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Africans Crossing The Sahara To Europe - Dangerous Journey - Politics - Nairaland

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Africans Crossing The Sahara To Europe - Dangerous Journey by bilymuse: 3:00pm On Mar 27, 2009
[size=15pt]AFRICANS CROSSING THE SAHARA TO EUROPE[/size]

As many of us go about our normal daily activities on the continent, a silent
and pathetic valley of death is claiming the lives of our people in their wanton drive to leave the living heat and hell on our continent. I am even shedding tears as I remember the investigation I did to discover this dark side of our people's lives. Groups of African men and women (including Ghanaians) begin their journey to the unknown from Agadis in Niger by car to Alate, then hop in another vehicle to Asamaka and then end up at Jenet in the middle of nowhere near Mount Hoga which is on the northern border of Niger with Algeria. They then pay a desert guide to walk them through a desert route covering a distance of 50 km by foot till they get to Mount Hugo. They then change course and walk for another 350 km to Obari which is the the first border town in Algeria.

From this point on, there is no village or human settlement (just open desert). The distance they have to walk covers a period of 3 weeks before getting to Sabat in Libya. During the day when the sun is hot, there is no movement. Movement begins at sundown through the night till about 10:30 the following morning when the sun gets hot again. Your bottle of water in this dry scorching desert, has to last you the length of the period because there is no water. Once in Libya, they have to travel long distances at very high risk of being arrested or even killed, to get to cross the mediterranean sea into Europe. The valley of the shadow of death is the route on the desert.

During this journey on foot, many give up the ghost when they get tired, get tired or fall sick. They are left behind as the group must move on. There are so many dead bodies of Africans with their passports on their chests. Their relatives neither know where they are nor do they have a clue that they are dead. , It is really sad. In some cases, the guide loses his bearings so they all wonder in the desert till death parts them all. There are horrific stories of strange beasts and animals attacking them. Our leaders do not seem to have a clue as to the consequencies of thier misrule.

Anonymous.

THE HANDSTAND
FEBRUARY 2003

http://www.thehandstand.org/archive/february2003/articles/africa.htm
Re: Africans Crossing The Sahara To Europe - Dangerous Journey by bilymuse: 3:03pm On Mar 27, 2009
[size=13pt]Remember Asamaka
See Morocco See Spain
12 kilometre to hell[/size]
Re: Africans Crossing The Sahara To Europe - Dangerous Journey by desgiezd(m): 3:08pm On Mar 27, 2009
Suicide mission
Re: Africans Crossing The Sahara To Europe - Dangerous Journey by comfort3: 4:44pm On Mar 27, 2009
sad
Re: Africans Crossing The Sahara To Europe - Dangerous Journey by bilymuse: 6:46am On Mar 28, 2009
Watch a video of a migrants trying trying to cross the sahara:


http://www.algerianamericans.com/component/hwdvideoshare/?task=viewvideo&video_id=13
Re: Africans Crossing The Sahara To Europe - Dangerous Journey by bilymuse: 4:20pm On Mar 30, 2009
[size=15pt]Mali's dangerous desert gateway[/size]


Mali's Sahara frontier
Gao's gateway to the deadly desert road


Joan Baxter
Bamako, Mali

The city of Gao in northeastern Mali was once the wealthy capital of the great Songhay Empire of West Africa. Today it has fallen on hard times and become the impoverished capital of human trafficking from West Africa to Europe. It's because I don't have money I am willing to take the risk. Nobody wants to die in the desert.

Nigerian migrant
Languishing on the banks of the Niger River, 1,200 kilometres north of the capital, Bamako, and surrounded by sand dunes, Gao is the main starting point for illegal migrants from all over Africa desperate to get to Europe and willing to risk crossing the Sahara Desert to do so.

From Gao, young Africans, mostly from Nigeria and Ghana, set off across the desert in battered pick-up trucks or lorries bound for Europe. Some even undertake the hazardous journey on foot. The route takes the migrants across the Malian border into Algeria, then north across the Sahara until they reach Morocco. From there they must get to Spain, their entry point into Europe.

'Oldest profession'
Chief of Police in Gao's police chief, Abdoullaye Danfaga, estimates that thousands of illegal migrants set out from Gao each year. He says it is impossible to know exactly how many leave, let alone how many perish in the desert.

Brothel in Gao
Gao's notorious "Ghetto" brothel
He says the traffic is organised from Spain and "the network is vast, like a Mafia". Mr Danfaga says that when the traffickers need more people to move, they call from Spain to their agent in Nigeria and order, say, 20 girls. When those girls reach Gao, the traffickers force them into prostitution to pay for their false passports and to continue their journey.
The female migrants are put to work in a brothel known as "The Ghetto". Most of them are just teenagers.

Traffickers
The police chief sadly admits that human trafficking is by far Gao's biggest industry and deplores the dangers facing young people who attempt to cross the desert this way.

Austin, a Nigerian who Danfaga alleges is the leader of the trafficking operation in Gao, says the number of migrants who set off from here each year is "uncountable, it's like sand, so many people moving".

Gao barbershop
Is this shop a front for trafficking ?

With his vested interest in the trafficking, Austin downplays the dangers of the desert crossing. he says, "People die, yes, but people also die in air crashes." He defends the illegal immigration to Europe by saying that white people refuse to give Africans visas. But the local authorities in Gao suggest that the traffickers themselves take advantage of the desperate young migrants trying to get to Europe to earn money to support their own families back home.

Death in the sand
The gendarme commander in the region, Seydou Doumbia, says the migrants are harassed and threatened by the traffickers at every stage of their journey. Once they are in the desert, they are at the mercy of ruthless drivers who threaten to abandon them if they don't hand over all their possession. The gendarmes say if vehicles break down, the passengers usually die of thirst in the desert and their remains may be lost forever in the desert sands. Last year, they rescued 17 young Nigerians from a stranded vehicle but many of their fellow travellers had died of hunger and thirst.

Forged documents
Fake passports seized by gendarmes
The gendarmes say the survivors lived only by eating their dead companions. The gendarmes allege that there is complicity in this lucrative human trade at all levels of government. The traffickers work with officials to procure Malian or Guinean passports for illegal migrants from all over Africa. The papers allow them to cross into Algeria without visas.
The police are able to intercept some of the migrants and seize their false passports. But most of illegal migrants manage to head off undetected into the desert.

One young Nigerian migrant, who wants to remain anonymous, says all the clandestine migrants are driven by desperate poverty and their dreams of work and money in Europe .

Asked if he thinks it's worth risking his life to cross the desert, he replies, "It's because I don't have money I am willing to take the risk. Nobody wants to die in the desert. So when you go, you better give yourself over to God, make yourself close to God and if you pray, you will reach your destination."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2063526.stm

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Re: Africans Crossing The Sahara To Europe - Dangerous Journey by bilymuse: 6:31pm On Mar 31, 2009
[size=15pt]Hundreds feared drowned off Libya
[/size]

More than 200 African migrants are feared dead after their boat sank off the coast of Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says. The boat carrying around 250 people is reported to have capsized 50km (30 miles) north of the Libyan coast in stormy seas and high winds. Libyan officials say 21 people are confirmed dead and 23 rescued. A second boat with around 350 migrants was rescued, an official from the IOM told the Associated Press news agency.

'Quick rescue'

The IOM's Laurence Hart said the rescued boat and all of its passengers were now safely back in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Libyan search and rescue operations led to the recovery of the bodies of those who drowned as a result of the accident, among them the bodies of 10 Egyptians

Egyptian official Ahmed Rizk
"Rescue was quick because they were near an oil platform that notified the Libyan coastal guards who quickly rescued the migrants," he said. The missing boat is believed to be in the same area. Coastguards are believed to be looking for two other boats, which reportedly left for Italy in recent days.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7973322.stm

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