December 4, 2017
By Staff, “The Gist”
SLAVERY IN 2017
The outrage over last month’s report of a slave auction that occurred in the North African nation of Libya is far from simmering down. The latest discussions among Africans on the continent and in the diaspora, focus on “how to stop it”and “who is to blame?”.
HOW TO STOP THIS!
Of the many ideas coming from those on the continent, a favorite seems to be, ‘send in the troops!’
A provocative tweet sent out by renown Ugandan author, journalist, Charles Onyango Obbo sounds the alarm and speaks to what many are thinking should be a pan-African action;
The rest of Africa needs to assemble an intervention force, move into Libya and end the #LibyanSlaveTrade. I will make a contribution to the force.Sure many others too will. pic.twitter.com/Hp2Dodlcay
— Charles Onyango-Obbo (@cobbo3) November 30, 2017
Meanwhile, here in America world-renown Christian bishop of The Potter’s House, a nondenominational American megachurch, Thomas Dexter “T.D.” Jakes released a short film warning us, “not to be silent, not again!”
The #LibyanSlaveTrade is an atrocity that has to STOP. We have to partner together & put an end to this horrific disregard for human life. Use YOUR voice to raise awareness! Give support organizations that give aid to countries from which migrants are fleeing! #HumanTrafficking pic.twitter.com/aCeeRfKrkR
— T.D. Jakes (@BishopJakes) November 29, 2017
WHO, ULTIMATELY, IS TO BLAME?
Many, in this country, blame former US president Barack Obama for starting the chain of events that lead up to this atrocity of slavery in Libya. They say that because the US military fired the first missiles that lead to the destruction of the Libyan capital, Tripoli and the eventual death of its leader Muammar Qaddafi, Libya became unstable and criminals could take advantage of the refugee crisis in this evil way.
However, there is another narrative that implies that the US president might not ‘shoulder’ the ultimate blame. This narrative identifies the person to be primarily blamed for the disaster of Libya today is former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
UK HOUSE OF COMMONS REPORT
The 2016/2017 UK House of Commons report on the Libyan invasion details the reasons for Sarkozy’s desire to de-stabilize Libya;
- A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
- Increase French influence in North Africa,
- Improve his internal political situation in France,
- Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
- Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.
…and how intervention became popular;
“Former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé…asserted in his speech to the (UN) Security Council that “the situation on the ground is more alarming than ever, marked by the violent re-conquest of cities”. He stressed the urgency of the situation, arguing that “We have very little time left—perhaps only a matter of hours.” Yet, subsequent analysis suggested that the immediate threat to civilians was being publicly overstated and that the reconquest of cities had not resulted in mass civilian casualties”.
The French newspaper, Le Monde headline called Libyan intervention, “The War of Nicolas Sarkozy”. Le Monde reported, “The (French) head of state made the intervention in Libya a personal fight. For the radiation of France. But in the hope, too, of a political profit…Nicolas Sarkozy has invested in the Libyan adventure as rarely a Western leader has done on an international crisis of the post-cold war era. There is undoubtedly the glimmer of a great personal political return, and beyond that, the hope of a strategic redeployment of France in the Arab world, by carrying the defense of values in the torch…in his election in 2007…he promised that France “would be alongside the oppressed”.
The August 23, 2011 Economist blogpost – “Once it’s over in Libya, will it be over? Or will the hard part just be starting” – appears to foreshadow the horrors of a modern-day slavery crisis in Libya, while laying the blame at the former French president’s feet.
In it his motives are described as, “a mixture of buffing up his presidential image and restoring France’s reputation in the Arab world, after the humiliation France suffered earlier in the Arab spring, when the then foreign minister was caught offering French police assistance to the tottering dictator of Tunisia, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.”
“LET HIM EAT DIRT”
“There is also the small question of payback for Mr Qaddafi, who went out of his way to humiliate Sarkozy on a carnivalesque visit to France in 2007, at one point calling on young people living in heavily-ethnic French suburbs to “rise up”. Accordingly, Mr Sarkozy has told those around him that Qaddafi is “mad” and “stupid” and that “we are going to make him eat dirt”.
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