Monday, January 5, 2015

Sinking migrants in the Mediterranean sea and questions not being asked

Water, giving and taking life in the 
Mediterranean sea
photo credit Edinah Masanga
Thousands of migrants are sinking in the Mediterranean sea while trying to sail to Europe in search of one or all; peace, security, better lives, fleeing war and persecution. These migrants mostly Africans from countries like Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and now also from countries like Syria and Iraqi, take the perilous journey across the sea regardless of the danger of sinking to the bottom of the sea.

Their transporters, pirates, are using livestock freighters, cargo ships and other unworthy and creaky boats to overload precious human cargo in exchange for thousands of dollars per head in fares. Reminds me of the movie Pirates of the Carribean. Except in this case the pirates are not hunting for treasure, there is no Hollywood involved, no stars on set, no take two or take three or cut! when things go wrong. It's a matter of life or death.

In this case, when things go wrong they go wrong all the way to the bottom of the sea. I shudder to think. I don't hear much noise being made. I don't hear international conferences or conventions being called for this problem. Is it that these lives are not worth talking about, the problem undeserving of attention?

Precious human lives are being dumped in the middle of the sea by pirates and yet Europe is mum. All I read are random reports of the "incidences", random biased press reports written in a way to highlight that immigrants are invading Europe. Really? Is this the real problem here or the problem is that we have scared, tormented and persecuted people willing to die in search of peace. Is this not the story we must be hearing and thus getting some attention and action from the so called international community. Pirates are abandoning these ships halfway in the vast waters of the sea and off they go with their millions. One ship recently was reported as having had people worth $1.8m in fares paid to the pirates.

My heart bleeds for women and children. When I read stories of pregnant women dying on board and unaccompanied children who get stampeded on, I weep inside. My tears a painful reminder of the struggles of the poor, and with operations to rescue migrant ships in distress having been scaled down in order to curb the numbers of immigrants reaching Europe, my biggest fear is the unaccounted for ships, sinking unabated. The thousands of human lives being swallowed by the oceans. If only the belly of the ocean could have enough and take no more.

Big Question

And by not rescuing the ships I bet this does not stop the migrants from taking the perilous journey, but in fact it means more ships get to drown before they reach the shores of Europe isn't it? Problem solved. Europe gets half the number of immigrants reaching them not because they never left their countries, no, but because they sank to the bottom of the sea halfway through the journey.  How many men, women and children will perish before we, as one human race, do something substantia?

What is the role of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees? There are so many questions to be asked. I am just sitting here tapping away on my computer just wondering who has the obligation to answer all these my questions? And sadly I can't figure it out.

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