Refugees escaping Libya arrive in France

The French government stepped up its fight against slavery as the first group of refugees rescued from Libya touched ...

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 3:03 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2017 3:03 PM

The French government stepped up its fight against slavery as the first group of refugees rescued from Libya touched down Tuesday in Paris from Niger.

France plans to take in 10,000 refugees by 2019, with 3,000 people coming from a resettlement program in Niger and Chad.

French leader announced plan to resettle refugees after CNN footage on slave auctions

Rights group accuses European governments of being complicit in migrant abuse in Libya

French President Emmanuel Macron announced the plan in the aftermath of CNN releasing video footage that showed migrants being sold into slavery in the North African country, some for as little as $400 each.

Further flights from Niger are expected to land Tuesday and Wednesday in Paris, with additional arrivals set for January.

Formal investigation

On Tuesday, 25 people from Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia arrived at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport in the first flight out from Niger.

The prescreened group included 19 women and children, including a 2-month-old baby, and six men.

They will be housed in a convent in eastern France's Alsace region for four months, where they will receive psychological support and instruction in French.

Then the nonprofit group France Horizon will help each individual find permanent housing.

After obtaining footage of a human auction in Libya, a CNN team traveled in October to that country to investigate.

It saw a dozen men sold at an auction outside the capital, Tripoli. The crew was told of auctions taking place at nine locations in the country.

Libyan authorities have launched a formal investigation into the auctions under the Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency.

'Crime against humanity'

France has been at the forefront of attempting to help those escaping slavery find a safe passage away from Libya.

In a speech last month following CNN's release of the footage, Macron labeled the sale of migrants at slave auctions in the North African country as "a crime against humanity" and vowed to press for sanctions.

News of the auctions sparked protests outside the Libyan Embassy in Paris.

The International Organization for Migration also says it will fly 15,000 more migrants home from detention centers in Libya before the end of 2017.

The UN migration agency says it has returned more than 14,007 migrants to their home countries this year already.

The United Nations estimates there are 700,000 migrants in Libya, and for years those who have crossed the Mediterranean have shared stories about beatings, kidnapping and enslavement.

On Monday, UNICEF announced that 36,000 children in Libya are in need of assistance and that 14,000 of them are unaccompanied.

Last week, Amnesty International accused European governments of being complicit in the torture and abuse of migrants and refugees in Libya.

In a new report, the human rights group criticized European governments for supporting efforts by the Libyan coast guard to prevent migrants from crossing the Mediterranean and returning them to camps in Libya.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
Oktibbeha28314
Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
Itawamba897
Webster885
Panola873
Wilkinson859
Montgomery841
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun684
Walthall670
Amite651
Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Choctaw522
Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Tupelo
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 79°
Columbus
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather