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General News Sat, 29 Jun 2019

Ghana government must lead the crusade on illegal migration - Rev. Opuni

The Reverend Dr Kwabena Opuni- Frimpong, a Lecturer at the Department of Religious Studies, KNUST, has urged government to lead the crusade to mitigate the sufferings of African migrants on the Mediterranean Sea.

He said Ghana had played leading roles in the 1950s and 60s towards independence of most African countries, and many were still looking up to Ghana to lead the rest of Africa in addressing the maltreatment meted out to African youths migrating illegally to Europe and Asia.

He said the government aside evacuating trapped illegal migrants, must also respond to the abuses that were meted out to the people by having some sort of agreement with Libya and other North African countries to protect the young people travelling through the desert in the spirit of belonging to the African Union.

Rev. Opuni- Frimpong, speaking in an interview with the GNA in an interview, said it was disheartening to see how the young people got drown while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea and others dying on the desert.

"CNN report showed people openly auctioned and stories about peoples whose body parts are being sold," he said, and stressed the need for national re-orientation for African youth to change their mentality about Africa.

The re-orientation, he said, should start from the Primary to Junior High School levels to bring back their hope in the Continent to enable them to stay in and help in the development of their respective countries.

"Some of the youth think there is no hope in Africa and the only place to go for hope is Europe. Such youth need to be assisted to restore their hope," he added.

Rev Opuni-Frimpong said illegal migration challenge on the African continent at the moment must be a major concern to governments as well as Faith Based Organisations.

"Other nations must also show interest in African issues. Illegal migration is not only pertaining to Africa, but other continents also have the same problem but their citizens do not suffer like what African young people are going through".

He, therefore, called on African Governments to provide pragmatic responses to the push factors that were driving African Youth to Illegal Migration.

"It calls for much advocacy. We need our young people alive. At least our churches can intensify education among young people in our churches and schools."

Rev Opuni-Frimpong, who was a former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, noted that sometimes the pressure to travel come from the family and some church leaders as they continue to tell their congregation that their success lied in travelling abroad.

He, therefore, urged the family and the churches to join the crusade to create awareness on the dangers of illegal migration and encourage them to stay back to contribute their quota.

The Mediterranean Sea is fast becoming a cemetery for African immigrants as they died in the deep blue sea daily in an attempt to cross into Europe in search of greener pastures.

It is assumed that the number of black Africans who died in the sea surpassed those who died during the infamous slave trade era of the 19th century.

Source: Ghananewsagency.org
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