The migration tragedy in Libya

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has caused a stir at the European Union Commission by denouncing in the strongest possible terms the situation of the migrants in Libya. The terms of the communiqué which was made public at Geneva on 14th November has provoked some amount of anger in Brussels. According to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the way the European Union in collaboration with Libyan authorities is handling the current influx of migrants into Libya is inhumane. The High Commissioner also pointed out that, ‘’the suffering of the migrants detained in Libya is a scar on the conscience of humanity’’.

From disastrous, the situation has turned catastrophic, reiterated the Commissioner. At the United Nations, the conditions surrounding the detention of the migrants are considered very shocking. ‘’Thousands of men, women and children emaciated and traumatized, stacked on one another, locked up in detention centers and deprived of their dignity… Most of the detainees had already been victims of slavery, kidnapping, torture, sexual violence, hard labour, exploitation, physical violence or exposed to famine and other forms of atrocities in most cases at the hand of traffickers and smugglers, lashed out Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. We cannot continue to be silent witnesses of these modern forms of slavery, said the High commissioner who also urged the Libyan authorities not to detain the migrants

What is happening in Libya, a country without leaders and at the mercy of armed militia men, is a tragedy that the European Union has turned a blind eye to. The African leaders are hypocritically following the European Union like guinea fowls. In Brussels, policymakers are aware of their security policy as a bulwark for irregular migration but prefer to throw money in support of sealing the borders rather than creating conditions for keeping people there.

For several years, the Mediterranean has been transformed into an open cemetery. The young people who are dying through the capsizing of their makeshift boats are sub-humans. Therefore, they are not entitled to the same compassion as other innocent European citizens mown down by the bullets of cowardly lawless terrorists. The death of hundreds of young Africans in the Mediterranean does not generate the same media coverage as hostage-taking or shooting in a hotel or on a beach.

Europe has no desire to find a lasting solution to the migration crisis. She is just content with holding summits to the detriment of human rights especially of these vulnerable people who are fleeing misery and lack of prospects. By encouraging African governments to make policies that dehumanize, Europe and her allies in the international financial system are the ones who have created the problem. The silence of the ruling African elite is as a result of its inability to offer its people a better future. It is not only about organizing summits as was the case in 2015 in Valletta, Malta, but also the courage to tackle the evil from the roots. This would mean that the billions of dollars injected by Europe into border surveillance can be used to create wealth on the continent in order to give hope to young people who face death in search of the “Eldorado”.[:]