Migrants Perish in the Mediterranean

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by Yusuf Lawal

400 migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea on April 15 when their boat capsized. Four days later disaster struck again as about 800 migrants again perished. This painful catastrophe brings the number of persons that have thus died as they tried to enter Europe in pursuit of a better life to over 1,500, this year alone.

The responsibility for this situation lies squarely with the European bosses and the imperialist system they superintend. Nobody likes to take the risk of crossing the high sea in rickety boats. Wars, destitution and violation of human rights at home are the major driving factors of emigration. A very significant proportion of the new wave of migrants through this route since 2011 comprises people fleeing the fratricidal conflicts in Libya, Yemen and Syria for example.

To make matters worse, the European Union has stopped the search and rescue operations it used to carry out on the seas, before. Its argument is that this encourages people illegal migration. But what this means is that to them, the lives of migrants forced to flee their lands because of wars caused by the West and economic hardship brought about by capitalist policies, do not in any way matter.

Working class activists across the world and particularly in Europe must sustain the outcry against this inhumane situation. The problem is not migrants; all peoples have been migrants at some time or the other. The problem is capitalism with its anti-poor policies and wars. As socialists, we thus oppose all imperialist wars and the neoliberal policies of the bosses.

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