It is still a story that lays barely with human carcasses of bodies at the bottom of Mediterraean sea. Each year, thousands of Africans flocked into the heart of sea without possibilities of survival to escape poverty. They bundled themselves into the decrepit boats and entered the water for a possibilities of better in Europe. Even with these slow boats with high tendency of getting capsized in the middle water and high rate of deportation, Africa migrant stories still filled with plying of deadliest routes.
“If you have a way to get there, maybe you should try it,” his Anne’s father told him. The journey required crossing thousands of miles of ruthless desert and sea to reach Europe. Months passed with no news. And then the phone call. Friends in France spotted a list of drowned migrants. Mr. Anne’s name was on it.
“I was standing right there, and I cried,” his mother, Salmata Boullo Diallo, said near the family compound in a vast expanse of fallow peanut fields in this remote part of Senegal. The loss did not end there. Mr. Anne’s younger brother Gibbe also tried to reach Italy. He, too, died at sea. More Nigerians died on these deadly routes every month. Their fates, sealed in journeys nearly two years ago, matched those of so many in this region, where young men often fall into three unforgiving categories: the ones who have made it to Europe, the ones who were blocked or deported along the way and the ones who died trying.
The dangerous waterway has claimed more than lives of 2,000 Africans this year. Ninety-five percent of those deaths have occurred on the so-called central route between Libya and Italian Island, Lampedusa, this passage has been described by International Organization for Migration as “the deadliest route migrants ply anywhere on Earth.”
The stormy sea is the last in a deadly series of obstacles to Europe. For migrants like the Anne brothers, the journey begins in packed buses that may topple over on bad roads patrolled by thieves. If they make it through the days-long desert crossing to Libya, the migrants are sometimes beaten, detained for weeks by smugglers and shaken down for yet more cash.
In the end for migrants who make it to Lampedusa, it can be all stories of fortune or a trajectory of another journey home from the sea authorities.