The IRIN News website reports that thousands of Malians are still living in slavery in the North of this desert country.
It is a shame that in the 21st century we should still have Africans, of whatever descent, enslaving their fellow countrymen. Last year I wrote a piece on the situation in Mali and pointed out the developments that have been made in the fight against this most heinous crime. Locals however report that in the Northern towns of Gao and Menoka the vice is still rife with Touaregs as the culprits inflicting mental scars on the local Balla people.
Where is the AU on this? Where is ECOWAS on this? Slavery is a most degrading crime and should not be allowed, not only because of what it does to the immediate victims and their families, but also because of the legacy it creates. To erase the effects of this practice will take generations, and the sooner it ceases, the faster the Balla will begin the healing process and may be some day normalise relations with their former slave masters.