Libyan government has rejected the reports of slave auctions within its borders.
It described the reports as a campaign to portray the country as racist and accused African governments of failing to take responsibility for the well-being of their citizens.
Libyan Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Elmahdi Elmajerb, said this yesterday at a special UN Security Council meeting summoned by France over the alleged slave auction in the North African country.
“Libya is the victim of a large-scale false media campaign of defamation to portray it as a racist country,” said Elmajerb at the meeting.
The Libyan envoy said authorities are investigating the slave auctions but that the international community must adopt an approach that tackles “the root causes” of illegal migration.
“Any sanctions that target smugglers must also hit those traffickers operating outside Libya,” he said.
Ethiopia said the images of the slave auctions had sent shockwaves across Africa and beyond.
“There is a need for urgent action to dismantle the slavery camps and destroy the criminal networks involved in this inhuman practice,” said Ethiopia’s Ambassador to UN Tekeda Alemu.
“All necessary measures must also be taken to identify all those responsible for this unspeakable and barbaric crime and bring them to justice,” he said.
The reported slave auctions have raised questions about EU migration deals which UN officials have said have turned human traffickers into slave traders.
Migration will dominate an EU summit with the African Union in Ivory Coast this week. UN Secretary-General António Guterres will attend.