Asylum seekers everywhere!

Asylum Seekers Everywhere!

From time immemorial human beings have been on the move. Scientists would have us believe that homo sapiens originated from East Africa and from there dispersed. But the Bible says that God created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden. They multiplied and from there moved in all directions.

 But in more recent times movement from Europe has affected the world immensely, changed the course of history. Europeans flocked to the Americas either fleeing religious persecution, repressive governance, or in the spirit of adventure, or in search of a better life. The result was that, particularly in the parts now known as the United States of America, the original inhabitants were decimated. The remaining few now live in reservations to continue communing with their ancestors to preserve their customs and traditions.

 Europeans invaded Africa in search of fortune, or to spread their religion or as governmental groups for imperial and economic gain. European countries fought themselves in the scramble for and balkanisation of Africa. They forcibly settled in places such as South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and so on. Millions of African lives were lost. Great Britain was the biggest coloniser. I remember as a school pupil marching in the hot sun on Empire Day, 24th May, each year singing, `British Empire will never perish. Amen. Amen’ and reciting God Save the Queen. They taught us that we were the sons and daughters of Her Majesty. Of course, the greatest atrocity was the slave trade. Europeans carried Africans, majorly black Africans, forcibly into slavery to the Americas and Europe.

 Great Britain decongested their prisons by sending hardened criminals far away, down under, to Australia where they annihilated the Aborigines and drove the remainder to continue communing with their forebears in the desert north of the country.

 European adventurism and colonialism extended to many countries in the Far East, India, Hong Kong and so on. All powerful Europe was the `bull in the china shop’ scattering everything, taking what it wanted. Europe was built up by plundering other continents particularly Africa and being an African I should be excused if this submission is to do mainly with Africans, especially black Africans, desperately flocking to Europe, many drowning in the Mediterranean in a bid for a better life! Of course to add to the chaos that Africa is increasingly becoming, NATO, in trying to spread the gospel of democracy bombed Gadhafi of Libya into the grave and turned that country into a failed state, everybody with his own weapon fighting everybody. The result is thousands of Libyans flocking into where? Europe again! And since Europe has spent the better part of the last six hundred years telling Africans that they are their mother nation is it any surprise that all roads now seem to lead to Europe, heaven on earth? It seems the chicken is coming home to roost!

**I think of Africa. Oh Africa! I grieve for Africa, the real Garden of Eden, no tsunami, no earth quakes, no uncontrollable wild fires, no hurricanes, no monsoon floods, no major tornados, no major natural disasters other than occasional famine caused by little or no rainfall and occasional flash floods. But the human beings occupying this Garden of Eden are the major disasters! From time immemorial black people have been their own worst enemies, brothers killing brothers, selling them to other black predators and then to Arab slavers who carried them to North Africa and the Middle East. Europeans did not need black people to sell their brothers to them. They carried those they captured to America and Europe. Slavery has been abolished but it is still there in Africa. Black people find it difficult to rule themselves. There are wars, there is starvation and abject poverty, and there is oppression. Lampedusa, a small Italian town on the Mediterranean, has now become famous as a gateway of sorts into Europe for impoverished Africans escaping oppression and starvation and wars from their own homelands in a desperate rush for a better tomorrow. Some actually reach Lampedusa and if they are lucky they are allowed into Europe and its many menial jobs, washing dead bodies, cleaning the streets or even ending up in prison in the belief that they will have at least two meals a day. Hundreds drown in the Mediterranean, a watery grave.

In the face of such terrible misrule the scramble for Africa is on with renewed vigour especially with the Chinese wading in. They do not bother about scruples. Anything goes and the dictators, sit-tight rulers of the various failed and nearly failed republics continue having a field day at the expense of their subjects. The white people, the Europeans, the Americans have the unenviable task of trying to wade in and solve African problems, sometimes with altruistic intentions and sometimes for their own well being. How can they continue being unconcerned when African misrule, corruption continues to rebound on them? No African government has volunteered fighters against the menace called the Islamic State. But how can they when they cannot contain Boko Haram, Lord’s Resistance Army, Al Shabaab, when they cannot contain tribal and ethnic wars on their soils?**

 Nearly two thousand Africans have drowned in the Mediterranean this year. And the flood of assylum seekers is increasing forcing European countries to get together to find a solution. Certainly in this humanitarian and human rights era the solution cannot be to drown all the immigrants in the Mediterranean. They are talking of taking them in quotas to different countries. But some countries don’t want to be involved. And one can sympathise with the countries that came out of the former Soviet Union. They did not partake in the plunder of Africa.

 What is the solution? Try to prevent them reaching Europe. Those that succeed can be put in reception camps where those who are actually in danger if sent back to their countries are identified. These can then be admitted by quota into Europe. Of course some European counties might absorb some of the rest. But Europe must then bear the cost of the upkeep of those not wanted and pay for their transportation back to the countries from where they came – call it some sort of reparation for the plundering of Africa those many years ago!

 Lest I forget, asylum seekers from the disaster that is South Sudan and the Darfur area of Sudan might soon join the flood of asylum seekers. The world should be prepared for the great human disaster that is happening not just in Africa but in other parts of the world. Australia might keep asylum seekers out `by hook or by crook’ but these asylum seekers must end up somewhere, hopefully the human smugglers are not being paid to dump them in the ocean. The rulers of Australia have short memories. How did their forebears get to Australia in the first place? The great United States of America is having its own share, South Americans; particularly Mexicans are flocking in by hook or by crook. As a nation of immigrants it cannot completely shut its borders. But it must protect its citizens. Where do we go from here? With all the earthquakes, the cancer that is the Islamic State, wars everywhere, the injustice in the Palestinian and Israeli enclave which the world pretends is not happening? Is this the end time they talk about?

 **Related reading: `America, Here I Come’ from my book Bitter Sweet. Download from Amazon.

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