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In the smile of Fati and Marie, extinguished by the desert, Europe loses the last glimmer of compassion

The mother and the little girl, symbols of the tragedy unfolding in the desert along the border between Libya and Tunisia, have names and faces.

At Focus on Africa, we took it as a human commitment, even before a professional one.
Fati Dosso and little Marie were fleeing from Ivory Coast. They died of hardship and thirst before being able to fulfill their dream of a better future.
Giving an identity to the countless victims of inhumane anti-migrant policies was a duty, and thanks to the colleagues from Libye Actualité and the NGO Refugees in Libya, it was possible to give them dignity.
At the moment, we know that Fati was 30 years old and was born in the western region of Ivory Coast, in a small village called Man. After the death of her parents, she had moved to Libya, where she had lived for 5 years with her husband, also 30 years old, Meengue Nymbilo Crepin, nicknamed Pato, the father of 6-year-old Marie.
After several attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya, they headed to Tunisia, where they planned to raise their daughter.
Pato was with his wife and little Marie when they were driven out of the camp where they had been living for a year and forced to flee towards the border between Tunisia and Libya. We can only assume that he was not with them at the time of Fati and Marie’s death because he had gone to look for water before losing their traces.
Pato is still missing, or perhaps he might have been rescued by the Libyan border guards.

They were not “invaders” to be stopped.
Like the tens of thousands of migrants who die trying to cross the border between Libya and Tunisia, the 461 kilometers of sand and shrubs that stretch from the Mediterranean Sea to the north, to the triple border with Algeria to the south.
An arid desert expanse where dreams turn to dust.
Women, men, and children seeking an alternative to hunger, violence, and war encounter an ineffable fate.
For the majority of those attempting to reach the shores of the Mediterranean to embark towards Europe, their hopes shatter before they even complete half of the journey.
Most of them are sub-Saharan Africans in search of a better life, swallowed in a no man’s land, where borders divide and become barriers.
They are left at the mercy of a murderous sun, condemned to certain death because for politicians, their lives meant nothing.
Death for these humans with no alternatives, for that’s what they are, comes with slow and painful dehydration, a cruel and tragic end.
Their cry for mercy gets lost in the desert, while Western nations, yearning to reach their shores, try to suppress hopes and dreams by any means.
Today, we do not only mourn Dosso and Marie, but a multitude of faceless souls, an endless number, victims of a world that has disappointed them. A world that has lost every glimmer of compassion.

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