Refugee drama Cardinal Turkson urges African leaders to address mass migration

Cardinal Appiah Turkson has charged African countries to address the problem of mass migration of citizens to Europe

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His Eminence Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson — President, Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice at the Vatican has urged African countries to address the problem of mass migration of their citizens to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats to seek greener pastures.

He noted that many African migrants either drowned in the sea in their bid to get to Europe or were attacked on the Sahara Desert across which they travelled to board the boats and wondered why governments on the continent had remained silent when thousands of their citizens died in search of better lives.

He said centuries after the slave trade had been abolished, millions of Africans were travelling to the developed world to be slaves again by engaging in menial jobs and in some cases just roaming the towns and cities of Europe seeking non-existent jobs.

"We see our citizens crossing the Sahara to get to Europe and being attacked by Bedouins and dying. We see them crossing the Mediterranean and drowning.

And for those who survive, it is the European Union which is struggling to take care of them. What are our governments saying? What are they doing about it?" he asked.

Cardinal Turkson juxtaposed the attitude of African governments towards their citizens in distress abroad to that of governments in the developed world and said countries such as the US would stop at nothing to protect their citizens wherever they were.

"Do you remember the Coptic Christians killed in Libya recently? Do you know there was a Ghanaian among them? How about the drug traffickers sentenced to death in Indonesia? Do you know one of them was a Ghanaian? Why has our government not said anything about these two incidents," he asked.

"Even if a Ghanaian commits a crime outside the country, he is still a Ghanaian and needs to be protected," he added.

Life, Cardinal Turkson said, was important and added that every citizen, no matter his educational, social or economic status and no matter where he or she found himself or herself, needed to be protected or/ and supported.

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