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Rwanda offers to take in Africans abused in Libya

Kigali - Rwanda is willing to provide refuge to as many as 30 000 African migrants suffering abuse and slave-like conditions in Libya, the foreign minister told AFP Wednesday. "Rwanda is currently under discussions

Kigali – Rwanda is willing to provide refuge to as many as 30 000 African migrants suffering abuse and slave-like conditions in Libya, the foreign minister told AFP Wednesday.

“Rwanda is currently under discussions… to see how we can help in welcoming migrants held captive in Libya,” said Louise Mushikiwabo. “It has just been decided so numbers and means are still under discussion but Rwanda estimates the number to be welcomed around 30,000,” she said, adding that this figure “is not confirmed yet but an estimation”.

The African Union (AU) added its voice to the outrage that greeted footage last week of African migrants being auctioned at a “slave market” in Libya, and on Tuesday AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat called on African countries to help.

“I appeal to all member states of the African Union, the African private sector and African citizens to make financial contributions to help alleviate the suffering of African migrants in Libya,” Faki said Tuesday. “I urge member states that have logistical means to make them available to facilitate the evacuation of African migrants who wish to leave Libya.”

Earlier on Wednesday Mushikiwabo tweeted in response: “For Africans being sold in Libya: Rwanda is small, but we will find some space!”

Mushikiwabo told AFP that, “Rwanda, like the rest of the world, was horrified by the images of the tragedy currently unfolding in Libya, where African men, women and children who were on the road to exile, have been held and turned into slaves”.

Political philosophy 

“Given Rwanda’s political philosophy and our own history, we cannot remain silent when human beings are being mistreated and auctioned off like cattle,” she said referring to the 1994 genocide in which around 800 000 mostly Tutsi people were killed while the outside world looked on.

Rwanda is a tiny country, roughly the size of Macedonia, with a population of nearly 12 million and Mushikiwabo acknowledged that her nation, “may not be able to welcome everyone, but our door is wide open,” she said.

Rwanda’s offer follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.

African migrants, mostly from the west and Horn of Africa make the dangerous journey to Libya with hopes of making it across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Testimony collected by AFP in recent years has revealed a litany of rights abuses at the hands of gangmasters, human traffickers and the Libyan security forces, while many end up stuck in the unstable north African nation for years.

More than 8 800 stranded migrants have been returned home this year, according to the International Organisation for Migration, which is also amassing evidence of slavery.


Review overview
  • Meretse November 26, 2017

    If a known parasite is a problem then the same parasite can not be a solution, because it simply lacks having two sides. That said. I agree with your last sentence though. Eritrea’s problem is not only on man’s hand: “it is in our hands”.
    If people want to get rid the dictator we have to keep Akrya’s Spring alive.
    The horse is ready on the field.
    Regarding the refugees, I don’t think I have much to say, except Rwanda too is “adiseb”, may be even better than Israel. Currently Reanda is relatively a peaceful country, and its economy is growng fast. Rwandas have learned a big lesson from the mistakes they made in the early nineties. It is a different country now.
    Besides if we refuse to solve our own problem: how on earth do we blame others? Why do we need to have a better Eritrea outside Eritrea?
    Folks we can’t have it both ways. If we chose to “flight rather than fight” let’s Amen it and case close.
    Otherwise, sympathy over there empathy over here it does not work anymore. Bear the burden if you chose it.

  • Aba thimmer November 26, 2017

    I would like to repeat Danilo’s appeal on the above to wage a real demo worldwide. We all know slavery start on our doorstep but unfortunately ignore it ourselves indeed laughable for others.

  • Lewam November 26, 2017

    K. tewolde what a pledge! The best pledge which fits you — I would say is you to pledge to help Eritrea stand on its feet. like by you staying away (stop) from insulting the legit government of Eritrea. Then and only then we will likely minimize the flow of our youth. Did you read the latest news — 100 Eritrean youth at Honduras seashore. Who pay for their travel in a minimum of 20K? Investing 20K for their future. Who do you call them political refuge? I would not.

  • Mohamed November 26, 2017

    Amanuel of Assenna

    For how long you will tolerate insults to Eritrean Muslims by people using your website ?
    Don’t you think it’s getting too much and that you have responsiblity to stop it ?
    If I repost the hate messages we read here every day after replacing the word ‘Muslims’ with the word ‘Christian’, I know how quickly you will react.
    Please stop it.
    If you think insulting Eritrean Muslims is inconsequential you are wrong.

    • Simon G November 29, 2017

      Mohamed Nebsi,
      Few of us have been asking the same question and we got no response but if it helps (just to balance it out), please visit to read an article by the famous Ali Salim. It is very interesting article. This guy has his own world, very clever and keep breaking any taboos. At least for me, I enjoy his articles. I am sure the majority in this forum will disagree with me but it is ok.

  • Hazo November 27, 2017

    Tesfai, you made me laugh then think seriously, by your writing:

    Breaking News: from the Arab Streets:

    When the Arabic and Islamic people heard about the slavery, abuse and beheading of thousands of African asylum seekers and migrants in Egypt-Sinai, Sudan and especially the slave market in the Arab and Muslim Libya, millions of Arab Muslims went to streets of Cairo, Tripoli, Benghazi, Alexandria, Dubai, West Bank Palestine, Khartoum, Riyadh, Kuwait City, Baghdad, Tunis …. as far as Afghanistan and Pakistan, in all Arab and Muslim lands, to condemn the slavery of Africans in Libya and the Arab world “by the Jews people of Israel”.

    They all asked – why is Israel and the Jewish people still selling black Africans to slavery? The Arab world must take military action on Israel.
    We, the Arabic people and their slave Abeeds are proud of our Arabic masters.

    Inshallah, may Allah bless them

  • Isaac R November 28, 2017

    Dear sister Lewam how in the world can you call the dictatorship that never been legitimate government for a second to minimize the flooding of our youths?
    They are the only reason and as long as they are in power I don’t expect any changes ….

  • meretse November 29, 2017

    Brother Simon,
    I think today you have committed a crime. You better start looking for a good lawyer.
    You have said, I read Ali Selam’s article and I kind of loved it because, he has raised issues that no one has dared to touch before. “I think he has broken the taboo.; he is a game changer, and for that I admired him”. Usually, admiring people like Ali Selam costs a price. People from left and right would like to attack you. Some knowing what they are saying, some not knowing, and some following the flow whatever direction goes (bandwagon).
    If you hire a lawyer please ask him to represent me too, because: I SECOND YOU.
    Whether we like it or not the guy is very charismatic. He is a good writer and influential. What he really saying is, I am tired being a politically correct and standing all the time at crossroads. “megedey qeyre aleku,” making a U-turn. Clear Cut. Now whoever has gut come and challenge me. To any charismatic guy like Ali, name calling is nothing. You got to have sharp horns to fight or simply don’t initiat. Going back to some issues he raised boldly, he said, “the Tewahdo religion in Eritrea is in deep crisis,” TRUE or FALSE. DAMN TRUE. Since HGDF start governing Eritrea the Tewahdo religion has given up. Those who follow the Tewahdo religion has to have a permit to follow their faith from HGDF. If this is true then you are adhering ISEIAS First then JESUS Second. Unless someone is living outside this planet who could dare say this isn’t true. If a priest refuses to say the prayers during a burial time just because the deceased was a justice seeker what extra facts do we seek to prove the church is not hijacked by HGDF. Come on, folks let’s wake up from bed and stand for what is right. What Ali did then is going over such facts and details.

    • Simon G November 30, 2017

      Brother Meretse,
      My lawyer has agreed to take your case as well 🙂
      Ali Salim is no fool but he is trying to bring all the forbidden topics by HGDF to surface and create ዕሙር discussion. And, as expected, he did.
      The rest of the items, he added few WRONG sentences deliberately. At least, that’s what I believe.
      What I failed to understand though is some people (like Semere T.) immediately condemn his article while they strongly support a killer HGDF junta. It is not adding up.

  • meretse November 29, 2017

    Nevertheless, Ali also has tried to twist some basic based on mainly based on his belief. He tried to challenge the Tewahdo religion based on Korean scripts, that for me is going over the horizon. Ali Selam wants us to look in the sky and if we can’t see the star he envisioned then we are all blind. Ali, you are entitled to see what you wanted to see or feel what you wanted to feel but you need to stay away from proving mythical stories. If you wish a clue: down in the middle of your article you stated an example how easy is to be a Christian while hard to be a Moslem. For example, you said, “if a baby is born to a Christian family he automatically becomes a Christian—baptism though would assure him/her more. In Islam it does not work that way. There are at least some requirements to take, such as: reciting Korean scripts, pray 5 times a day, and so on.
    One question to you Ali —are you denying all these children who had died or are still dying in the war zones before they even know the names of their dads and mom? Either admit you are wrong or you are proven wrong with the facts you stated.
    Because the same requirement you put to qualify to have a faith failed you disastrously.
    In the end, one way or another—your article was worth reading!!!