FRANCE CALLS FOR SEC COUNCIL MEETING ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING, SLAVERY IN LIBYA
Last Updated: 2017-11-28
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UNITED NATIONS, Nov 28 (NNN-Xinhua) -- France has requested a Security Council meeting for Wednesday on human trafficking and the selling of African migrants as slaves in Libya.

The purpose of the meeting is to make the Security Council aware of the tragedy and to announce the council's unified opposition to such despicable practices, Francois Delattre, the French ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters on Monday.

France also seeks to engage council members to work on the most efficient responses to deal with the scourge, he said.

"We must go much further in terms of saying 'No' to an unacceptable situation, but also in terms of finding short- and long-term solutions to get rid of this scourge."

He said the issue would also be discussed at a summit of the European Union and the African Union (AU) in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, on Wednesday and Thursday.

There is strong European mobilization under the French leadership in partnership with the AU as well as growing awareness of the gravity of the issue, said the French diplomat.

Sebastiano Cardi, president of the Security Council, said Wednesday's meeting would be an important session.

The Italian ambassador to the United Nations said the meeting was agreed on after a telephone conversation between the foreign ministers of Italy and France on Saturday. ( The International Organization for Migration has been reporting cases of sub-Saharan African migrants being sold as slaves in Libya. A CNN report that included video footage of a slave auction outside the Libyan capital of Tripoli, where about a dozen migrants were sold as slaves in a matter of minutes, has triggered international outcry.

Since the uprising in Libya that overthrew longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya's coast has became a hub for human trafficking and smuggling. Most of the migrants in Libya are fleeing sub-Saharan Africa to reach Europe. -- NNN-XINHUA