- Opinions from Africa -


The 'slave' stories coming out of Libya the last year has been sickening. It has recently created a frenzy on social media after CNN exposed a 'slave trade' somewhere in a very dark place outside Tripoli.

By Jørn Stjerneklar

But social media is also about making money for some people. 'Fake news' is big business as we saw with the American elections last year. This 'slave story' seems to be a repeat. Anything goes. A few people making a lot of bucks on a story.

They use all the tools to get clicks on their shared 'news'. They don't care if the pictures or stories are true.

The two most widely photographs misused on purpose on SoMe is one from the late French war photographer Remi Ochlic. He was killed on assignment in Syria in February 2012. His image from the war in Libya, where some freedom fighters has captured an alleged African mercenary is widely used get peoples attention on something completely different, the ongoing so called 'slave trade' in that country.

Skærmbillede 2017-11-27 kl. 15.00.32

It's disgusting to use a man's legacy to make money for yourself. He has no possibility to stop it. It's disgusting to use his image out of context.

It's also disgusting that so many people without any kind of reflexion shares those images – without having a clue about the slave trade in Africa.

Another misused picture is from Anambra State in Nigeria. It shows three petty thieves after they were caught stealing soup from a neighbor! Three secondary school pupils who went hungry are now the icon of modern day slave trade in Libya.

Skærmbillede 2017-11-27 kl. 14.38.24

On SoMe the photo is used's to get people's piss boiling. People with no clue about Arab slave trade in Africa. A slave market does not look like this. The picture plays into stereotypes of the evil slave traders.

The media campaign expose the worst about today's news information. No one think anymore – they react and demand: Slavery in Libya has to be stopped! I have read comments on FaceBook like. 'yeah, maybe the picture is showing something else, but as long we know they are trading slaves in Libya, it's ok to use the pics out of context'.

It's a headless reaction. From so called liberals who would condemn conservatives any day for using a picture out of context.

People are behaving like sheep, a dog is barking on the right and everybody runs left.

Skærmbillede 2017-11-27 kl. 16.49.36
Slaves being sold, Sudan 1998 © Jørn Stjerneklar/Mayday Press

The Arabs started the slave trade on the African continent back in year 652 in Darfur, Sudan. The Arabs have traded slaves since that year and still does it. More than 1400 years have they practiced slavery with Africans as the commodity. They have castrated the men and killed newborn babies to keep their countries free from unwanted blacks.

The Senegalese anthropologist Tidiane N'Diaye estimates that 17 million Africans has been exported as slaves since the trade started. On top of that figure thousands of people lost their lives en route to the East og North coasts of Africa. You could follow the routes at that time by the amount of human skeletons lying next to the tracks.

Mauritania did not abolish the trade until 1981 officially, but it continues today. Children are still born into slavery in that country. You find slavery in Mali, in Niger. In Ghana. To quote Biram Dah Abeid, a prominent anti-slavery advocate from Mauritania: "[Slaves] are treated as if they're not human, they are not recognized and registered as citizens," Abeid continues. "In addition to not having papers and a civil state, they are consigned to forced labor."

I have personally witnessed slaves being traded in Sudan. I have interviewed a slave owner in Mali. And a slave in Ghana. This is not news.

Skærmbillede 2017-11-27 kl. 16.49.27
Slavetraders, Sudan 1998 © Jørn Stjerneklar/Mayday Press

The black people in US, who should be at the forefront to help their African sisters and brothers have chosen to look at the white mans atrocities which happened more than a 150 years ago.
Instead of fighting the modern slave trade. Maybe because many African Americans has chosen Islam as the religion of 'freedom'?

Tidiane N'Diaye calls it 'the African Stockholm Syndrome', the strange choice of converting into the slave traders religion.

We Europeans also felt the Arabs lust for cheap labour once. It's estimated that 1.25 million Europeans were traded by the Arabs when they were at the height of their power in Southern Europe,

If you visit the Golf States today you will find a form of slavery, which differs a bit from version1.0 but the new version, 2.0, is just invented to keep us quiet. Look at the way the workers from other countries are treated all over the United Arab Emirates and in Qatar.


Finally. This picture, could it be used to illustrate the slave trade?

Books to read: 'Islam's Black Slaves' (Ronald Segal), 'Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters' ( Robert C. Davis), 'Le genocide voile' (Tidiane N'Diaye).

blog comments powered by Disqus