Opinion: Why European Union Should Be Held Responsible For African Migrants Crisis- Kungu Al-mahadi Adam 

Opinion: Why European Union Should Be Held Responsible For African Migrants Crisis- Kungu Al-mahadi Adam 

By Kungu Al-mahadi Adam 

Kampala: Throughout last year, several European countries doubled on efforts to contain the influx of migrants from Africa and other parts of the world, with many mooting tougher restrictions. While some revised their asylum and migration policies, others continue to pressure African states to increase migration controls.

Migrants, in dozens of thousands, often launch their journeys from Africa to Europe, escaping conflict, human rights violations, climate change, and the economic consequences. The numbers have surged in recent years despite the life threatening risks involved since most of them travel by sea.

It is however disheartening to see that those fleeing are left to drown in the sea, intercepted and pushed back at borders, denied humanitarian assistance, and criminalised for seeking safety and better living conditions by European States.

Instead of upholding their international responsibilities towards people looking for safety at their doorstep, European countries continue to pass violent policies that cost lives.

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Moreover given their neo-colonialism policies, members of the European Union (EU) are the primary cause of these unwanted but unavoidable migrations. And so, it is shear hypocrisy, hatred for Africans and inhumane for them to throw these migrants back to the dogs.

Neocolonialism refers to the indirect, subtle form of control and exploitation that former colonial powers or other dominant nations exert over less developed countries, an art the West has mastered and continues to apply it on the African continent.

It is this neocolonialism which is manifesting through economic, political, and cultural exploitation that has worsened the African migration crisis.

Specifically, the economic exploitation is seen through unequal trade relationships, resource extraction, and the imposition of economic policies that benefit neo-colonialists at the expense of African nations. This has contributed to persistent economic challenges and limited self-determination for African states and their people.

Africans, given the existing natural resources and commercial power on their continent, would never rise their lives to trek to Europe for greener pastures, had not been due to oppression, and exploitation by the neo-colonial powers

The EU members have exploited the continent using methods, such as economic aid and linking their economics and policies of their less developed neo-colonial states, to their own systems.

The neo-colonial system for financial assistance, use aid as a means of controlling the colonial states through the structural adjustment programs, making their former colonies dependent on a financial system whose in-built mechanism insures that neo-colonialism indirectly maintains control over African countries.

European countries have deliberately rendered Africa and its people poor through trade imbalance whereby, African countries produce raw materials and sell to the neo-colonial states which transform them into finished products which are exported back to Africa. The prices of the raw materials as well as the finished goods are determined by the neo-colonial states.

So, given that state of affairs in Africa created by the West, the number of African migrants is expected to rise. People are extremely poor, they want to survive. The sad bit of it, is that there are no legal and safe ways for migrants to get into Europe.

This is the reason, thousands of Africans from or transiting through Morocco, Tunisia and Libya drown every day while illegally attempting to cross to Europe in anticipation of better life.

Instead of putting in place measures to receive immigrants whose life they have made miserable in their home countries, the neo-colonialists are hellbent on creating a system to prevent their entrance before they reach European costs.

The EU disburses finances and trains a coast guard which has become a military structure with an aim to catch refugees from Africa. They are intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea and put into terrible conditions of interim refugee camps for an unestablished period where they undergo an abusive and inhumane streatment.

The EU is funding and outsourcing harmful border practices to other countries, such as Libya, thus eroding the asylum system and failing to provide meaningful protection to people seeking safety. EU countries, including Italy, are going to extraordinary lengths to tighten control at borders, and prevent departures, while criminalising civil search and rescue operations.

Let us not pretend about African Migrants, the economic exploitation by the West is the cause, they same exploiters can not be the very ones abandoning the problem they caused. The EU must respect the asylum process and protect African human lives and provide dignified and humane treatment to the Africans crossing into its member states instead of pushing them away.

The EU disburses finances and trains a Coast Guard which has become a military structure with an aim to catch refugees from Africa. They are intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea and put into terrible conditions of interim refugee camps for an unestablished period where they undergo an abusive and inhumane streatment.

The EU is funding and outsourcing harmful border practices to other countries, such as Libya, thus eroding the asylum system and failing to provide meaningful protection to people seeking safety.

EU countries, including Italy, are going to extraordinary lengths to tighten control at borders, and prevent departures, while criminalising civil search and rescue operations.

Let us not pretend about African Migrants, the economic exploitation by the West is the cause, the same exploiters can not be the very ones abandoning the problem they caused. The EU must respect the asylum process and protect African human lives and provide dignified and humane treatment to the Africans crossing into its member states instead of pushing them away.

The writer is a Ugandan Journalist with passion for current African Affairs.

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