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West’s ‘plundering’ of Africa blamed for migrant crisis

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UNITED NATIONS: The head of the Central African Republic on Thursday accused the West of triggering the migration crisis on his continent by pillaging its natural resources through slavery and colonisation.

Taking the podium at the UNGA, Faustin Archange Touadera addressed the migrant crisis on the Italian island of Lampedusa, where thousands of African migrants arrived last week.

“This escalation of the migrant crisis is one of the appalling consequences of the plundering of natural resources of countries made poor by slavery, colonisation and Western imperialism, terrorism and internal armed conflicts,” he added.

Touadera lauded the “solidarity and the incredible efforts” by the countries hosting the migrants, but said that Africa must be given a greater say in solving the migrant crisis.

Italian PM urges UN to wage ‘war without mercy’ on human trafficking

‘Without mercy’

Touadera’s statement contrasted sharply with comments on Wednesday by Italy’s right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who blamed the crisis on migrant smugglers and charged that Africa was in fact a rich continent.

Meloni urged the UN to launch a “global war without mercy” against migrant smugglers while addressing at the UNGA.

She said that Italy, which next year heads the Group of Seven wealthy democracies, was ready to lead efforts against the “slave traders of the third millennium.” “Can an organisation like this which reaffirms in its founding document the faith in the dignity and worth of human beings turn a blind eye to this tragedy?” she asked.

“I believe it is the duty of this organisation to reject any hypocritical approach to this issue and wage a global war without mercy against the traffickers of human beings,” she said. Meloni put the blame on human traffickers, calling them a “mafia”.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2023


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