No Ghanaian sold as slave in Libya, Says Ghanaian Foreign Minister

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey refutes rumours making rounds that some Ghanaians involved in slave trade ongoing in Libya, as reports emerge about the dehumanizing incident.

The Foreign minister further revealed that about 168 Ghanaians are involved and plans are in place to bring them back safely.

Lately, some international media, both CNN, captured a video in which some stranded Africans who had hopes of embarking on journeys to Europe through the Mediterranean, were being sold off at various prices to buyers.

The Libyan government has since the development set up an investigative body into the matter.

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There had been concerns that Ghanaians could be involved, but Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister says no Ghanaian has been caught up in that despicable development.

Responding to her visit to Ghana, she said: “Following disturbing reports of African nationals being sold off as slaves in Libya, the Ghana Mission in Malta, with concurrent accreditation from Libya, paid a consular visit to the three detention centers in Tripoli, namely, Tajoora, Trek Al Sika and Trek Mate.”

“The purpose was to ascertain the veracity of the claims, assess their condition, and offer assistance to those detainees identified as Ghanaians, among many other illegal migrants held at these centers.

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“It emerged that 168 Ghanaian detainees who were identified, were not part of the slave trade as alleged, but had rather been arrested on illegal immigration charges, and were already being held in detention camps,” the statement said.

The Ministry said it was working together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to get the identified Ghanaians back into the country via a chartered flight from Tripoli.

“The undocumented Ghanaians were immediately issued with the necessary travel documents to facilitate their repatriation to Ghana on a chartered flight, with support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).”

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Although there were no details about their timelines concerning the repatriation exercise, the Ministry assured Ghanaians that it was closely monitoring the situation in that country, and will provide details if need be.

Meanwhile, the Ministry is holding talks with some stakeholders to get a consulate opened in Libya. The existing consulate had to be closed down during the Libyan crises several months ago.

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