Why African leaders remained silent over carnage in Sahara Desert, at Mediterranean Sea
Since the ouster of Libya’s military dictator, Gaddafi in 2011, tens of thousands of African immigrants have found an easy route through Libya and across the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe in search of a better life. These treacherous journeys have been characterized by extortions, kidnaps, torture, loss of lives at sea, sexual exploitation and sale into slavery. Though the victims claim to be refugees, they are actually economic immigrants fleeing civil strife, poverty and unemployment. It is estimated that about 3,000 immigrants perished at the sea while about 150,000 made it to Europe.
The EU funded Libya’s Costal Guards for a crackdown on the networks of peoples’ smugglers and human traffickers which is a booming business. Consequently, it is estimated that about one million African immigrants were intercepted and placed in detention camps for immigrants. In 2015 the International Organisation for Immigration (IOM) helped repatriate about 13,000 from Libya to their respective African governments under the voluntary program. There are many who have been in those detention camps are still not willing to be repatriated.
It was not until late last month when CNN ran footages of African immigrants being sold into slavery in one of the slave markets along the migratory routes in the Sahara Desert that world attention was more drawn to the carnage. France and Germany convened an emergency meeting in Abidjan with Nigeria and four other African countries and agreed on an emergency evacuation and repatriation plan from Libya’s detention camps.
France offered to lead the military assault aimed at dismantling of the networks. The UN Security Council also called for an emergency meeting to address the issue. The issue is said to be on top of the agenda during the forthcoming EU-Africa Development Summit involving 55 African governments and 25 European countries. It is expected that the EU will front a multi-billion Euro fund for African development as a way of curbing the urge for Africans flocking to Europe in search for a better life.
African leaders must be rehearsing on how to swindle this money. Already, Rwanda has opportunistically offered to take in 30,000 ‘asylum seekers’ evacuated from Libya as if they have no home country of their own or before they chose to cross the Sahara they did not know that Rwanda existed.
Museveni and Kagame have been striking deals to receive African immigrants repatriated from Israel in exchange for financial and military aid. Does such an act not amount to human trafficking??? Museveni who is renowned for fueling trouble in neighboring countries has hoodwinked the world as a favorite host to refugees. With an estimated 1.5M refugees from its neighbours, he has successfully tapped into funding from the west. His security forces are making financial deals by detaining, maiming, killing, kidnapping and forced return of high profile refugees from neighboring autocratic regimes.
The Museveni regime through ’employment agencies’ owned by some members of the First Family are behind the trafficking of labourers to the middle east where the victims are subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and gruesome deaths. Despite the loud outcries from all quarters, the regime has kept a blind eye and deaf ear. Even if those immigrants were to be refugees, they are more safer in humane European hands than their brothers from neighboring countries.
Away from north Africa, there is another similar tragedy that has not caught the world attention. African immigrants are facing unprecedented suffering at the hands of people smuggling rackets enroute to South Africa in search of greener pastures. Immigrants mostly from the Horn of Africa – Somalis, Ethiopians and Eritreans are prone to extortions and death while stealthy transiting through some of the eastern and southern African state territories.
In December 2011 20 Somalis were found dead in Mozambique enroute to South Africa. In June 2012 fourty seven South Africa bound Ethiopian migrants drowned on Lake Malawi. In June 2012 43 immigrants from Ethiopia and Somalia were found dead out of suffocation in an abandoned truck around Dodoma in Central Tanzania.
In December 2016 Tanzania’s Minister of Internal Affairs told a local TV station that the mysterious six dead bodies found floating on River Ruvu were of “undocumented immigrants from Ethiopia”. In May 2017 eight corpses of suspected illegal immigrants from Ethiopia were found in an abandoned truck in the southerly region of Ruvuma. Around the same period 47 suspected South Africa bound Somali immigrants were intercepted in Mbeya. While it would seem like it’s only the immigrants from the Horn of Africa whose plight is well documented, the other immigrants from the central, eastern and southern African countries who trot the same treacherous journeys are suffering in silence.
It’s a fact that the majority of Africans are living in abject poverty. They have been worse off during the post-independence era than they were during colonial times. They feel betrayed by their post-independence leaders who are insensitive to the suffering of their fellow Africans. During the so-called struggle for independence, the leaders of the struggling Africans claimed to spearhead a struggle for freeing the African from the colonial political and economic yoke. They deceived their people that the colonialists were responsible for their suffering by way of outright theft of human (slaves) and natural resources.
That Europe and the west had developed because of resources from Africa. They identified Africa’s problems are ignorance, disease and poverty but for the last 50+ years they have only helped to worsen those problems. Instead, as it turned out later, these leaders were only envious of the political and economic powers of the colonialists. The situation under their so-called self-rule was soon to become worse than that of the era of colonial rule. The economic and social infrastructure left by the colonialists crumbled at the hands of the greedy and selfish independence African leaders. They ran down the only railway lines, airports, tarmac roads, factories, schools, bridges, hospitals etc. that were put in place by the colonialists.
While the colonialists took good care of the environment and wildlife, it’s under the independence governments that we have witnessed worst forms of environmental degradation and depletion of wildlife. While some of the new buildings being put up in urban centres by post-independence governments collapse due to poor standards, those that were put in place by the colonialists continue to thrive to this day. They despise western education system yet most of them are products of the same system and they send their children to the same universities in the west.
When they fall sick they and their families go to the hospitals in the west leaving their citizens at the mercy of God under appalling health care systems. Their partly foreign funded national budgets to a big percentage are committed to the security forces that keep them in power. They have no explanation over the sacrifices and endurance that were made by the early explorers, missionaries and colonial administrators, some of whom were buried here, in bringing about social and economic transformation.
What about the trillions of Forex in foreign aid and debt cancellations since independence as compared to the so-called resources that were allegedly stolen from Africa? Why are the descendants of black Americans who were taken as slaves not willing to return to their roots in Africa? If the African slaves were taken by force then who is now forcing the Africans to take treacherous journeys across the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea???
To further hoodwink the unsuspecting African, these rulers coined another term, neocolonialism as an excuse for their failures for underdevelopment. They claimed to champion the total liberation of Africa by supporting the freedom fighters in Zimbabwe and South Africa. After they took over Zimbabwe, it went to the dogs while the leaders led the lives of Paradise. Recently deposed Zimbabwean despot, Robert Mugabe owns a 25-bed roomed private residential worth US$ 10M built by a Serbia based construction firm on a 44-acre land in Harare (see photos of its external and internal looks). He is estimated to own US$ 1.75b worth of property mostly outside Zimbabwe. His economically bleeding countrymen and women are urged to be patriotic and praise him for bringing independence.
Finally, they went for Africa’s largest economy, South Africa and the economic mess by Jacob Zuma and group is evident enough. When Nelson Mandela came out of prison, what he saw in South Africa compared to the rest of the African states that did not have Apartheid, made his decision not to victimize the minority Whites in South Africa. Apartheid South Africa was far ahead in terms of democratic governance and economic development than the independent African states. Why are youths from those countries that claim to have liberated South Africa fleeing to South Africa in search of a better life!!!!! It’s the dream of most unemployed youth in east, central and southern African countries to reach South Africa – “the last stronghold of White rule.”
The rival African leaders that sought to advance divergent views and were either detained or exiled by their Independence African leaders did not make it to the political scene. They either died in detention, in exile or were out rightly assassinated. On the contrary, the so-called independence activists who were arrested by the colonialists were fairly and justly treated and later made it to the helm of politics.
Imagine what would have happened if Mandela, Kenyatta, Mutesa, Mugabe, and others had been detained by fellow Africans!!! The trend of intolerance of divergent political views, gross human rights abuses, economic mismanagement etc. has thrived for the last 50+ years of independence. These selfish African leaders so much cite the 1976 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa but don’t want to talk about the recent Massacre of Africans by fellow Africans at Marekana Mines.
They were very quick to point out how the “Arab Khartoum was mistreating the Christian south but they can’t explain the civil war in independent South Sudan. They equally can’t explain the civil strife in the Congo, Burundi and other countries but are very ready to solicit for aid from the west to cater for the refugees. They claim Nigeria and Ethiopia are Africa’s economic success story but can’t explain why the same countries top the list of immigrant generating countries.
They complain about the ICC and threaten to withdraw their cooperation just because they fear for their heinous crimes against their people. They plead “African Solutions for African Problems” yet they lack the political will and economic capacity to resolve issues without funding and logistical support from the west. They blame all Africa’s woes on the west but 50+ years since independence the situation has grown worse such that those Africans who can’t brave the tough journeys to Europe are praying for the Europeans to recolonize Africa.
In their national budgets, they rely so much on remittances from the diaspora without bothering to examine the factors that led their citizens to live in harsh weather conditions in Europe and America. It is for the same reasons that these hypocrites have always kept a blind eye on the carnage in the desert and at sea for all those years. They believe those Africans once they make it to Europe will send back money in form of remittances. Also, such immigration eases the domestic pressure as a result of rampant unemployment, poor social services and economic hardships.
It is these lies about Africa’s relationship with the West and Europe in particular that they have always preached to their people that is now caught up with them and they fear to face it thus opting to keeping a blind eye.
INFORMATION IS POWER AND DEFIANCE IS THE WAY TO GO
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