Africa’s Mediterranean Migration Crisis

Africa's Meditteranean Migration Crisis

Since the days of Ancient Kemet, Africans have sailed across the Waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Although in Ancient Times Africans would sail across the  Mediterranean as part of an International Trade Network with such peoples as the Phoenicians, in modern times, Africans are sailing across the Mediterranean in order to flee from the instability of their home countries which has resulted in Africa’s Mediterranean Migration Crisis.

Today, Thousands of people are making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe.

According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, more than 60 Percent of Mediterranean Sea Immigrants  come from Libya, Somalia and Eritrea.

A significant number of Economic Migrants also come from Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia and Mali. 

Armed conflicts in Syria, Libya and Somalia have seen many Migrants attempt the Meditteranean crossing in an effort to seek refuge from the effects of War in those countries. Eritreans on the other hand flee from Government Human Rights abuses and poor Economic prospects.

Children are most at risk as large numbers make the trip across the Mediterranean in hopes of landing in countries like Italy and Greece.

Most African Migrants attempt the Meditteranean crossing from the Coast of Libya in North Africa. 

The European Union has responded with Rescue Patrols which also focus on Border Control. Whilst these Patrols like Operation Triton respond to vessels in distress, they do not actively patrol and search for Migrants at risk on the Waters of the Meditteranean.

In addition, most are focused on apprehending Smuggling which is rife.

Ultimately, the problems within Africa itself are the cause of Africa’s Mediterranean Migration Crisis.

As such, in order for the issue to be resolved in the long term, the sytemic Political and Economic issues plaguing Africa which produce the conditions that compel people to migrate to Europe in the first place need to be addressed.

This is a fundamental aspect of the restructuring of African Economics and Politics within the current Neo-Colonial climate as the world itself experiences a major Socio-Economic and Political Shift as a consequence of the Coronavirus Pandemic Shock.

For this reason, the incentives that induce Africans to migrate across the Meditteranean will be in existence for some time, and may even increase in the near future.

As such, at this stage it would seem that greater responsibilities will fall on European Union Nations as they struggle to enforce their Borders, stem the tide of illegal Immigration whilst trying to ensure fair access to Asylum for those Migrants entitled to it under the 1951 United Nations Human Rights Convention Of Refugees.

In the meantime, we can only empathise with those Africans and people around the world especially children that find themselves with no other choice except to embark on this treacherous crossing.

Africa’s Migration crisis is also considered in the 2019 Film Atlantics, in which a group of young Senegalese Men set off on a boat for Spain from the coast of Senegal in search of a better life in Europe with tragic consequences. 

Films like Atlantics dramatise the stories of those people that have fallen victim to  Africa’s Mediterranean Migration Crisis by exploring how their departure and death affects those they leave behind.