GAROWE, Somalia Jul 28 2012 (Garowe Online) – Puntland
residents played a crucial role in coordinating rescue efforts to save over
ninety Somali migrants stranded in the Mediterranean Sea , Garowe Online
The rescue efforts began on Thursday, after a distress call
was received by a Garowe resident whose brother and 90 other Somali migrants said that they were stranded on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea.
“I received a phone call from my brother by satellite phone, explaining that the boat was floating for days and that they had minimal
supplies,” said Ahmed Jama a Garowe resident.
Mr. Jama and a group of his friends began desperately contacting
Libyan and Italian officials to inform them about the Somali migrants’ distress
“We contacted Libyan and Italian naval ships patrolling the
Mediterranean Sea. They had asked for their location, so we gave them their
last known coordinates,” said Mr. Jama.
The group also contacted Puntland officials who in turn
notified Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole who lobbied Italian and
Libyan officials to assist the Somali migrants.
The 90 Somali migrants were reportedly rescued by a Libyan
naval ship and brought to Libya, according to Mr. Jama the Somali migrants were
in good condition and in the hands of Libyan authorities.
Saturday morning President Farole spoke to BBC Somali, to
discuss illegal migration amongst Somalis, and how to curb the current epidemic.
“This terrible problem has been occurring in Somalia for
quite some time, our youth who some of whom were working, going to school or
universities have been led to believe they can reach Europe but they are unaware
of the extreme conditions and dangers they will encounter,” said President
Somali migrants traveling through the Sahara desert in hopes
of crossing the Mediterranean Sea and reaching Europe has increased, President
Farole outlined some of the causes of why thousands of Somalis are
risking their lives.
“In the past conflict has caused many Somalis to flee their
country, however in the present, I believe a strong majority of these people
are misguided and foolishly choose to risk their lives when they can afford to
contribute to their society and country,”
“Thousands have perished trying to make it across the Sahara
desert and there are criminal enterprises taking advantage of these misguided
people. Somali government officials need to pay close attention along with the
international community, the Somali diaspora need to work together to help
solve this epidemic,” said President Farole.
According to Omar Hussien, who has studied illegal migration
among Somalis for the last 10 years, to solve the illegal migration problem you have to address the
factors on the ground in Somalia.
“High unemployment among Somalis is an underlying factor,
without addressing employment and other factors you cannot remedy the problem,”
says Mr. Hussien.