The Nigerian government has started to repatriate its citizens from Libya following media footage of sub-Saharan Africans being auctioned as farm hands for as little as $400 after they were smuggled across the Sahara, Reuters reports.
“The situation in Libya, of people being sold into slavery, is appalling and unacceptable. We will do everything to protect our citizens wherever they might be,” Buhari wrote on his Twitter account.
Nigeria had “started bringing back home all Nigerians stranded in Libya and elsewhere,” he added.
The UN International Organisation for Migration confirmed that 239 Nigerians were flown home from the Libyan capital Tripoli on Tuesday.
The same day France appealed to the 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in Washington to apply targeted sanctions on individuals in Libya involved in human rights abuses and trafficking.
French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said the council should use sanctions to help stamp out trafficking in Libya.
“France will propose to assist the sanctions committee in identifying responsible individuals and entities for trafficking through Libyan territory,” Delattre told the council. “We count upon support of the members of the council to make headway to that end.”
Libya’s UN-backed government has said it is investigating.
– African News Agency (ANA)