IOM Chief regrets death of African migrants on Mediterranean

General News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2017-07-12

Sylvia Lopez EkrahChief of mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Sylvia Lopez-Ekrah

Chief of mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Sylvia Lopez-Ekrah, has bemoaned the alarming number of Ghanaian youth risking their lives in the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in search of greener pastures.

For instance, last year alone recorded close to 6,000 young Ghanaians who arrived in Italy by boat.

“The context in Ghana is pretty difficult at the moment. We know that young Ghanaians are increasingly trying to use irregular means to go to Europe for greener pastures, as we say. Last year we had 5,636 Ghanaians who arrived in Italy on boat,” said Sylvia Lopez-Ekrah.

According to Sylvia Lopez- Ekrah, the situation is worsened by the recent wave of young Ghanaian girls being trafficked to Arabian countries through North Africa under very dangerous conditions.

Ghana’s eastern neighbour, Togo, has become a major transit point for Ghanaians and other West Africans especially young people from La Cote D’Ivoire who embark on such deadly adventures.

“I was recently in two refugee camps for the International Refugee Day. Even there, theIvoriann refugees were telling us they are also trying to go North Africa to get to Europe. And they are using Togo for their travels. Previously we thought Ghanaians were not using Togo for their irregular travels, but this is what is coming up,” said the IOM chief of mission.

Sylvia Lopez-Ekrah was speaking at the inauguration of two new border posts for Agortime-Afegame and Hodzokorfe at Agortime -Afegame.

The two facilities are as a result of the implementation of Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach funded by the European Union.

The two facilities have offices, holding rooms for human trafficking victims, computer, vehicle, solar energy systems, standby generator, and other equipment including a Pick-up for patrol.

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