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Somali leaders condole with families over boat tragedy, call for lasting solution to avert more deaths

Storyline:National News

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud has condoled with the families and friends of those who perished in the Mediterranean Sea from Egypt to Greece.

President Mohamud said in a statement the tragic incident was a wakeup call to the country to come together and find lasting solution to the perilous journey to Europe which has claimed many lives.

There are no confirmed reports of the casualties but various media reports indicate the boat was carrying over 400 people most of whom were Somalis.

One of the survivors, Awaale Warsame Sandhol who spoke to Goobjoog News from the Greek island of Karpathos said the boat which capsized on the 12th of this month was carrying about 500 people.

Sandhol said about 23 of his colleagues have been rescued while the rest have not been accounted for. Images appeared online from Sunday showing Greek coast guard pulling out bodies from the water.

Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF said in a tweet Monday ‘Mediterranean is a mass grave’ in response to the reports.

In a similar development, Somaliland president Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo also condoled with the families and added his administration will organise for a conference to find ways of dealing with the migrant crisis.

Jubbaland president Ahmed Islam Madobe on his part noted such a tragedy can be stopped if Somali leaders find ways to create jobs for the youth who are now forced to leave the country for jobs in Europe.

“Many Somalis die every year while crossing to Europe. We can only stem this perennial problem if we create jobs for our youth,” said Madobe.

A UN Development Programme, UNDP Human Development report in 2012 noted that upwards of 67% of youth in Somalia lack any form of employment. This is further compounded by the fact that 75% of the country’s population fall within the youth bracket of 15- 35 years.

The International Organisation for Migration said almost 6,000 refugees sailed from Libya to Italy last week, in what appears to be the beginning of a wave of 100,000.