West's pillage of Africa natural resources behind migrant crisis: CAR
The president of the Central African Republic tells the UN General Assembly that slavery and colonization by the West orchestrated the current migrant crisis Europe is facing.
The Central African Republic President accused the West on Thursday of causing a migration problem by plundering Africa's natural riches via slavery and colonization.
Faustin-Archange Touadera spoke at the United Nations General Assembly on the recent arrival of hundreds of African migrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Last week's numbers reached a peak when 11,000 migrants arrived within six to seven days. As of today, a migrant reception center operated by the Italian Red Cross on the island is home to 2,000 people - five times its capacity.
Touadera called the migrants the symbol of the present and future of Africa and explained that their desperate search for an "El Dorado" is only one of the "appalling consequences of the plundering of natural resources of countries made poor by slavery, colonization and Western imperialism, terrorism, and internal armed conflicts."
His statements dramatically contrasted those of Italy's right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who blamed the situation on migrant traffickers and said Africa was a prosperous continent.
Italian Red Cross official Francesca Basile confirmed to RIA Novosti on Thursday that the influx of undocumented migrants arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa is still at its height with around 2,000–2,500 people being transferred from there daily.
Lampedusa Mayor Filippo Mannino called the situation one that is "close to the point of no return."
Meloni has urged Brussels to provide assistance in response to the recent landing of around 8,500 individuals over three days this week on Lampedusa, located just 90 miles (145 kilometers) off Tunisia's coast.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Lampedusa and pledged support for Italy to address the migrant influx. She proposed a ten-point action plan, known as the "Plan for Lampedusa," which includes repatriation for those without asylum, cooperation with Tunisia for development, and actions against migrant smuggling.
The island happens to be the landing point for tens of thousands of migrants each year from North Africa.
Touadera also stated that Africa should have a stronger voice in resolving the migrant situation.
"The UN must go beyond our common commitment to revive global solidarity by involving African countries in the search for global solutions to the migration crises and the existential issues facing young people on the African continent," he remarked.
Meloni pledges to crackdown on migration
During her UN speech, Meloni referred to traffickers as a "mafia who earn as much as drug smugglers."
"I believe it is the organization's duty to reject any hypocritical approach to this issue and to wage a global war without mercy against human traffickers," she added.
Meloni claimed that Italy will seek to address fundamental issues and assist African countries to "grow and prosper."
France stated that it will not accept migrants from the island but is prepared to assist in their repatriation to friendly nations, such as Ivory Coast and Senegal.
Following the spike in arrivals in Lampedusa, the EU border patrol agency Frontex announced on Wednesday that it will increase its assistance to Italy.