‘Africa needs coherent policies to deal with migrant crisis’

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Windhoek

With over 500 000 refugees having entered Europe so far this year, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia, Sidi Abdullahi Ladan, says Africa itself must work out coherent policies and sustainable programmes that will address migration issues on the continent.

Ladan stressed that the migrant crisis that has reached an explosive scale in Europe and the apparent inability of the European Commission to cope with the crisis, had exposed the vulnerability of countries to the escalating global refugee situation. Ladan, who was speaking in Windhoek during the 55th Nigerian independence anniversary yesterday, says African leaders should rid the continent of crises such as violence and preventable wars, by providing fair opportunities to all, and create jobs especially for the youth.

“Africa needs to address the root causes of instability that triggers the fleeing of persons from the continent. Our governments should provide a conducive environment to make it possible for our peoples to aspire to and realise their dreams,” the high commissioner noted.

Thousands of refugees have fled conflicts and repressive states in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea with many undertaking dangerous sea crossings to reach Europe.

More than 2 800 people have died in the Mediterranean so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

More than 500 000 refugees have entered the EU, straining relations among states as refugees attempt to reach western and northern European countries to file their asylum claims.

According to Reuters, Germany has said it expects to take in more than 800 000 people this year alone.
In late September EU leaders passed a vote to take in an additional 120 000 refugees.

Further, Reuters reported that Hungary is ready to close its border with Croatia, except at border stations, to limit the flow of migrants from the Middle East, in a move similar to the closure of the Serbian-Hungarian border last month.

Ladan however emphasised the good bilateral relations that exist between Nigeria and Namibia, dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.

He also said that since 1992, Nigeria has been sending volunteer teachers in mathematics and science to teach in Namibian schools, adding that the scheme was expanded in 2005 to include experts in technical fields to boost skills acquisition among the Namibian youth.

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