Libya is a failed state, despite being the fourth largest country in Africa, the 16th largest country in the world as well as the country with the 10th largest proven oil reserve worldwide.
When we say that Libya is a failed state we mean that the political, social and economic structures in the country are either unsustainable or non-existent and from a historical perspective, it is not much of a surprise as to why Libya would fall under this category.
Libya has been a centre for war and colonisation since 5 BC; Particularly, it is known for being a North African nation that spent most of its history under the rule of the Romans, the Greeks, the Italians and the Ottoman Empire. The country has had its fair share of internal and external resistance and even till date, it’s land and resources have been the target of many leading nations in both the East and the West.
Therefore, when the news about the modern slavery within this country finally became mainstream, the only thing I found astonishing about it was the fact that it had taken everyone by surprise.
Why are you surprised to hear that Africans are being exploited for money?
Why are you surprised to hear that Africans want to be exploited for money as long as at the end of the road they have a chance at getting a better life.
We all watched the CNN Broadcast and we all heard the horrific facts about the slavery occurring but did you notice that the only problem people had with the entire situation was that fact that they were being treated like cattle.
In one video, after lamenting about the horrors he had experienced, one survior ended his heartbreaking account with saddness and fear about return home to his country in Nigeria.
He did not want to go home.
Of course, the West wasted no time making the problem about themselves and before we knew it the story about the enslavement of Africans by Africans became either a Western debate about Obama, Hillary Clinton and their relationship with the Libyan Civil War, or another means to condemn present and historical Europeans for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Let me be the first to tell you who have fallen into the trap of only seeing the world from the modern lenses of Western world powers that you are part of the problem.
Unlike the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, people are willingly putting themselves in harms way to survive life yet somehow you want to ignore that fact and complain about how the Western world has wronged the world’s Centre. You want to make it about how the whites are at it again and the blacks are their victims once more.
You’re wrong for that and you need to check yourself.
You’re wrong because like in the case of the TASL [Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade ] you’ve ignored the role that the Arabians and Africans have played in enslaving their fellow man.
Did you know that the TASL started in the Arabian world before the West decided to take a slice of that pie?
Did you know that slave trade between Arabian countries and African countries never ended, even if it hasn’t been completely legal?
At a point in time 20% of Saudi Arabia’s population was made up of slaves and for those who keep up with the news, for the sake of it and not just to join a new trend you will know that Dubai’s glamourous landscape was built on the back of slaves.
Where do you think they all come from?
Over the years there has been a large documentation of Africans been kidnapped, transported and sold in Arabian nations. The documentation and reports have highlighted the relationship northern African countries have had with this illegal and immoral trade.
Yet, the global aoutrage about this business as been virtually non-existent and I assume its because no one could find a way to blame the West. A suprising occurence considering anyone with access to the internet, a genuine care about the enslavement of black Africans and knowlegde of google should have rung the slavery alarms ages ago.
This has brought me to the conclusion that if it is not a Western problem, or if it can not be made to be a Western problem then it is not a problem at all.
Africans don’t care about Africans unless the West cares.
Black Europeans and Blacks in the Americas do not care about the so called ‘homeland’ unless they can link their care to the Trans-Atlantic Slavery, or just slavery in general.
The world in general, just seems to be able to find care only when it is time to be outraged.
Even more, it has come to my attention that for a problem to be a real Western problem it has to be a problem that is recognised by actual Western powers, or a problem that people demand should be recognised by actual Western powers.
For instance, there have been constant news reports about the human trafficking of African women which brings them to European countries particularly Italy and Albanian. In these reports it has been identified that these woman are forced to be sex workers. Despite this, there’s not global outrage. There’s no calls to put sanctions on Italy or sanction ‘those responsible’ in Italty. There is just passivity and nonchalance.
Our selective care about all of these issues is why things like the Libyan Slave Trade will never be fully solved, not unless we start to pay attention.
Moreover, paying attention means that our primary concern should be with the men, women and children who because of desperation and nothing else have decided to risk their lives crossing perilous paths for the sake of having a ‘better life’ in the European world.
We need to redirect our attention to focus on the ‘why’ people have chosen to do this as well as ask why any adult who has experienced the life of a slave is willing to risk going back to that life just to have a chance at escaping into Europe.
It’s the height of madness as far as we that are privileged enough to say so are concerned. The height of madness to risk racism, degradation and even death just to get into another man’s land. Yet, it is a madness that happens and the reasons behind it are not as mind-blowing as you may want it to be.
First of all, these people are poor and not only are they stricken with poverty, there is no prospect of possible riches in their future.
Those who risk this dangerous journey come from countries where real jobs that pay enough to at least keep food on a mans table are limited; not even because they don’t exist but rather because the government can not be bothered to properly structure their economy.
There are people who are literally forced to see the possiblity of having a two course meal as a previliege and these people are even more well off than most of the citizens in countries all over Africa.
The African giants are being run by selfish, the uneducated and even some of the most brilliant criminals who captilize on the fact that post coloninal Africa lacks the political force to ensure that checks and balances on government bodies exist. Meanwhile the other countries in African which rely on the stability of these giants are left to fight for scraps or wither.
Some could even say that most of Africa is still in the Hobbesian State of Nature phase and that the countries in this continent are unable to progress because of limitations within and outside the country.
This brings me to the second reason why the situations like the Libyan Crisis exist; and that is because in some parts of the world leaders would rather throw some change at African countries while locking their borders or for most parts of the world, due to international law, many leaders find themselves unable to intervene in difficult times because of the regulation that ensures that sovereignty is recognised.
For these reasons; Africans need to realise that the West will always do what is best for the West. They will protect their own interests first and they will not risk losing economically or politically just for the sake of righting the wrongs of the past.
Therefore, idealistic notions which argue that countries who benefited from the colonising of African nations owe those nations a moral duty of aid, must not be the ideals we use to propel hopes for a better future.
Whatever change we expect to happen in the African world is primarily the responsibility of Africans.
We must care first as well as be the first response to any problem that occurs within our borders because if we keep relying solely on the aid of Western ideologies and actions we will never get anywhere.