Crushing Dreams Will Not Stop the Rush from Africa

Two sides of Africa plunge migrants into deep despair. Thousands from the continent’s central belt head to Libya, load themselves on boats bound for Europe, and never reach their destination.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State group abducts Ethiopian migrants and murders them. The militants of the IS do the work of European fascists, who would rather see these forlorn men and women dead than on their shores.

At the other end of Africa, reckless statements by Zulu leaders send equally wretched men and women to riot against migrants.

The king of the Zulus, Goodwill Zwelithini, channelled the anti-immigrant political parties of Europe when he called on foreigners to “pack their belongings and go back to their countries”.

Violence has torn through Durban and into Johannesburg, often against people from countries that provided South African freedom fighters refuge during the fight against apartheid.

Rising unemployment and political instability have created the toxic conditions for mass migration and with it the rise of anti-immigration sentiment.

The EU and the International Organisation of Migration go after the symptoms of the problem, and target migration routes.

The EU is eager to destroy the boats on the Libyan coast so that they cannot carry their human cargo. The IOM suggests that the experience of anti-piracy on the coast of Somalia can be brought to the Libyan waters.

There is no focus on the plight of the migrants, nor what they are fleeing and searching for.

These migrants are fleeing the structured collapse of their economies and political structures. Youth unemployment is a serious issue across Africa.