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Twenty-two years have passed since 2 August 1999, when Yaguine and Fodé, young migrants who dreamed of a different future, died. A story today

August 2 2021

MIGRANTS

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Twenty-two years have passed since 2 August 1999, when Yaguine Coita and Fodé Tounkara, two young Guineans, were found frozen to death in the undercarriage of a plane at Brussels airport, in the heart of Europe. The plane had just landed from Conakry, the capital of Guinea. Sadly, over the years, other young victims have met the same fate, such as Laurent Barthélémy Guibahi Ani, a 14-year-old Ivorian who was found frozen to death at Paris airport in January 2020, or the Malian boy found with his last school report card sewn into his clothes.

Stories of hope, despair, and death.

Yaguine and Fodè had written and brought with them a letter, addressed to 'Their Excellencies the Members and Leaders of Europe', outlining the many problems that African children and young people suffered and the high expectations they placed on Europe and its leaders.
At the time of the pandemic, the gap between advanced countries and the south of the world is in danger of widening again, due to the unequal availability of the vaccine. The plea of Yaguine and Fodè, is more relevant today than ever, but unfortunately often goes unheard. They wrote: "If you see us sacrificing ourselves and putting our lives at risk, it is because there is too much suffering in Africa. We have war, disease, lack of food".
The story of Yaguine and Fodè, who risked their lives and sacrificed them, is a story today, the story of so many who every day dangerously seek a better future and lose their lives in the dramatic encounter with the inaccessibility of Europe.