Dehai News People crossing the ‘sea of death’

Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam

Date: Friday, 21 June 2024

June 21, 2024

In the last century, adventurous mountaineers and explorers travelled to “mountains of death”, “lakes of death”, “caves of death” and elsewhere to leave their traces. 

But in the new century, rare “adventurers” are unhesitatingly jumping into the “sea of death”.

Choice of ‘adventurers’, their destination?

This year alone, 120 persons lost their lives and more than 250 others went missing while crossing the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya in North Africa. They were not voyagers but African refugees.

As is known, large numbers of refugees head for Europe leaving behind their native places every year. But many of them are buried at the Mediterranean, which is the “sea of death” to refugees.

The International Organization for Migration announced last April that more than 3 790 people were rescued in the sea and 480 persons, including women and children, narrowly escaped death in a week alone.

A few years ago, 1 500 refugees, who met with a disaster in the Mediterranean while trying to stow away from Libya to Europe, were rescued with difficulty. A strange thing happened when a Libyan ship arrived at the rescue site. Instead of boarding the ship, the refugees jumped into the sea again. It was the choice of the shipwrecked persons as they regarded it as better to be buried in the sea for a “comfortable death” than to return to their homeland which is being buffeted by political upheavals and armed conflicts.

The refugees who scarcely crossed the Mediterranean also meet a tragic fate.

Most of them suffer from discrimination at refugee camps with no protective facilities and from food shortage under poor living conditions. Refugees at the crossroads of life and death are constantly exposed to the threat from ceaselessly spread epidemics. Many people fall victim to criminal organizations bent on moneymaking. In particular, the majority of children and young women who arrived in Europe become the target of human trafficking.

After all, the new abode, the base of life allotted to refugees who left their homeland, is as good as hell.

Can the ‘great migration of nation’ be stopped?

The international community has made constant efforts to solve the refugee problem. In the course of this, the Protocol on the Status of Refugees was adopted, World Refugee Day (June 20) was set and such multilateral mechanism as the International Organization for Migration specializing in the refugee issue was set up.

However, the refugee problem remains unresolved.

In 2014, the number of refugees in the world was about 59.5 million, but their number has nearly doubled ten years later now.

The rapid increase in their number is attributable to ceaseless armed conflicts in different parts of the world and frequent natural disasters across the world.

In particular, the US interferes in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of “democracy”, causing instability to their regional situation, breeding terrorism and plunging the people into distress.

About 929 000 people have died and 38 million others have become refugees in more than 80 countries of the world due to the wars that were started and military actions that were taken by the US under the pretext of "war on terror" since 2000. About 9.2 million people were reduced to refugees in Iraq between 2003 and 2021 and 11 million in Afghanistan during the US military occupation.

The same is the case with the present Middle East situation.

Under the active patronage and with the political and military backing of the US, Israel keeps carrying out indiscriminate attacks on Palestinians. As a result, more than 110 000 people were killed or wounded and well over a million others accounting for 80 percent of the population of the Gaza Strip were reduced to refugees in a little over eight months.

Because of US intervention aimed at dominating the world, different regions of the world have been thrown into political chaos and thereby the refugee crisis is being exacerbated inevitably.

The reality proves that as long as there exists imperialism that takes aggression and plunder as its physiology, the "adventurers" crossing the "sea of death" in search of a way to make a living will keep increasing in number and, therefore, the refugee crisis called the "great migration of the nation" can never be resolved.


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