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Plight of Gambian migrants in Libya

Jan 22, 2014, 9:31 AM

There have always been debates about African immigrants trying to enter Europe through what many call the “back way.”

Like many African countries, The Gambia has lost many of its citizens, mainly youths, in the dangerous seas between Spain and Morocco, Niger and Libya and despite the recurrence in grievous loss of lives, many are still willing to brave the precarious conditions to enter Europe, which African youths have for years looked on as the only solution.

The practice of embarking on perilous, mostly sea, voyages has in recent years been an all too common phenomenon that has taken its toll on life and limb of African youths who resolve to reach the European mainland by all means.

How sorrowful, considering the price of the misadventure. It is costing many a hope-starved African youth a great deal of money which they and their families have to raise through a variety of difficult means.

The huge amounts involved in such perilous journeys would have helped many youths to establish small businesses, if not a big one that would benefit not only them but the country at large.

Most African youths attribute their extreme decision to the inability of their respective countries to provide jobs or, when they could provide them, fail to guarantee the kind of remuneration at least reasonably comparable with that which can be earned in Europe.

Be that as it may, the thing that our youths should understand about the dream of Europe is that all that glitters is not gold.

In so many cases when people have succeeded in making it there, they find themselves in such unexpected situations that they have to lead lives of terrible poverty and suffer shocking discrimination, as we have seen in Libya.

Africa has a lot of potential, and one should, therefore, be steadfast.

The search for greener pastures should not be pursued as a matter of life and death.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Henry David Thoreau.