Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Plight of the migrant one of most critical issues of our time

Plight of the migrant one of most critical issues of our time


“...In the space of a week 150,000 refugees from Syria
streamed into Turkey, adding to the million-plus refugees Turkey has
accommodated in the three-and-a-half years since the devastating conflict in
Syria began. In one 48-hour period more than 60,000 Syrians came over the
border. In 2014 the number of people seeking asylum will hit a 20-year high,
according to the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency. That 20-year
anniversary relates to April 28th and 29th, 1994 on the Rwandan-Tanzanian
border, when 250,000 people walked across the bridge at Rusumo Falls, as
victims of genocide floated past in the river below.
As Syrian Kurds carried what little they had left into
Turkey, the sea that borders the west of the country was in the midst of its
own nightmare. The New York Times reported
this month that at a funeral in Sicily of 18 migrants who died trying to reach
Europe from Africa, Msgr Angelo Giurdanella said in his homily: “The opposite
of love is not hatred, but indifference.” Around 120,000 migrants have been
rescued by Italian ships in the Mediterranean this year. More than 2,200 have
died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year. In a few days in
mid-September, at least 750 migrants were feared to have died trying to make
the crossing. To put those deaths in context in terms of media coverage, the Costa Concordia cruise ship
disaster in January, 2012 claimed 32 lives. Nearly 70 times that number of
migrants have died in the Mediterranean area trying to reach Europe so far this
year...”
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