Thursday, 28 May 2015

Briefly: AU Holds First of Its Kind Ceremony for Dead Immigrants

In all the flurry of activities leading to May 29th, this slipped below the radar. The African Union held a small ceremony yesterday to pay homage to hundreds of migrants who have perished attempting to flee the continent and reach Europe.
Held in Addis Ababa, this was a first of its kind event. Sadly, there were very few diplomats in attendance. A large number of seats in the AU headquarters' Nelson Mandela hall were empty. African leaders, whose citizen constitute the majority of the dead, have been severely criticised over their silence on the issue.

"Human trafficking is a low risk business. It is quite attractive. The risk of arrest and prosecution is low. We must make it an higher risk for the organised criminal groups," said Olawale Maiyegun, the AU's director of social affairs.
Migrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean have claimed more than 1,750 lives this year -- 30 times higher than the same period in 2014 -- and nearly 5,000 since the start of last year.

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