Beyond the Libyan Slave Trade and Other Outrages

By Jackson Richman

Last month, footage was released of a slave trade in Libya. Young men being auctioned off as farm workers.

On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution condemning the slave trade in the African country.

“The Security Council expresses grave concern about reports of migrants being sold into slavery in Libya,” the Security Council said.

According to an exclusive CNN report:

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — “Eight hundred,” says the auctioneer. “900 … 1,000 … 1,100 …” Sold. For 1,200 Libyan dinars — the equivalent of $800.

Not a used car, a piece of land, or an item of furniture. Not “merchandise” at all, but two human beings.
One of the unidentified men being sold in the grainy cell phone video obtained by CNN is Nigerian. He appears to be in his twenties and is wearing a pale shirt and sweatpants.
He has been offered up for sale as one of a group of “big strong boys for farm work,” according to the auctioneer, who remains off camera. Only his hand — resting proprietorially on the man’s shoulder — is visible in the brief clip.
After seeing footage of this slave auction, CNN worked to verify its authenticity and traveled to Libya to investigate further.
Carrying concealed cameras into a property outside the capital of Tripoli last month, we witness a dozen people go “under the hammer” in the space of six or seven minutes.
“Does anybody need a digger? This is a digger, a big strong man, he’ll dig,” the salesman, dressed in camouflage gear, says.
“What am I bid, what am I bid?”
Buyers raise their hands as the price rises, “500, 550, 600, 650 …” Within minutes it is all over and the men, utterly resigned to their fate, are being handed over to their new “masters.”
But how long does the world pay attention to crimes against humanity, like human slavery and genocide?
Meeting Greta van Susteren late last month, I asked her why the news networks do not cover under-reported, but important, events like what is happening to the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, South Sudan, Darfur, Tibet, Yazidi areas, and other places where there is genocide.
Her answer was simple: Because of corporate dollars and how the networks are limited in allocating resources to covering stories far from the newsroom.
While understandable, online media outlets and newspapers have an obligation to not only report what is headlining, but also what is being under-reported, which may be just as, if not, more important than the sensational stories on the home page or front page, respectively.
Let us go around to the aforementioned places and get the scoop from outlets outside the U.S. or U.S. outlets reprinting from media outlets with a strong international presence.
Rohingya Muslims
Thomson Reuters, reprinted in U.S. News & World Report: Rohingya Refugees Still Fleeing From Myanmar to Bangladesh: UNHCR

DHAKA (Reuters) – Rohingya refugees continue to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh even though both countries set up a timetable last month to allow them to start to return home, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR)said on Thursday.

The number of refugees appears to have slowed. 625,000 have arrived since Aug. 25. 30,000 came last month and around 1,500 arrived last week, UNHCR said

“The refugee emergency in Bangladesh is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world,” said deputy high commissioner Kelly Clements. “Conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhaine state are not in place to enable a safe and sustainable return … refugees are still fleeing.”

“Most have little or nothing to go back to. Their homes and villages have been destroyed. Deep divisions between communities remain unaddressed and human access is inadequate,” she said.

Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on Nov. 23 to start the return of Rohingya within two months. It did not say when the process would be complete.

Myanmar’s security forces may be guilty of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, according to the top U.N. human rights official this week. Mainly Buddhist Myanmar denies the Muslim Rohingya are its citizens and considers them foreigners.

UNHCR would make a fresh appeal to donors for funds after the end of February in next year, Kelly said.

South Sudan
UN News Centre: “South Sudan: Security Council urged to do more to protect civilians, help end violence”

With the conflict in South Sudan entering its fifth year, senior United Nations officials on Thursday expressed concern about the precarious security situation and bleak humanitarian conditions in the world’s youngest country.

“The people of South Sudan have simply suffered far too much for far too long and we must not take their resilience against incredible odds for granted,” Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the Security Council today, about a week before the current mandate of UN peacekeeping force in the country expires.

Focusing his remarks on developments over the past year, Mr. Lacroix said the UN’s sustained efforts to effect change on the ground will require the continued support of the 15-member Council.

“Now, more than ever, I urge this Council to remain vigilant and exert more effort to condemn and stop the violence, protect civilians, and urgently facilitate a political settlement of the conflict,” he said.

Even though more than two million people have fled South Sudan as refugees over the past four years of conflict, seven million people inside the country – that is almost two-thirds of the remaining population – still need humanitarian assistance, he said, adding that as the end of 2017 approaches, 1.25 million people are just one step away from famine, almost doubling from a year earlier.

Later on in the article:

In early 2018, half of the population will be reliant on emergency food aid. The next lean season beginning in March is likely again to see famine conditions in several locations across the country, he said.

Only one in 10 people currently has access to basic sanitation which helps prevent deadly diseases. Only half of the country’s schools are functioning and two million children are currently out of school.

Reported rates of violence against women and girls in South Sudan are double the global average and among the highest in the world.

“The fact remains that until international humanitarian law is complied with, until the fighting ends and until basic services are established, humanitarian needs will remain dire,” Mr. Lowcock stressed.

AFP, reprinted in news24: Militia chief arrest dangerous moment for Sudan’s Darfur

Khartoum – By arresting Darfur’s powerful militia chief Musa Hilal, Khartoum has tightened its control over Sudan’s strife-torn region but analysts say it might open a new chapter of violence.

Hilal, a former aide to President Omar al-Bashir, was arrested last week by Sudan’s counter-insurgency forces near his hometown of Mustariaha in North Darfur state after fierce clashes that left several dead.

“This is a dangerous moment actually,” Magnus Taylor, Sudan analyst with the think-tank International Crisis Group, told AFP.

“By taking out Musa Hilal, they have pitched two different Darfuri Arab tribes against each other.”

Hilal, a powerful leader of the Mahamid tribe, was captured by a unit of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by members of another Arab tribe, Darfur’s biggest, the Rezeigat.

“This is the start of intra-fighting, this is only the beginning,” said Ahmed Adam, a research associate at London University.

“No doubt, Hilal’s arrest will impact the security and stability of Darfur.”

During the initial years of the Darfur conflict that erupted in 2003, Arab militias fought alongside government forces against the region’s black African rebels.

Hilal then led the government-allied Arab Janjaweed militia, notorious gunmen on horseback who swept through Darfur marauding villagers and fighting rebels who had taken up arms against Khartoum’s Arab-dominated government, accusing it of economic and political marginalisation.

The United Nations says hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and another 2.5 million displaced in the conflict.

The RSF has also been used to crush rebels in a brutal counter-insurgency launched by Bashir.

The Hill: “Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers’ words of support for Tibet”

Richard Gere says he’s “knocked out” by lawmakers’ words of support for Tibetans.

“I’m going to be incredibly blunt with you,” the “Pretty Woman” star said Wednesday at a House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee hearing focused on U.S. policy towards Tibet.

“I’m totally knocked out by the words I’m hearing from all of you,” Gere exclaimed after Reps. James McGovern (D-Mass.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) spoke.

“Human rights and personal freedoms in Tibet are already in a poor and worsening state. According to the State Department’s 2016 human rights report, the government of China engages in the severe repression of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage by, among other means, strictly curtailing the civil rights of the Tibetan population,” Yoho, the subcommittee’s chairman, said.

Gere, chairman of the board of directors for the International Campaign for Tibet, said, “I’ve seen this evolve over decades now, how people talk about Tibet and from what part of their being they speak. And this is coming from a deep place in all of you.”

Notice the outlets? With the exception of U.S. News & World Report, CNN, and The Hill, the publications above are located outside the U.S., making them less prominent for the majority of Americans to care.
A Google News search prominently displayed the aforementioned articles.
It is time for news organizations to figure out how to report on these evil events amid a dearth of resources. The solution requires what a reporter does: Digging and finding the scoop and contact sources. Time to get creative.
Because silence is never an option. To quote Elie Wiesel: Silence benefits the oppressor, never the oppressed.
About Jackson Richman 150 Articles
Jackson Richman is an editor at The National Discourse. His work has also been featured in The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner, Tablet, The Daily Signal, The College Fix, The Huffington Post, The Forward, and other outlets. He has interviewed prominent personalities such as, but not limited to, Pulitzer Prize winners Thomas Friedman and Charles Krauthammer, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson, former State Department adviser David Makovsky, prominent American rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Iowa representative Steve King, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, comedian Adam Carolla, University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer, and British historian and intellectual Niall Ferguson.