Hundreds of demonstrators have staged protest rallies in France and Italy, pointing the finger of blame for the “chaotic situation” and “human horror show” in the North African state at Europe, which supported a military intervention there back in 2011.
The protests were held in front of the Libyan embassies in Paris and Rome on Friday, days after US television network CNN aired footage of a live auction in Libya, where refugees were being sold as farmhands for as little as 400 dollars to North African buyers.
French demonstrators denounced their country’s military role in the Libyan uprising in 2011, when the then-French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, pushed for military strikes there. “They are able to resolve this problem, since they (NATO) were the ones that created it. And legally, those who created the problem are responsible.”
“To destroy Libya, Nicolas Sarkozy even moved the Charles de Gaulle (aircraft carrier), the French military to go bomb a sovereign country,” he added. “There, at the moment, if a small group is capturing people and reducing them to slavery, it’s because the Charles de Gaulle or the soldiers, France’s special units, cannot resolve it.”
Italy now has 5.000 NATO troops stationed in Libya to protect the oil refineries and oil ports, so the super sweet crude can be transported to Europe. The Italians are supported by 1.000 French special forces, and 1.000 British troops, but pay no attention to the lucrative human trafficking going on. The African slaves end up working for the EU’s heavy industries.
In Rome, Italian demonstrators also denounced the reported slave auctions outside the Libyan Embassy, chanting “Slaves never again, as CNN’s footage showed us – that in the 21st century slavery exists in this way – human beings sold at auction, because it’s just intolerable.”
The video footage by CNN triggered outrage from the African Union and international calls for inquiry. Libya has faced a power vacuum since a NATO military intervention resulted in the assassination of its longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Since then, the country has been grappling with chaos and the emergence of numerous militant groups, including the Takfiri ISIS terror group.
Libya currently has two governments, one based in the capital, Tripoli, and the other based in the eastern city of Tobruk. Libyan military commander General Khalifa Haftar in Tobruk does not recognize the authority of the Tripoli-based the GNA, which is corruptly recognized by the UN.
Since the NATO-led intervention, the country has also become a key departure point for refugees and asylum seekers, who risk their lives leaving Libyan ports on ill-equipped boats in the hope of reaching Europe. The boats are usually intercepted by European military coast guard vessels once they enter international waters.
Citing estimates provided by embassies, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says the total population of refugees in Libya is about 700,000 to 1 million people, mainly coming from Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Syria and Mali.
The IOM also announced that nearly 5,000 refugees, or 16 people a day, have died this year amid ongoing exodus from conflict zones to Europe.
Many also blame major European powers for the mass displacement of Iraqis and Syrians, saying their policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in the two Middle Eastern states.
CNN / AA Magnum Analyst News 2017.