Photo credit: François-Régis Salefran via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0

African Cardinal: Europe must do more to prevent illegal migration

An African Catholic cardinal has said that illegal immigration into Europe is leading the continent to “self-destruction,” adding that the West should instead help to develop third world nations so migrants can stay home.

Conservative clergyman Robert Sarah from the African nation of Guinea made the remarks following the tragic deaths of 27 alleged asylum seekers in the English channel last week.

Speaking to French media outlet Le Figaro, the Cardinal said that his reaction to the story was “revolt.”

“There is a triple betrayal. We are taking away young people from Africa, intelligence, living forces, who are torn from their country,” he said.

“Then these young people are presented with Europe as El Dorado” – a mythical city of gold.

“They are told that they will have everything when this is not true.

“Finally, we do not react against the smugglers who take advantage of their naivety and make them succumb in the open sea. We should fight against this evil at its roots and present Europe as it is, with its difficulties too.”

He concluded: “The best greeting you can offer these migrants is to develop their country, so they can stay at home,” adding that Europe is currently on the road to “self-destruction” with the present policy.

Sarah is not the first African cardinal to assert this view however – in 2019 Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan said that mass migration in Europe symbolised a “failure of leadership” in Africa.

“Authorities should make Nigeria home. Same should be applicable to other African countries,” he said.

“Authorities should make Nigeria home. Same should be applicable to other African countries.

“If you live in a nation where your young people are telling you it is better living elsewhere, then it is a sign of failure of leadership of such a nation. If I were the president of such a nation, I would not hesitate to resign if I continue to hear such a statement from my younger generation.”




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