74 Dead And Counting. Migrants Washed Up On Libyan Beaches, That Is.
So far this year 330 migrants are known to have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya. Known being the operative word. Most bodies are never found.
The 74 so far found today are from a boat that was carrying 120.
Last year at least 5,000 drowned crossing the Med. Thousands more will have dies crossing the Sahara to get to the Libyan coast, and still more still will have been taken prisoner by bandit groups and will end up in slavery or prostitution.
Efforts to thwart the people-trafficking trade centre on the borders, but we might do better if we tried addressing the problem at both ends.
Many migrants are Gambians, leaving this impoverished country in the false belief they will be welcomed with open arms if they can make it across the Sahara.
President Adama Barrow, this is a problem that needs to be tackled at this end, right here in The Gambia.
It would be a cheap but very effective measure to organise a touring unit with a big screen projector and assorted video and photo footage to show local people here the cruel realities of “going the back way” as it is called.
Not just the fate of those who drowned, or died in the desert before they even reached Libya, but the fact of those arrested in Libya for illegally entering the country, or the fate of those taken prisoner by bandits, or the fate of those who get to Europe and end up in detention centres on arrival.
This would be an ideal project for the Gambia National Youth Service Scheme to undertake.