Libyan officials have denounced the migrant slave auctions exposed in a CNN investigation, but claim more support is required from the global community to tackle the issue.
The United Nations-backed Libyan Government of National Accord, or GNA, said it’s keen to address violations against illegal immigrants but called upon regional and global partners to provide assistance.
Libya “is going through difficult times which affected its own citizens as well. It is, therefore, not fair to assume responsibility for the consequences of this immigration, which everyone unanimously agreed that addressing this phenomenon exceeds the national capacities,” the GNA statement read.
“We affirm again that the practical solution is to address the real reasons that drive people to leave their home countries, treat them and develop final solutions for them,” it continued.
On Tuesday, Libya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated that a committee has been established to investigate the auctions but asked “the international community to intensify in a spirit of responsibility and joint cooperation to assist Libya.”
Smugglers exploit migration crisis
A CNN team traveled to Tripoli last month after obtaining footage of a migrant auction. While there, they witnessed a dozen men being auctioned off for as little as $400 each.
CNN was told of slave markets at nine locations across Libya, but many more auctions are believed to take place each month. CNN believes some of the auction sites are in territory controlled by the GNA, but others are not; the GNA does not control the entire country.