Yakani tells government to probe deaths of South Sudanese in Mediterranean
A civil activist has requested the government to probe a recent incident in which 50 South Sudanese reportedly died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) Edmund Yakani (pictured) said the incident should also act as a lesson to the South Sudanese leaders who are currently in power and tasked with transitioning the society from violence to peace through implementing the signed revitalised peace agreement.
Yakani said there is a need for the government to respond to the incident particularly the embassy in Sudan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“This is incident is alerting and making the nation feeling pain. These incidences of losing lives of South Sudanese happening but no attention was drawn for it. Now Sudan’s government report has informed us accurately our government should act on this case of South Sudanese Refugees joining the trend of illegal immigration to Europe,” he said.
Media reports surfaced over the weekend revealing that at least 50 South Sudanese immigrants between 15 to 35-years-old perished in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to cross to Europe.
However, an elaborate report released by the government of Sudan in Khartoum on Saturday noted that 280 South Sudanese survivors are receiving treatment in a hospital in Italy.
The 50 South Sudanese who died while crossing the Mediterranean Sea were among the 4,850 immigrants from other countries including, Sudan, Ethiopia Eritrea, and other nationals abandoned by smugglers.
Time to intervene
Yakani told the government to step up to rescue South Sudanese refugees from venturing into illegal migration to Europe.
“The smugglers may be operating in the camps in Sudan. Our government should have a worked out formula with Sudan government for protecting our citizens mainly the youth from believing in this illegal process of immigration,” he said.
He revealed that South Sudan is now witnessing the presence of companies that register youth with cash to seek jobs in the Middle East and Gulf countries.
“This business is risky and may end up in smuggling of the population if it is not regulated properly by the government. Our government needs to track this deal of youth registering with cash for seeking jobs in Gulf countries.”
When contacted for comment yesterday, Edward Hakim, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said he had been out of the office for about a week and promised to respond when he resumes work.