Africa: Our New Normal - the Tragedy and the Struggle for Change

Eritreans protesting in Tel Aviv (file photo).
opinion

To reach a permanent solution to refugee crises, we need to address the root cause: democratisation and the violation of human rights in Africa. This is a global crisis, which needs a global solution. Let European countries and other international organisations use their leverage to push for change in Africa. Let the African people stand up against their own dictatorial regimes.

Thousands of African refugees and migrants are trapped in Libya, where they are exposed to enslavement, torture and rape. A vast network of militias, armed groups and smugglers inhumanely brutalise these refugees held captive, demanding ransom for their release. This Old-World experience might be new for the international community, but it is sadly normal for the Eritrean people, who have become accustomed such horrors. With the abuse against Eritrean refugees persisting on for almost 10 years, in Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Israel, and now Libya, Eritreans have become desensitised; the slavery in Libya is "the new normal".

In Sudan, we get kidnapped and sold; in Egypt we get auctioned and sold; in Libya we are sold over and over again; Israel pays Rwanda $5,000 for our resettlements; and worst of all, our president demands $50,000 from Israel for our deportation...

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