Three Ghanaians Claim They Were Sold As Slaves In Libya – Foreign Minister

A migrant looks out from behind the bars of a cell at the detention centre in Garian, Libya, Tuesday 31 January 2017. The Garian detention centre, located 70 kilometres south of Tripoli, was constructed in 2006 following an agreement between the Italian and Libyan governments in an attempt to stem the flow of migrants reaching Italy. When UNICEF visited the centre on 31 January 2017, the population consisted of 27 women (four of whom were pregnant), one 11-month old child, a four year old, as well as 1,352 men - of which 250 were under the age of 16. The centre is at the crossroads of areas controlled by different militias fighting with each other: the Warshafana, the militias of Tripoli and the militias who support Haftar in Benghazi. For this reason it is a very dangerous centre, for officers who work there and for migrants in detention. The detention centre is currently managed by the Libyan National Army, and most migrants remain there for a period of 8 to 10 months according to the manager Abdalhamad Altunisa. "Children are often alone, they cross 2000 kilometres of desert without their families, and they are rescued at sea without documents”, said Altunisia “this makes it difficult for us to know their real nationality and age. Before 2014 we brought them back to the border between Nigeria and Libya to take them back to their countries, but after the last civil war it was much more difficult. Those areas are dangerous even for us”. Migrants who were being held in the cells said they are rarely allowed out. Many of the those being held are sick, and some detainees are said to have passed away because they have no access to medical care. The director of the centre, Altunisa, said "the official government [of Sarraj] does not give us the money to pay salaries and to pay those who bring us food. So often we do not have enough food or drinking water. This winter was particularly cold and in recent weeks 15 migrants froze to death." Libya is a country in tu

At least three Ghanaian migrants have reported being among those who were auctioned as slaves in Libya, Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway has revealed.

The claimants whose identities are yet to be established, are said to have told Ghanaian officials that they were abducted by their captors after they ran out of funds to continue their journey across the Maghreb region into Europe.

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In the grainy mobile footage, unidentified men are offered up as a group of “big strong boys for farm work” for as little as £300, international broadcaster, CNN reported.

Some 168 Ghanaians were early on reportedly caught up in the situation but authorities have confirmed that these Ghanaians are being kept in formal detention centers in Libya due to non-possession of proper travel documents and are awaiting deportation.

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In a statement Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said the detainees were arrested on “illegal immigration charges and were already being held in detention camps.”Video footage of migrants sold in apparent slave auction in Libya provoked worldwide outrage, with UN Secretary-General António Guterres urging the international community to unite in fighting this scourge.

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In the grainy mobile footage, unidentified men are offered up as a group of “big strong boys for farm work” for as little as £300, international broadcaster, CNN reported.