In recent months, a lot has been said about how the Libya migrant crisis is a problem that reflects the moral failure in Europe. It's easy to blame Europe for not opening up it's borders to these Africans, however, what we need to ask is whether we have been honest about this crisis and what has led to this Exodus from Africa?
The migrant camps in Libya are filled with young Africans who were once hopeful to cross the Mediterranean for a better future in Europe. However, now shut out from a now less migrant tolerant Europe, they have found themselves locked up in war torn Libya's horrid migrant camps.
On 2 July, 53 migrants and refugees were killed by an airstrike on a detention center in Libya. They were being held less than 100 yards from a militia’s arms depot at the time of the attack, a New York Times investigation reported. The depot had also been struck just two months earlier, and both the detainees and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had warned of the dangers faced by those held there.
Recently, growing numbers of migrants from a handful of African countries are joining Central Americans at the USA's southern border. This has prompted calls from Trump and Mexico for other countries in Latin America to do their part to slow the overall flood of migrants.
Marilyne Tatang, 23, crossed nine borders in two months to reach Mexico from the West African nation of Cameroon, fleeing political violence after police torched her house, she said.
The number of Africans registered by Mexican authorities tripled in the first four months of 2019 compared with the same period a year ago, reaching about 1,900 people, mostly from Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which remains deeply unstable years after the end of a bloody regional conflict with its neighbors that led to the deaths of millions of people.
What is the true cause of the problem?
The media has found Western policymakers as the easy scapegoats in the crisis. They have ignored the true cause of the problem. The failure of the African Union to solve continental issues.
In Cameroon, the persecution of Anglophone Cameroonians has been going unpunished for the past two years. No decisive action has been taken by any African country to stop this gross violation of human rights.
Only recently did the Swiss step in to mediate the crisis between the Cameroonian government led by President Paul Biya, and opposition leaders in the Anglophone regions. Were Cameroon's neighbours not aware of the crisis and the need for dialogue in the divided country?
The ongoing crisis has led to many Anglophone Cameroonians making the gruesome journey and border crossings with the hope of reaching the United States.
This is the same story across Africa where instability and crisis have led many young Africans to flee their homes.
The AU has revealed that it's only but a sham as the UN has taken centre stage in trying to work on the problems caused by the crisis.
Despite being career diplomats, it is pathetic that most of the secretariat of the organisation fail to implement simple solutions such as political dialogue. A simple act of bringing two warring parties to the negotiating table.
One sucess story of what dialogue can achieve is the 2008 crisis that rocked Zimbabwe. Thabo Mbeki, then South African president, brought the two parties to the table. What ensued was stability and an end to a decade of economic turmoil that reduced the influx of Zimbabweans into South Africa.
On the other hand, there is what is termed as "underdevelopment" in the countries of origin. The media uses images of starvation, poverty and malnutrition to best depict this term. 6However, what has gone on unabated is the root cause of these problems.
Why have we stopped speaking about democratic governance as a first tool towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?
It's sad that South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa entertains a discussion about a bailout with Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa who is globe trotting on a hired private jet from Dubai.
Such lack of frank talk between the leaders and saying it like it is has kept the societies in poverty for decades after their independence.
If there is proper governance, then sub-Saharan countries can leverage more on their resources to prevent the migrant exodus. The very same opportunities that migrants seek in the West, can be achieved in Africa.
Africa needs to have a frank conversation before building sand castles.
What good is trying to implement a trade agreement if there is still inability across the continent that threatens thesecurity of goods in transit?
It's ridiculous that Uganda and Rwanda signed on to the Africa Continental Free Trade Area when they are still locked up in a border dispute.
The AU and its general assembly need to step and move to solve the issues that are affecting the ordinary man on the continent before taking any stance about what should be done about the thousands trying to cross the border into the United States.
Instead of wasting their public funds on this problem, Western governments should liquidate the bank accounts of African politicians and use the funds toward the solution of dealing with the migrants.
Header Image Credit: Vanguard Nation