I have chosen an article and video from Al Jazeera English’s website that highlights the plight of sub-Saharan African migrants detained and severely mistreated in Libyan prisons. The experience of African migrants within Africa itself is often underreported in Western media. In times of conflict or social upheaval, African migrants in African countries are often the first scapegoats of both the government and the opposition, and as a result they are viewed with suspicion and even violent hatred by ordinary citizens. In Libya, African migrants were accused of being mercenaries by both government forces and rebels, and therefore have no protection whatsoever during the civil war.¬† In South Africa, economic migrants from Somalia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and numerous other sub-Saharan countries are seen to be taking jobs form locals and are often faced with severe xenophobia. It is interesting to realize that while the plight of African migrants in the West, particularly in Europe, is no less profound, they face similar hostility and xenophobia on their own continent.

Yumna Mohamed