The Foreign Affairs Ministry says some 168 undocumented Ghanaian detainees discovered in Libya were not victims of the reported slave trade.
In a statement Tuesday, the Ministry said the detainees were arrested on “illegal immigration charges and were already being held in detention camps.”
“In view of the discovery, these were undocumented Ghanaians immediately issued with the necessary travel documents to facilitate their repatriation to Ghana on a chartered flight, with support from the International Migration Organisation (IOM),” the statement added.
Hundreds of African migrants are reportedly being sold in open slave markets in Libya.Footage released by CNN from Libya, showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned as farm workers.Slave raiders reportedly prey on vulnerable people who use Libya’s coast to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, a route that has been described by experts as the deadliest route on earth.The North African country has for years been the gateway for Africans who are trying to get to Europe by sea, with more than 150,000 estimated to have crossed it within the last three years.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is expected to appear before Parliament to answer questions about the slave situation.
In an urgent question filed by North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa Tuesday, the Minority is demanding answers on whether some Ghanaians have been caught up in the situation.
But the Ministry said it went to the aid of the undocumented detainees following disturbing reports of Ghanaians being sold off as slaves in Libya.It said the Ghana Mission in Malta with concurrent accreditation for Libya paid a consular visit to the three detention centers; Tajoora, Trek Al Sika and Trek Malta.
The Ministry said it has its ears on the ground and will keep the general public updated.
Meanwhile, government is taking steps to open a consulate in Libya following the closure of the Mission during the Libyan crisis.