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    Libya Slave Trade: Blacks were equals under Gaddafi – Rawlings

    Former Ghanaian leader Jerry John Rawlings has condemned the sale of black Africans as slaves in Libya.

    In a statement titled: ‘In Support of Our Brothers In Libya’, Mr Rawlings said: “How sad that events should turn out this way and the black man is being subjected to this kind of treatment in Libya of all places.”

    “And I say so with emphasis because whatever faults Gaddafi had, blacks were treated as equals in Libya than in most Arab countries,” the ex-military leader said in a statement released from his office.

    Earlier this month, CNN published cellphone and hidden-camera footage from what appeared to be “slave auctions” conducted in Libya.

    The images, including video obtained by undercover CNN journalists, served as a jolt to the international community: They showed what seemed to be West African migrants being haggled over as “merchandise” by smugglers operating in what has become a haven for illicit trafficking networks.

    “Does anybody need a digger? This is a digger, a big strong man, he’ll dig,” said a salesman in camouflage gear. “What am I bid, what am I bid?”

    Buyers respond with a round of prices. “Within minutes it is all over and the men, utterly resigned to their fate, are being handed over to their new ‘masters,’” reported CNN.

    The UN Security Council as well as Libyan authorities have launched investigations into the report which has seen worldwide condemnation.

    Joining the wave of condemnation, Mr Rawlings said: “While this frightening experience may no doubt serve as a deterrent to the use of Libya as a gateway to Europe, we must still add our voices to the call to our Libyan brothers to show a little more compassion to our vulnerable black African brothers and sisters.

    “We are all creations of the one Allah, but disfigured by the shameless greed and corruption of man.”

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