Jul 25, 2008, 9:19 AM
ordeal our compatriots in Italy are going through is a pain in the heart for
all well-meaning people in and beyond the shores of The Gambia.
This situation is pitiful, more so as it seems there is nothing people and our authorities could do to prevent our Gambian youths from venturing on the perilous back-way journey to Europe, in the name of seeking greener pastures.
Many of our youths who have taken the journey via the back-way have had to go through harrowing and fatal experiences through the desert of Libya and the Mediterranean, before they could cross over to Italy or Spain.
Many lose their life on the way, and those who could make it over to Europe face dreadful conditions and agony in Italy, for instance, especially in the camps where they are mostly kept without proper care and hygiene.
The reports we do hear about the life and condition of our compatriots in European countries, such as Italy, are disheartening, to say the least.
“It is like hell living in Italy,” some Gambian migrants in Italy reportedly said. “What hurts the most,” according to one of the migrants speaking of their recent predicament in Italy, “is when one of our dearest brothers, a Gambian, was shot and there was no justice. We even demonstrated to express our great sadness, but the authorities acted upon that and sent us away.”
Another boy reportedly said he spent up to D70,000 on trying to reach Italy, only to be disappointed by being kept in Italian camps indefinitely.
“When I was leaving home, I left with the hope that as soon as I reach here (Italy) my life would change for the better. That’s not the case. Hundreds of Gambians are here, but many of us don’t do anything. Our conditions were better back at home,” the Gambian youth said.
These and many other testimonies and cases, on the ordeal and agony of our youths in Italy, speak volumes of the Babylon illusion being nursed by our youths in Africa. It also tells of the gloomy fate that awaits our youths who travel through the back-way to countries such as Italy and Spain.
Our youth in The Gambia, especially those nursing the plan to go to such countries via the back-way, should learn from the ordeal of their compatriots in Italy and other European countries.
However, it is important that our authorities intervene again in this odd situation of our people in Italy, and try to fetch them out of that country back home.
“Really, all is not rosy in Italy for immigrants.”