With People Coming from the south, migrants flee the vestiges of wars that have left entire nations in ruin. From the east, they escape a life of indefinite military servitude and violent conflict. From the west, they evade destitution and governments that arbitrarily jail whomever they please. And they are all heading to the Libyan coast to try their luck with the unforgiving Mediterranean Sea.
Migrant crossings through the central Mediterranean jumped by more than four-fold after 2013. The International Organization for Migration estimates that nearly 182,000 migrants from Libya have landed in Italy since the start of last year.
Since the EU/ Turkey deal blocking the migrant rout to the Greek islands, Europe was hoping that that was the end of it. No it just gives Turkey a massive amount of leverage over Europe. If the war in Syria is not resolved then Turkey will be dragged further and further in, and this will lead to the deal collapsing and the flood gates opening again.
Lately there have been murmurs from people saying more needs to be done at the source of the problems, but that’s exactly the problem. It will cost billions to address the issues in the regions of the world where the migrants are coming from. For years, broad regions of sub-Saharan Africa have been swallowed by squalor and extreme poverty, crushed under the rule of oppressive governments or caught in the crosshairs of deadly groups that thrive on terror.
Who is going to invest in infrastructure projects to provide water and electricity to these war torn ungovernable places? In some of these regions there are more guns than cattle. The guns and bullets are mainly European made and it’s the constant flow of guns and bullets that keep these areas broken. The European arms trade is big business and on paper has more value than the lives it takes.
Large numbers of people are crossing the continent of Africa to get to Libya and many of them are dying on the journey. They are driven not by greed or any bad intensions, but by hope. They hope and pray for a chance to a basic life. They hope that they will be one of the lucky one that makes it.
The problems driving migration through the northern fold have been festering for decades. But for a short time, world leaders were able to keep the wave from spilling over into Europe. Gaddafi once proudly served as protector to his country's maritime border, promising that, for a sizable compensation from Europe, makeshift loads of human cargo would not suddenly arrive in search of refuge on Italian shores.
Over the past few months Thousands of people have drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean. And thousands more have been rescued at sea in unseaworthy boats. This issue cannot be resolved by dealing with it at sea or as people make it to land, there needs to be forward thinking and a bold vision of how Europe starts to address the issues at source.
Lets start by understanding the moral responsibility Europe has in supplying a continent with weapons of death, ban the sale of weapons, guns and bullets and let supplies run dry. Let’s create a man made drought of weapons.
I know this is wishfull thinking but if people feel the same, don’t stay silent please,