THE INSIDER: Tragic drownings acknowledged by the African Union, at last

THE African Union (AU) has belatedly reacted to the drowning of hundreds of would-be migrants from Eritrea, whose boat sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa on October 3. After its mystifying initial silence, the AU

THE African Union (AU) has belatedly reacted to the drowning of hundreds of would-be migrants from Eritrea, whose boat sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa on October 3.

After its mystifying initial silence, the AU Commission on Monday declared November 3 a continental day of mourning for one of the worst verified migrant sea tragedies in the Mediterranean.

The victims were at least 339 men, women and children from Eritrea, which is so closed that it is the only African country that can be compared with North Korea.

They drowned in sight of Lampedusa, Italy’s most southerly island. It was the heaviest loss of life in a single incident during the past decade, when thousands of Africans have died in the attempt to reach political or economic sanctuary in Europe.

The AU’s failure to offer even a word of condolence was noted by some media, including in an October 8 editorial by Business Day.

Four days later, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma spoke about the tragedy in Addis Ababa and on the same day African leaders took the decision to commemorate it, Monday’s statement said.

“The continental day of mourning will serve as well as a call for all Africans, including the youth, to reflect on appropriate actions to be taken with a view of finding a lasting solution to this persistent problem that leads to the loss of African young people without whom the continent cannot build a prosperous and peaceful future,” it said.

The Insider can only note of the AU’s behaviour: better late than never.

Unusual sort of car trouble

A COLLEAGUE of the Insider knows somebody who had to abandon his crashed car — these damn Joburg trees get in the way from time to time — one night, and take a taxi home.

The man was astounded the next morning to find his car had disappeared, but not as astounded as he was six full weeks later when the car was found.

After having been “inspected, detected and defected” by leery police and suspicious insurance inspectors over the weeks in which the car was mysteriously lost, the car was found — in a police pound, where it had languished for the entire time, but about which nobody at the South African Police Service knew a thing!

Those reticent spokesfolk

A WATER-cooler discussion between some of the Insider’s colleagues revealed what each had individually suspected — dissimulation appears increasingly the order of the day in government departments, with more and more departmental media statements not only devoid of real information (such as things like details, facts and the like), but also of proper contact details for spokes-people. How to lose (media) friends and keep voters, perhaps?

Wise words

“EVERY revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”

aseye.asena@gmail.com

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14 COMMENTS
  • Zeray October 24, 2013

    Nothing good can come out from the government of Asmara. However, I am satisfied with the overwhelming response and support from Eritreans in Diaspora, some countries and now AU. I think we should start counting the good however small they are, this way we can build on them and eventually find relief.

    News: I heard the Los Angeles PFDJ office tried to use this tragedy to score political points and was disrupted.

  • tesfaldet October 24, 2013

    like an old saying in tigrina SEMAM HADE DERFO & this idiots in ASSENA ASMARINO ARE stil talking lampedusa lampedusa DAY & NIGHT get over it it has ben olmost 3 weeks reapeted like a re run of abad move we know the hall world know so what you want meybe you run out of anather propoganda thats whay you keep reapit the same article

  • Sorobeti October 24, 2013

    TesfaWrdet

    You want us to forget the crimes of your mafia boss DIA, this will never happen, we will keep remembering the tenth of thousands who are perishing in the known and unknown prisons, the crime on the war disables, the massacre of Adi Abyto, the G 15 and ‘Era’Iro, the massacre of Kunama, Papa Antonio, the torture, rape, killings…the list goes on and on till Lampedusa which every Eritrean of good conscience is striving, praying, and hoping to be the last agony of Eritreans.

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