Rwanda could host up to 30,000 African immigrants currently stuck in Libya where they are exposed to all forms of abuse, including being sold openly in slave markets in the Northern Africa country, its local media The New Times reports.
Speaking to The New Times, Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo said Rwanda is currently in talks with the African Union Commission to determine the entire extent of intervention to the crisis.
Rwanda’s involvement comes amid harrowing revelations that the immigrants, most of them from West Africa, are being sold openly in modern-day slave markets in Libya. .
Mushikiwabo noted that the country was not oblivious to the financial resources and other costs that could come with the decision; she said it would be against national values to turn a blind eye to the plight of the immigrants.
So far, discussions between Rwanda and the AU Commission have agreed on 30,000 immigrants, which could be revised depending on how the talks proceed.
How Rwanda became a benevolent
Explaining how Rwanda got involved in the issue, Mushikiwabo said she first got word of the state of affairs about three weeks ago while on official duty in the United Arab Emirates.
“Some people present at the meeting made this known to me and wanted me to inform the President (Paul Kagame). Even as Libyans, the state of affairs was a shame to them and required an intervention.
“When I returned, I informed the President and we began looking into the issue and gathering information,” she said.
Among those who will be involved include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Public Service and Labour, and the Private Sector Federation for job placements.
“Any citizen who wants to be part of this is welcome. We have been approached by some African business people who want to do something about it and they do not own land, I am sure that with the combination of all these efforts, we will be able to help out a small number out of the 400,000 immigrants,” she told The New Times.