Representatives of African countries in South Africa, under the auspices of African Diaspora Forum, on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest against slavery and human trafficking in Libya.
The protesters marched through major streets in Pretoria to the Union Building (Office of the South Africa President) to drop the protest letter.
The Chairman of ADF, Marc Gbaffou, said the group wanted immediate stop to the inhuman acts in Libya.
Gbaffou said: “This is the time for the African Union to show continental leadership and let the world know that we denounce and condemn this violation of human rights perpetrated against fellow Africans.”
Gbaffou urged the AU to demonstrate collective leadership by developing a consistent and well-coordinated mobilisation programme that would free fellow Africans in captivity.
He said: “We will hold you accountable for the freedom of the African people who have been held captive. The African Union must host an urgent meeting with Libyan authorities to address the crisis.”
He urged Libyan authorities to stop “with immediate effect, the slave trade in your backyard”.
Dr. Juliene Katoiybe, a representative of the Democratic Republic of Congo, said that Africans decided to condemn the events in Libya.
Katoiybe said: “We want the world to know that we are opposed to the selling of fellow Africans for 400 dollars and that it is inhuman.
“We are saying that it should stop. It happened to us early in our history through colonialism and we do not want it again.”
Adetola Olubajo, the President of Nigerian Union, South Africa, said the body was opposed to slavery and human trafficking.
Olubajo said: “Slavery is a callous and inhuman act. We thought that it ended with the intervention of William Wilberforce and other people.
“As Africans, we cannot fold our arms and allow the events in Libya to continue. We also call on the appropriate authorities in Africa to intervene and stop the events in Libya.”
King Bhungane (111) of Embo kingdom in South Africa said Africans should unite and fight the menace.
Bhungane said: “We cannot allow the selling of our people. We must stop this nonsense and remind those behind this act that enough is enough.
“The people doing this are reminding Africans about the slave trade in the 17th century.”
He said that the traditional institutions in Africa must come together and stand against slavery.
Chief Jonas Udeji, a Nigerian leader, said the march was a message to the world that Africa should not be subjected to slavery.
Udeji said: “We cannot allow the suppression of our people to continue. Africans have decided to rise against slavery and human trafficking.”