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Many Africans die on way to Europe
Many Africans die on way to Europe
By Godfrey Olukya   3-7-2014   Many African illegal immigrants perish on their way to Europe

Illegal immigration from Africa to Europe has become common with thousands of mostly young adults risking to cross the Mediterranean sea in small boats .

Most of the migrants are from poor African countries and they reportedly embark on the dangerous journey  in hope of being employed and leading  better life. It has been reported that in countries like Mauritania and Morocco, trafficking of immigrants to Europe has become more lucrative than drug trafficking.

Many Africans are enticed to immigrate by the success of their counterparts  who dis so decades ago who often send money home to families they left behind. Billions of dollars each year is sent back to Africa from the diaspora around the world  in some cases making up a sizable chunk of the home country’s GDP.

But unfortunately some illegal immigrants die  during the journey and most of those who don’t get asylum get deported back to Africa. Since the beginning of this year over 500 migrants have reportedly died after the boats they were traveling in sunk.

Pan-African senior official, James Tumusiime said ,”It is unfortunate that many African youth are dying as they attempt to go to Europe in search of better life. I advise them to stay in their countries and concentrate on agriculture. They will get rich if they grow food crops and sell to the public.”
He gave an example of the most recent incidents of migrants dying on their way to Europe which he said t occurred on June 4th 2014 when a boat carrying 20 migrants sank in the Mediterranean sea. He said that there was also a  report of 92 people dying of thirst on the borders of Algeria and Niger.
Other incidents in which immigrants have perished include that of  May 2014, in which more than 100 migrants from Libya drowned when three boats sank in the Mediterranean sea. Another incident was reported by Libyan officials where another  78 migrants from Burkina Faso, Cameroon Gambia, Mali and Senegal  died after the boat in which they were traveling capsized May 6 2014 off the Libyan coast, 30 miles east of Tripoli.

On April 30th, a Somali survivor reported that 40 fellow passengers had drowned. He said that among those who perished were Eritreans, Somalis and  Ethiopians.

Last year in October, Italy launched a naval operation to rescue immigrants in Italian and international waters after the deaths of 364 migrants when a  vessel caught fire off the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Over  4.6 million immigrants are living in Europe, according to  the International Organization for Migration. Most of the immigrants are from North Africa, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. There are also increasing numbers of immigrants from Western Africa mainly Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal while figures from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia are on the rise. The number of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa in Europe are between 3,5 and 8 million, concentrated mainly in Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Although the African young adults are aware that some of their colleagues died on the way to Europe, and they are aware of the dangers involved, they are determined  to try travel to Europe.

”I would rather die as I try to reach Europe  than stay in my country and die from wars and poverty,” said a Somali youth Abbas Affan.


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