Libya investigates ‘slave market’ reports

TRIPOLI – Libya’s UN-backed government said on Thursday it was investigating reports of African migrants being sold as slaves and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Footage broadcast by CNN appearing to show African migrants being traded in Libya sparked an international outcry and protests in Europe and Africa.

“There have been direct instructions issued to form an investigative committee so as to uncover the truth and to capture the wrongdoers, and those responsible, and put them before the judiciary,” Libyan Interior Minister Aref al-Khodja told journalists in Tripoli.

“We are now currently waiting for the results of the investigations which I believe are coming to a close.”

The CNN video showed what it said was an auction of men offered to Libyan buyers as farmhands and sold for $400, appearing to confirm earlier reports of the existence of markets for trading migrants in Libya.

Many Libyans reacted with anger to the outcry, with some pointing to a European push to stop migrants from crossing the Mediterranean to Italy.

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