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Back-way migrant deaths continue unabated

Jan 29, 2016, 9:41 AM

The Mediterranean Sea has recorded its first deaths in the wake of this year, as migrants continue to go through the dangerous back-way to Europe.

According to latest reports, Italy’s navy rescued 290 migrants and recovered six bodies from its waters near a half-sunken rubber boat on Thursday, the first sea deaths recorded on the North Africa to Italy route this year.

While the migration to Europe through the back way has taken tens of thousands of lives, African youths have made some of the highest numbers of deaths in this dangerous sea route to Europe.

It is stated that Italy and Greece are on the frontline of Europe’s biggest immigration crisis since World War Two, with overcrowded boats packed with migrants reaching their shores from North Africa and Turkey by the hundreds.

The sea route to Italy from Africa is also said to be the most dangerous border for migrants in the world, with more than 3,700 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean in 2015 alone. Out of this figure for 2015 about 2000 said to have perished on the way were from Africa.

Now in 2016, the death count has started again, as the migration trend continues.

While it is true that migration to Europe is difficult to stop, African governments and European countries should continue to cooperate earnestly to discourage this diabolic move by our African youths.

Going to Europe in this manner won’t really be of tangible help to the migrants nor will it serve well for the countries involved.

The remedial steps, therefore, needed to reverse this miserable situation must be taken on the backdrop of addressing poverty, joblessness, lack of proper education, and general underdevelopment in African countries.

This is because these are some of the main factors compelling the wave of migration to Europe.

Therefore, help given to Africa to address the migration crisis must target alleviating poverty, creating development, providing lucrative jobs, making education affordable for all, developing infrastructure, and establishing lucrative investments for economic development and job creation.

The €1.8 billion earmarked for the most migration-driven African countries by EU to forestall migration is good, but our governments need to do their part to curb the menace.

African leaders and governments have laid the basis for migration to flourish via the train of bad governance such as misplaced and wrong economic policies, corruption and embezzlement of state resources, human rights violations, poor democratic values, power struggle and conflicts, and aggravated poverty via over-dependence on importation of essential goods and services, as well as aid.

As these problems of African governments are solved, the desperate and dangerous migration to Europe would also be alleviated.

“The economic impact of illegal immigration on taxpayers is catastrophic.”

Ric Keller