“France decided this morning to ask for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss this issue,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament on Wednesday.
“We are doing it as a permanent member of the Security Council . We have this capability and we are using it.”
Libya’s internationally-recognised government said on Monday it will investigate the trading in the country, following the release of video footage appearing to show migrants being “auctioned off1” in markets. The footage showed black men presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he was horrified and that the auctions should be investigated as possible crimes against humanity2. A number of black African men in Cameroon who were reported to have been slaves were interviewed this week.
“It was total hell,” said Maxime Ndong, one of 250 migrants who arrived in Cameroon on Tuesday night on a plane chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to bring home migrants.
“There is a trade in black people there .
People who want slaves.. . come to buy them,” he said.
“If you resist, they shoot at you . There have been deaths,” added Ndong, who spent eight months in Libya. Another migrant, 22-year-old Sanogo, said he had been caught by people who said they were police before being sold to a slave trader . He was then forced to work on a tomato farm.
More than 8,800 stranded migrants have been returned home this year, according to the International Organization for Migration, which is also compiling evidence of slavery.
Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli and McLaren have decided to cancel their planned Interlagos test due to safety concerns1 at the Brazilian Grand Prix venue. The two-day test, aimed at completing Pirelli’s evaluation work on its 2018 tyres, was scheduled to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday with McLaren drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Lando Norris. But following a robbery attempt 2on Sunday targeting Pirelli staff, the tyre manufacturer announced on Monday that the test has been called off.
“Following a robbery attempt, neutralised by Pirelli security, on a Pirelli van at the Interlagos circuit last Sunday – after a weekend where similar episodes occurred with other teams – it has been decided to cancel the tyre test planned on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 on the Brazilian circuit with McLaren,” Pirelli said in a statement. “The decision, shared with McLaren, FIA and Formula 1, was made in the interest of the safety of the personnel, both McLaren’s and our own, who would have participated in the test.”
A McLaren statement added: “The safety of our people has always been our top priority, and, given recent events, we felt that it was an unnecessary risk to proceed.” Members of the Mercedes, Williams and Sauber teams were involved in another two separate attacks3 outside the circuit during the grand prix weekend. Although there were no injuries in the incidents, questions have been raised about security around Interlagos given organisers had promised additional police around the circuit following the first attack.
World champion Lewis Hamilton had been one of the most vocal drivers in expressing dismay at the situation. “The most frustrating thing is that I’ve been in Formula 1 for 10 years and every single year that has happened to somebody in the paddock, and it continues to happen,” he said. “It’s an issue I’m sure the government here are fighting, but I think maybe on this weekend, there are protocols that should be put in place to help, like for example when we go to Mexico, which weren’t there for these guys.
“It’s no good just the bosses having security and myself having security . People need to be looked after.” The cancellation of the test should mean Formula 3 European champion Norris is able to make it to the Macau Grand Prix on time.
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