Members of Wellbeing Economy Africa Network rose from her meeting held in Pretoria, South Africa, 27-29 November 2017, with a strong demand for an end to modern day enslavement of migrants and refugees in Libya and for the prosecution of those complicit in the dehumanising acts for crimes against humanity.
WE-Africa recognises that the obnoxious phenomenon that has manifested in Libya is a culmination of a number of factors, none of which, however, excuses the inhuman acts. Such factors include being rentier states riddled with conflicts and dependent on wasteful economic policies that do not meet the basic needs of citizens. Some of these refugees were thus seeking an escape from poverty, war, unemployment and had already endured the hazards of passing through the hostile Sahara Desert. Their journeys into slavery began as migrants as well as economic, political and climate refugees hoping to their ways to the Mediterranean coasts of Libya and crossing over to Europe.
We Africa recognizes that facilitating the down fall of regimes through external military intervention without creating the necessary conditions for a democratic transition has created a fertile condition for serious humanitarian disasters and human right abuses. An example is the military intervention in Libya by NATO that has given birth to the present situation.
WE-Africa calls on the European Union to recall its complicity in the destruction of Libya and not to forget their long-standing relations with Africa, including historical, ecological and climate debts, and ease access to their territory as this would eliminate the power of illicit cartels trading in human misery.
WE-Africa regrets that at a time when economies of African nations are said to be growing, the social and economic realities of citizens remain abysmal.
We call on the African Union and African governments to
- Request the United Nations Human Right Commission to conduct a detailed investigation and bring those who are accountable for this terrible and inhuman act to justice.
- Go beyond demanding for a probe of the subhuman treatment being meted to Africans by other Africans on our continent and take an immediate diplomatic and political actions to stop these inhuman acts
- To carry out investigations on why their citizens prefer to embark on the hazardous journey to Libya rather than remain in their home countries
- Urgently put in place pro-people measures that ensures full employment, security, access to health, education and other social needs.
- Urgently recognize and utilize the rich human resources and gifts of Nature in the continent to derive alternatives pathways to wellbeing, including increased human development indices.
- Question the use of indices such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that give false notions of growth while citizens groan under the weight of unjust and inequitable economic relations.
- Embrace Wellbeing Economy defined to capture African realities, build the pathway to an egalitarian future and entrenched in the spirit of Ubuntu.
We cannot be silent. African governments cannot be silent. Time to act is now!