Human Tragedy

Somali human traders face death

Bossasso is known as a hub for illegal immigration to Yemen

A senior Somali official has told the BBC that the death penalty will be implemented against people smugglers operating off the north of the country.
Over the past year, some 1,400 people are estimated by the United Nations to be missing, believed drowned, while trying to escape poverty and fighting.
The boat people of the Horn of Africa set off from this bustling port of Bossasso on the Gulf of Aden.
They hope to make the perilous two or three-day sea journey to Yemen.

Dangerous journey
Many of those that survive the voyage then go on to seek jobs in Saudi Arabia or other Gulf States.
But thousands have drowned in the bright, choppy waters, often because they are pushed off the boats before the vessels make it to the Yemeni coast.
And most can't swim.
The travellers are mostly Somalis fleeing fighting in the southern parts of Somalia and people from neighbouring Ethiopia seeking refuge from a border war there.
Northern Somalia is relatively stable compared with the war-torn region in the south around the capital Mogadishu, where the central government is fighting an Islamist insurgency.
Death penalty
The authorities here in the north, who have declared a semi-autonomous region known as Puntland, want to stop the people smugglers.
The leader of Puntland, President Mohammed Muse Hersi said the death penalty would henceforth be used against the human traders.
The president of the Puntland region of Somalia said he was tired of his relatively stable area being associated with the widespread fighting in the south of the country.
He pointed to a new airport that is being built in Bossasso and the busy seaport here as evidence of economic progress in this part of Somalia.
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Such human desperation and tragedy in the first place and then add the threat of death to it to stop the former!!

Somali immigration to Canada

In 1992, their numbers peaked at 5,456. In 1993, the number of Somali immigrants decreased as a result of the implementation of Bill C-86 which placed new restrictions on those claiming refugee status. Since then, the levels of Somali immigration has remained in the low thousands.

As with many other immigrants from Africa, most Somalis have settled in Toronto. Small numbers have moved to Alberta. In 1996, 415 Somalis lived in Edmonton and 210 in Calgary.

Somali immigrants to Canada face unique challenges. Most arrive as refugees from a war-torn country and have little work experience or education. Their search for employment is further hampered by their lack of fluency in either French or English: most speak Somali or Arabic. Having escaped the horrors of war and famine, many Somalis suffer from trauma upon arriving in Canada. Because of cultural differences, the treatment of this post-traumatic stress poses a challenge for Canadian health care professionals. In addition, some Somalis have encountered discrimination because of their Muslim faith. Traditionally-dressed women have been particularly affected. (external - login to view)

Soo much needs fixing and healing. Next time I have the opportunity I will give a black person a hug, a kind look even is not lost.
The more recent history of Somalia - -Scramble for Africa

Starting in 1875 the age of imperialism (external - login to view) in Europe transformed Somalia. Britain (external - login to view), France (external - login to view), and Italy (external - login to view) all made territorial claims on the peninsula. Britain already controlled the port city of Aden (external - login to view) in Yemen (external - login to view), just across the Red Sea, and wanted to control its counterpart, Berbera (external - login to view), on the Somali side. The Red Sea was a crucial shipping lane to British colonies in India (external - login to view), and they wanted to secure these "gatekeeper" ports at all costs.

Italy had just recently been reunited (external - login to view) and was an inexperienced colonialist. They were happy to grab up any African land they didn't have to fight other Europeans for. They took control of the southern part of Somalia, which would become the largest European claim in the country, but the least strategically significant.

The real principles of colonialism meant possession and domination of the people, and the protection of the country from other greedy powers.

Where are the "greedy powers" now to help this poor country? There should not be this desperation of the desolate people having to risk their lives to escape the hunger and hopelessness in their own country.

You folks may ask what is my point? What do I want to discuss?
My answer... nothing in particular, just raising awareness and hope for understanding what these people have been through.
When Mr. Peter MacKay donated 50 million Canadian dollars last winter for an Israeli checkpoint, he should rather have used that money to help the Somali people!

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