The President of the Central African Republic on Thursday accused Western countries of triggering a migration crisis by pillaging Africa’s natural resources and impoverishing the continent through slavery and colonization.
“This escalation of the migrant crisis is 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,” said Faustin-Archange Touadéra during his speech to the annual debate of the UN General Assembly.
Continuing his rebuke by referencing the recent arrival of thousands of African migrants on the island of Lampedusa, in Italy, he added: “These young people who represent the present and the future of our continent, Africa, are desperately seeking to join the countries of the European continent, in search of an El Dorado.”
President Touadéra praised the “unbelievable” efforts made by host countries and the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) “to provide assistance to these young people whose lives are endangered by smugglers and sellers of illusions without faith nor law.”
At the same time, he stressed that Africa must be given a greater say in solving the migrant crisis.
“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 declared.
Even closer to home, he stated that the Central African Republic had already registered more than 51,000 Sudanese and Chadian refugees, thus exposing “our certainly resilient populations to risks of worsening of the still deleterious humanitarian situation and insecurity”. He called “for consideration of the impact of this crisis on regional geopolitics as well as international solidarity in favor of refugees”.Sanctions impacting push for Global Goals
President Touadéra went on to denounce “unilateral economic blockades” and the suspension of budgetary support which are hindering his country’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
This is a “denial of our right to self-determination and permanent sovereignty over our natural wealth and resources, guaranteed by the relevant legal instruments of the United Nations,” he said.
“How can we accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in favor of peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all, when certain States, from the height of their political, economic and military power, permanently agitate for coercive diplomacy or use international financial institutions for the purpose of imposing economic, financial and commercial blockades against countries made poor by slavery, colonization and imperialism?”, asked the Central African President.
The President urged the UN Security Council to “put an end to these artifices which aim to mask the desire to perpetuate insecurity and the control over the country's natural resources for the benefit of foreign powers, consecrate the legitimization of armed groups and grant them the status of subject of international law.
Full statement available in French here.