AU Summit: Nigeria challenges African leaders to stop illegal migration to Europe

Johannesburg, South Africa (PANA) - Nigeria has challenged African leaders to do everything possible to reverse the 'ugly trend' of African youths dying in droves while attempting to illegally migrate to Europe in search of 'better life'.

Addressing the ongoing 25th African Union (AU) Summit in South Africa on Sunday, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari described as an embarrassment to African leaders the ''images in the international mass media of African youths getting drowned in the Mediterranean sea on their illegal attempts, and often times illusory hope of attaining better life in Europe''.

President Buhari said the tragedies accompanying the illegal migration also ''dehumanizes our persons'' and combine to ''paint a very unfavourable picture of our peoples and countries''

''Those of us gathered here today owe it as a duty to reverse this ugly trend. We must put an end to the so-called push factors that compel our young men and women to throw caution to the winds and risk life, limbs and all, on this dangerous adventure.

''We must redouble our efforts to sustain the economic development of our countries, ensure empowerment of our youths, create more jobs, improve and upgrade our infrastructure, and above all continue the enthronement of a regime of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights and rule of law. These and other measures that engender peace and stability must be pursued relentlessly,'' President Buhari said

He stressed the need for African leaders to continue to work together, through the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), ''to uplift our continent and provide the African peoples the enabling environment for the realization of their legitimate dreams and aspirations''.

PANA quotes the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as saying that IOM's Missing Migrants project has reported that through 12 June 2015, an estimated 1,865 people have died seeking passage across the Mediterranean.

It said due to stepped up efforts by Europe to patrol water routes, nearly 50,000 migrants have been rescued so far this year in the waters between Libya's coast and Italy.

On Monday, IOM announced the recovery of the bodies of 18 migrants, mostly from West Africa, in the Sahara Desert after they apparently died while trying to cross the desert to Libya en route Europe.
-0- PANA SEG 15June2015

15 june 2015 12:47:43

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