February 28, 2021

Migrant sea disaster claims West Africans

2 min read

Reports by International Organization for Migration (IOM) disclosed that after the latest shipwreck this past weekend, 521 have died at sea – 50 more compared to the same period in 2016.

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African migrants: the journey Photo courtesy of http://awdnews.com

To help address the problem IOM has launch The Aware Migrants campaign (www.AwareMigrants.org) to inform migrants from 15 countries – mostly in West Africa plus Tunisia and Egypt – about the dangers of migrating irregularly across the Sahara desert, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea.

The majority of these migrants are from Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal and Gambia – same as in 2016, according to IOM.

Some of the migrants who make it to Europe and share their ordeal with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) (www.IOM.int) reveal that their journey was far more dangerous than expected.

“I was pregnant when I started this journey and as the months went on, traveling became harder and harder for me. We were 40 people from all over the region crammed in one car. We had nowhere to sleep. The sun made us go crazy. There was no food or water in the desert. We had nothing. And I was pregnant,” said Binta from Liberia.

Many are unaware of the dangers and risks of migrating with the assistance of smugglers, not only at sea or in the desert, but also in transit countries like Libya. Recalling the life-threatening risks along their journey is often very distressing and in many instances, most migrants wish to forget and move forward with their lives and therefore tend not to share their experience with peers who are still back home.

 

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