Continuing from where I left off in my last paper on the specified subjects deliberated upon during the recently concluded 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and the significant impact made to the world body by our noble president His Excellency Sheikh, Professor, Doctor Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babilimansa, regarding Africa’s concerns about the avoidable death toll of the continent’s migrating youth population, I thought it compelling to share a part of that statement made on Thursday, September 25, 2014. It was during the 69th UNGA Session when he actually articulated the plight of the migrating African youth to Europe. At a time when world leaders acted as if nothing merciless was happening with everyone being coldly apathetic to the scores of African migrants mysteriously perishing in the Mediterranean Sea, President Jammeh alone on his own volition brought up the subject to the UN body in the following words:
………. “Mister President, I want to call the attention of the UNGA and the UN security Council to the very frequent and mysterious sinking, capsizing etc. of boats carrying mostly Black African migrants looking for greener pastures in the West but only to end up in body bags on European shores. Strangely enough, those countries that pretend to love Africans so dearly to the extent of always preaching to African Leaders Good Governance, the rule of law and respect for human life and rights have apparently remained silent about the very dangerous, racist and inhuman behavior involved in deliberately neglecting boats carrying Black Africans to sink with so many dying while a few fortunate ones rescued are incarcerated in concentration camps, called Asylum-Seekers Camps. These camps are horrible and literally comparable to Nazi Concentration Camps; yet nobody, country or Human Rights Organization ever raised the alarm on such a blatant GENOCIDE in the 21st Century.
“Mister President, if our African forebears who received the European Explorers in our continent before it was colonized treated them in the same cruel manner, Africa would not have suffered from European colonialism for 400 years.
“It is evident that the European Explorers were nothing short of dispossessed people seeking greener pastures for the improvement of their harsh living conditions in Europe that at the time was a vast brown pasture. But after overgrazing the green pastures of Africa and turning them into brown pastures from over 400 years of colonial exploitation and misrule, the Africans, forced into the same kind of Exploration of venturing into Europe for the same purpose of seeking greener pastures are unwelcome or greeted with instant death.
“The UN, must conduct a full and impartial investigation into this man-made sinking and capsizing of these boats carrying young Africans to Europe. If these boats are able to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and then end up sinking on European coastlines then we must find out what deadly mysterious force exists, causing them to disintegrate and sink there.
The racism, greed and hate involved only breeds more hatred, violence and potential disastrous confrontation between races. We African leaders will stand up together, I hope, to protect these young Africans from mass murder on European Coasts. I hereby call on the UN to commission an investigating task force as a matter of priority and urgency in order to avert a major racial confrontation. Out of hundreds of European explorers to the Gambia in those early days, only one died on the River Gambia over a span of four hundred years.
“Today in a period of about five years, more than 500 young Gambians have died on European Coasts. And enough is enough, hence the UN must intervene and intervene quickly or else we will all live to regret our failure to take appropriate action at the right time.”
Seven months after President Jammeh delivered this historic statement at the UN General Assembly, in April 2015, seven hundred more African migrants drowned in the high seas trying to reach Europe. Investigations into that particular incident shockingly proved the Gambian leader right in that European countries that could have made a difference in preventing the tragedy of sinking boats signaling distress in their coastlines, deliberately neglected the victims to the peril of the deadly sea, a callous tactic, systematically applied to discourage migrants from attempting the journey to their countries.
It has since become an embarrassing and sad phenomenon to the Europeans and members of the United Nations Organization; however, to the pride of all Gambians it showed the commendable bold effort taken by one African leader in 2014, His Excellency President Jammeh, for challenging the world to take urgent measures which two years after, on September 19, 2016, the world body acted accordingly.
Now that world leaders have taken the cue from His Excellency President Jammeh on the global migration conundrum with the decision of tackling it head on, the Gambian President still believes that the ultimate enduring solution to it lies in the overdue responsibility of the developed nations to repair the chronic damage in Africa caused by centuries of subjecting the continent to the illegal and brutal commerce of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism.
Indeed, President Jammeh doesn’t believe that the world will realize the peace and prosperity it desires in the absence of the adoption of a UN resolution aimed at repairing the lasting destruction of Africa, perpetrated by European slavers and colonizers of the past. And whereas the overwhelming majority of the African youth leave the continent to Europe simply to look for greener pasture, their recent increasing numbers seem to have been worsened by the ongoing ideological and religious armed conflicts in the Middle East that is also developing into an existential threat to both Africa and Europe. Simply, put, if the migration surge continues at the baffling rate it is going, Africa will never be able to build the human capacity required for sustainable development that is attractive enough for its youth and bright minds to stay at home or halt the human hemorrhage. In fact, President Jammeh’s proposition for reparation justice hinges primarily on a design mutually beneficial to both the developed and underdeveloped worlds.
Arguably, repairing the damages inflicted on the African continent should under no circumstances be viewed as a mere transfer of wealth from Europe to Africa that in the end will hurt the former’s economy and help that of the latter’s. Instead, the Gambian leader prefers a kind of Marshall Plan that if successfully implemented will improve the living and working conditions in Africa and make the continent more attractive to its inhabitants to stay and not to leave and become the burden of Europeans as perceived in the open-ended mass migration.
Without doubt, the centuries of damage caused by slavery, the slave trade and colonialism on Africa and its descendants as a whole bears a far reaching effect not only limited to the continent and its present inhabitants, but has also adversely affected and still continue to affect black people all over the world, from the USA to the Caribbean, South America to Asia and Western Europe to Eastern Europe.
Yet, what is frankly indisputable is the fact that most of Africa’s material and human resources illegally exploited and transferred to the developed world obviously contributed in transforming most continents for the better, while in Africa conditions continue to deteriorate from its effect, essentially forcing its mainly young inhabitants to leave in multitudes.
In the slave era, Africans were captured, chained, shipped away and sold in a mass-cooperation network that subsequently brought about the industrial revolution. Invariably, the migration era today, attributable to the unbearable conditions of living in the continent from the lasting effects of Western activities of the past is now forcing the African youth to risk dying in desert treks, drowning in sea-unworthy boats and being dehumanized in “Refugee/Asylum /Concentration/Detention Camps”, just to reach the industrialized world.
I will however subscribe to the incontestable conception that the once beautiful and much-idolized western world and its attractive lifestyle that for centuries was built and maintained on Africa’s expense does no longer enjoy the internal safety and security that throughout symbolized that success. The fascination about that whole establishment is gradually diminishing due to the lack of attainable solutions by European governments to stop the threatening influx of those they have throughout history marginalized, ill-treated, dehumanized, rendered homeless and encouraged to fight endless wars.
And like I would always say, with globalization in full gear, coupled with the culture of economic greed and the natural human instinct for survival by any means possible, desperate migrants in large numbers, will always find the fare and pay the smugglers to drop them off on European shores. Many more will find visas, board airplanes, ride trains and cars to get to the west and will refuse to leave even if their lives depend on it.
No wonder therefore that the lack of meaningful solution to this problem, compounded by the unsustainable economic and security burden weighing heavily on governments that have no choice but to receive, shelter, feed and attire more immigrants arriving, is turning many of the white population in the west into xenophobic whiners.
In the absence of a meaningful solution to the calamity, trying the reparation-of-Africa initiative suggested at The UN by His Excellency President Jammeh may be the only way out.
Perhaps starting by building skill centers in Africa aimed at training and equipping the potential migrant youth from urban centers with the right job skills, will help make them better employable and productive than when they arrive with no skills or careers and become totally dependent to state-welfare funds for survival.
Resorting to criminal activities could be their only option if their usefulness is limited or nonexistent.
Just make an honest survey of the productive work force in the West in terms of skilled workers, in science, technology and medicine and you will be amazed by the huge number of migrants from Africa-illegal and legal-keeping the engines of industrial growth viable and progressive.
President Jammeh in fact is merely calling for a genuine transfer of feasible science and technology from the overstocked land of the slave masters to the overexploited land of their victims in Africa that should include adequate and affordable clean energy as a first step towards industrializing the continent for greater employment opportunities.
A small fraction of the ballooning budget currently spent by Western nations on internal security because of their lack of virtuous solution to the ceaseless flood of migrants into their countries could have been spent improving Africa’s deteriorating conditions and creating poverty-alleviating projects that will encourage the youth to stay and work at home instead of having to migrate and become “pests” to the West.
Ostensibly, the only transfer of technology the industrialized countries are keen to support in Africa is the lucrative business of producing and trafficking of billions of dollars-worth of guns and bullets that keeps us fully occupied fighting each other and not working to improve our foreign-inflicted predicaments. So with the greedy culture of death for more money a solution will always remain elusive and the threat of the iceberg sooner or later crashing on the “European Cruise Ship” becoming more unavoidable.
Once again, let me share the exact words of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Doctor Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babilimansa, delivered on his behalf by Her Excellency Dr. Isatou Njie Saidy at the 71st UNGA Session on September 21, 2016 on the need for REPARATION OF AFRICA. I was there folks!
To be continued.
Long live the Islamic Republic of The Gambia!
Long live the Gambian people!
Long live His Excellency Sheikh Professor Doctor Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babillimansa; President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed and Security Forces.
New York City