Sierra Leoneans Suffering In Asia

 

The eleven years civil war that lasted from 1991 to its official end in 2002 saw tens of thousands of Sierra Leoneans unwillingly forced to abandon their beloved homeland to live in other countries in West Africa, Europe, America and Asia.

It was thought that after the war, having learnt from the political mistakes of the 1970s and 1980s that caused the war, state governance and economic conditions would improve in the country to give particularly young Sierra Leoneans avenues and opportunities for employment, educational and career advancement.

Unfortunately, because of bad governance and the greed and selfishness of the political class, instead of socioeconomic improvements, living conditions for the less privileged that are still in the majority got worse.

This forced a new wave of young Sierra Leoneans at the start of this century and in particular this decade who could not find security and prosperity at home to take the risk of travelling abroad to seek greener pastures.

Many took the desert route to Libya and the other North African countries in the hope of reaching Europe, America and Asia to make a life for themselves, their relatives and loved ones. Some others sojourned to relatively prosperous countries in Asia such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

Whilst a small fraction of these Sierra Leoneans who without legal travel documents, education and funds have managed to survive with some amount of decency in their new homes, the majority continue to live miserably wallowing in abject poverty without legal documents to live and move freely in the countries that they find themselves.

Worst of all, in, for example, Malaysia, authorities are cracking down hard on illegal migrants from Black Africa. Police break into homes in search of these illegal aliens. When found, they are beaten mercilessly, locked up in prison awaiting deportation.

Some of them have temporary visas that have expired. With no money to renew them, they have been forced to go into hiding. Reports received by this press speak of the untold misery and suffering these Africans, including Sierra Leoneans are undergoing with no one to turn to for help and repatriation; as many of these Asian countries have little or no diplomatic ties and contacts with Sierra Leone.