Ahmed Fagih: The Season of Immegration to the North 26/6/2015 21:37 Ahmed Fagih: The Season of Immegration to the North
د. أحمد ابراهيم الفقيه بحث

The Season of Immegration to the North

By: Ahmed Fagih - Schillertage festival magazine (second edition)

The immigration crisis was not born yesterday. It has existed for many years, if not decades. The Season of Immigration to the North is the title of a well known Arabic novel by the Sudanese writer Tayyeb Saleh. It was published in the late sixties when there was no immigration crisis as such, but there was ‘brain drain’-skilled people from the south leaving their countries to enjoy the luxury and fun offered to them by countries of the north, causing the poor
countries to lose their human capital.

The hard social conditions in these southern countries, especially in Africa, have pressurized ordinary citizens, uneducated, unskilled, to find a way of leaving their countries at the cost of sacrificing their lives on the boats of death. It started on a small scale that raised no alarm but a little outcry regarding the cost of life caused by random and quite rare accidents that occurred at sea, but year after year the
number of accidents increased, and the phenomena is now a real human crisis leading to the deaths of illegal immigrants in large numbers. Political, economic and social turmoil in African and Middle Eastern countries caused the immigration crisis to reach this very dangerous level and to give rise to the worldwide protest regarding the exploitation and inhuman practices involved.

Over the past two or three years, Libya, my country, has become the departure point from which these migrants start their voyage to the shores of Europe, they are not Libyan but mostly people from south of the Sahara who have chosen Libya as the country of transit to the northern shores of the Mediterranean sea. It has become the ideal country for the mafia of illegal immigration to operate from because the country lacks any border controls, has no security or military might by which it can stop the mafia and gangs from profiteering and exploiting the situation – selling and buying in the form of modern slavery: And it is only fair to call it slavery, it is trading on human suffering and misery, and cashing in on people’s deaths as they drown in the rubber boats they are shipped in.

It is worth mentioning that the link between organized crime and illegal immigration and the involvement of fundamental Islamic terrorist groups has been long-established. It is a well-established fact that Al-Qaida in Afghanistan was involved in the production and distribution of drugs, working hand in hand with the world of the mafia. Libya has not only become the wellspring of illegal immigration, but it might also be the place from which Islamist
terrorists sail to European shores.

This doesn’t mean that Libya’s crisis and the absence of law and order are the main source of, or the central reason for, the immigration crisis, nor does it mean that ending Libya`s problems and restoring the rule of law is the ultimate cure. The crisis was there before Libya’s plight, and now it needs other measures to solve it or else it will remain as great and acute as it is now; it might even increase. But it is only fair to say that what is happening in Libya itself is the reason why the situation is worsening because it enables the immigration gangs to work and get away unpunished.

So helping the Libyans solve their problems must surely be part of the solution. The Libyans themselves have declared on so many occasions that they only need help so they can help themselves. They will do their own fighting to rid their country of the terrorist groups. They have asked for the ban on armaments to their army to be lifted, and to be provided with political, logistical and moral help.

Most Libyans only want their country back to a normal state of law and order, to see civil rule established to replace the ousted dictatorial regime. They would ask the international community to tackle the crisis of illegal immigration and the terrorist gangs by simply going to the root of the matter in Libya: the huge vacuum created by the absence of a legitimate governing system needs to be filled. That governing system would control the country, execute its authority over the entire land, east and west, secure the borders and
safeguard the skies of Libya and its shores.

Then, and only then, can we say that resolving the problem of Libya would be a giant step towards resolving the crisis of illegal immigration.


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