measures to ensure that such atrocities do not occur anymore within the borders in Libya. The memorandum called on Libya to bring the perpetrators to book and for them to face the full might of the law with immediate effect. “We wish to remind you that these heinous acts do not have a place in the 21st century and that we the people of the world in general, and Africans in particular find this practice reprehensible”, he said.