Monday, March 26, 2007
At Least 29 Africans Perish in Modern Middle Passage Horror
Posted Tuesday March 27, 2007 - 1:58amEST
According to officials of the UNHCR, the UN refugee organization, on the morning of Thursday, March 22nd at least 450 refugees from Ethiopia and Somalia desperately attempting to flee the ravages of war and poverty that have gripped the Horn of Africa came face to face with a horrifying struggle for survival. The smugglers who packed them into four boats in the Somali port city of Bosaso for a dangerous journey across the Gulf of Aden panicked when they spotted Yemeni security forces as they searched for a place to discharge their human cargo along a remote stretch of the Yemen coast. Desperate to escape and still far from the shoreline, the smugglers forced the refugees into churning seas at knife-point, those who resisted were brutally beaten and then thrown into the swirling currents where witnesses say some were attacked by sharks. At least 29 are confirmed dead and at least 71 are still missing.
The indifference with which these smugglers treated these unfortunate human beings speaks to the disturbing irony that today Africans choosing to leave their homeland face the same deprivations of human dignity that millions of Africans first faced centuries ago from the start of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. After all this time, how much has really changed? As these words are being written it is estimated that there are some 20 million people living in bondage around the globe; not working for low wages, but actually shackled and or held against their will. Read more.
Groups like Anti-Slavery International have been fighting on behalf of the Abolitionist Cause since the 1780's, learn more about why their work is more important than ever.