feature: 900 migrants, mostly african, died last week on their way to europe

May 4, 2015

900 migrants, mostly from Africa, died last week on their way to Europe after the ship carrying them (a smuggler boat) capsized. This tragedy has shone a much-needed spotlight on Europe’s mishandling of immigration and the need for its countries to be more open to African migration. The fact that Europe has both greatly contributed to and profited from the current situation in Africa through colonisation and paternalist post-colonial policies, including putting dictators and corrupted leaders in place to get a hold of resources, seems reason enough to offer more Africans residence – and in turn afford those from developing areas better employment and education opportunities. If Europe fails do this, more Africans are bound to seek illegal ways to enter Europe and the toll of migrant deaths will sadly continue to rise. As of now, the European union is set on bringing immigration down by any means necessary; intent on using its funds to destroy smuggler ships before they even embark. WTF? Wouldn’t it be smarter to use those funds to help develop the areas that these migrants are running from? Read more on the story here and check out some excerpts below.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor


“Struggling to cope with a growing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, European leaders promised on Thursday to triple their spending on border protection and approved plans to intensify efforts to root out smugglers’ boats before they could set sail, among other measures.”

Experts and advocacy groups said the plans announced by leaders meeting in Brussels were far too small in scale to stem the flow of illegal migrants or prevent disasters like the capsizing of a ship carrying mostly African migrants off the coast of Libya last weekend, which killed as many as 900 people. Funerals for 24 of the victims were held Thursday in Malta, but few of the migrants’ bodies have been recovered.

“The E.U. hasn’t had a coherent immigration policy since forever, and the situation is getting worse since the Arab Spring,”

“In 2013, 107,000 people were detected trying to enter the European Union, up from 75,000 in 2012, according to Frontex, the union’s border agency. About 1,727 migrants have died in the Mediterranean so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.”

“Before the boat left Libya, the smugglers kept as many as 1,200 migrants on a farm near Tripoli, prosecutors said. Survivors described having been beaten and abused. Armed men in uniforms guarded the farm, prosecutors said, and one person reported seeing exchanges of money to men who appeared to be police officers.”