Just this morning over 700 people have been feared dead in what could be the worst Mediterranean people smuggling shipwreck to date after drowning between Libya and Italy. And just two days ago, Italian coastguards rescued over 6000 stricken people who had attempted to reach Europe from the Libyan coast.
For the past decade the amount of people, especially Africans who died in the Mediterranean sea trying to cross to Europe is mind blowing. The Gambia alone has lost more than 2000 young men and women who venture into this dangerous journey with the hope for a greener pasture. In order to know and understand why would anyone even contemplate more so embarking on this dangerous journey, we need to look at the countries they are coming from and what are their leaders doing to tackle the tragic lost of precious lives.
If you take Gambia as a case, I was baffled in 2013 when dictator Yahya Jammeh went to the UN and instead of trying to seek assistance to redress this urgent appalling issue, however, he went on blaming the Europeans for drowning Africans in the sea. The reason why these people risk their lives is simply because their governments does not care about them, since their own children do not need to undertake these dangerous journey to have a greener pasture. Yahya Jammeh should focus on how to create jobs for the youths and encourage investors to the Gambia, instead of wasting the country’s meager resources on unnecessary flamboyant lifestyle. Just a week ago Yahya Jammeh gave out millions of Dalasis from public coffers to Senegalese wrestlers and denied the people of the Gambia the much need cash for just improve their lives. If you talk to the people who undertook these journeys they will tell you, they prefer to go and die in the Sahara Dessert or in the Mediterranean sea than to live in the Gambia, why? Because they consider themselves dead already, the level of repression and cruelty meter out on them by Gambia government is enough for them to sacrifice their lives for the unknown. The dangers these people are fleeing from out weight a far greater threat than the risk of drowning at sea.
Of course Europe needs to do better than they are currently doing, but you can’t blame them and leave the African dictators abusing and forcing their own people to drown at sea. By now if the African leaders have any interest in ending this human tragedy they would have had some consultations and plans in place to end it, however, they are not interested. Only appointing Mugabe as a chairman of the African Union has shown how backward, incompetent and out of touch African leaders are with their people and unless this issue is addressed, unfortunately this human tragedy is set to continue.