By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (somalilandsun) – 12 youths have died in the Sahara desert as a result of hunger and thirst.
This is per a information availed to the Geeska Afrika newspaper by a survivor who is among a large group of illegal immigrants currently being held for ransom in a Libyan city.According to the informant who spoke to Geeska on phone the dead youngsters were six each from Somaliland and Somalia said to have died in deiverse days staring from around the 20th of May 2013.
The deceased who were part of a larger group from the two neighbouring countries are to have died from hunger and thirst following the rerfusal of their abductors beleived to be Libyan rebels to provide the commodities.
The youths who are reported to have managed to enter Libyan territory succesfully were abducted by the armed gunmen and taken to either the Murziq, Sabha or Bani Waled towns where they are currently being held hostage only to be released after ransom is paid .
The names of some of the deceased from Somaliland whose relatives have already been notified were revealed as Guleid Mohamed, Mohamed Abdisalaan and Ahmed Ateeye while another deceased named as Arab was said to have been of Mogadishu origin.
This is not the first incident of youths dying in the Sahara desert as they pursue illegal immigration in the hands of Human traffickers who are known to hand over their chargees to Libyan gunmen if and when they no longer become unable to pay for safe passage.
At the same time illegal immigration has grown to a ndew high especially since mid 2012 with tens of youths ganging up in Hargeisa for the ardous journey that sees them cross through Ethiopia and Sudan before entering the post Gadafi Libya where those succesful board dhows in the seaports of Tripoli, Zuwara, Al-khums, Zliten,Misrata, etc where they are mostly dispatched after paymernt of thousands of dollars to Lampedusa or Gibralta.
While the minister of labour and social services recently acknowledge the massive exodus of illegally immigrating youths to Eurpoe through the hands of devious Human traffickers who collect thousands of dollars before dumping them in the hands of the Libyan gunmen who are their cahoots in this very lucrative trade.
In-order to not only deter in future, the increasing deaths of our young in the Sahara as well as the big damage to the nation as a result of brain drain since a majority of those immigrating illegally are university graduates something needs to be done and done sooner rather than later.
The urgent action recommended is a comprehensive study of the root cause that induces the youths to put their lives at risk and at the hands of killer human traffickers thus migrat6e from their country illegally.
Funds for such a study should not be an excuse considering the multidue of internatinal donor agencies currently implemeting migration programs in the country.