Tag Archives: Mediterranean route

EU blames Libya Al Khoms shipwreck tragedy

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of a shipwreck off the coast of Al Khoms where over 100 persons may have lost their lives. This is a terrible reminder of the risks still faced by those making this dangerous journey to Europe. Every life lost is one too many. Our aim has always been to prevent lives being lost at sea and we will continue our work to prevent these perilous journeys taking place in the first place” , wrote in a joint statement EU top diplomat Federica Mogerini, and Commissioners Johannes Hahn and Dimitris Avramopoulos on the shipwreck off the coast of Libya. (Image above: illustration).

“Our EU Delegation is in contact with the Libyan authorities, UN agencies and the NGOs to make sure that those rescued and disembarked receive protection and direct emergency assistance” the statement continues.

“Ensuring adequate search and rescue capacity, providing safe and dignified alternatives to dangerous sea-crossings to EU in the form of resettlements and voluntary returns out of Libya are essential to prevent further losses of lives and must be accelerated. At the same time, predictable and sustainable solutions for search and rescue are urgently needed in the Mediterranean”, the EU top executives said.

However the current situation in Libya is the direct result of the “Operation Freedom Falcon” led by  NATO armed forces, conducting in March 2011 the overthrowing of the four decades ruler Colonel Gaddafi. The assassination of Gaddafi degenerated  the statehood,  fueled the protracted conflict, and  threw nation into chaos.

A big round of applause for Obama, Hillary, McCain, Cameron and Sarkozy for plunging Libya into chaos and turning a once prosperous and stable country into a human trafficking hub and war-torn failed state where roving terrorists operate open air slave markets” wrote in her Twitter micro blog Sarah Abdallah, an ndependent Lebanese geopolitical commentator.

 

Pope Francis calls to assist migrants

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the VI anniversary of his visit to Lampedusa on July 8, a small Italian island 90 miles off the coast of Tunisia.

Pontifex called for an end to the rhetoric which views migrants as ‘other,’ saying they are human beings and among those Christ has commanded his disciples to love and assist.

“They are persons; these are not mere social or migrant issues!Pope continued “This is not just about migrants,’ in the twofold sense that migrants are first of all human persons, and that they are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society.”

These least ones are abandoned and cheated into dying in the desert; these least ones are tortured, abused and violated in detention camps; these least ones face the waves of an unforgiving sea; these least ones are left in reception camps too long for them to be called temporary,Pope stated.

“In the spirit of the Beatitudes we are called to comfort them in their affliction and offer them mercy,” he urged, “to sate their hunger and thirst for justice; to let them experience God’s caring fatherliness; to show them the way to the Kingdom of Heaven.”

At present the numbers of Christians in Africa are at rise, by 2025, one-sixth – 230 million of the world’s Catholics are expected to be Africans. Half of the African population lives in poverty without access to basic human needs, such as nutrition, clean water, shelter and more.

While Africa is globally the poorest continent, it is also home to the highest birth rate: by 2050, a quarter of the world will be African, with the continent’s population likely to rise from 1.2-billion today to 2.5-billion in 2050.

Tripoli rejects EU illegal migrants platforms

Tripoli rejects a European Union’s plan to establish migrant centers and it will not be attracted by financial inducements, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said.

Rejection of  Fayez al-Sarraj aborted the Italian proposal to organise reception and identification platforms for migrant processing in Africa as a means of resolve divisions among European governments over how to handle an influx of more than 1 million migrants since 2015 Italy hosted.

Libya is a main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe often on dinky inflatable boats provided by smugglers that often spring leaks or break down.

“We are absolutely opposed to Europe officially wanting us to accommodate illegal immigrants the EU does not want to take in,” Sarraj told German mass-selling daily Bild in an interview. “We save hundreds of people off the coast of Libya every day – our ships are constantly on the move,” he said, adding that Libya was being left to rescue migrants from the Mediterranean alone and needed more technical and financial support.

 

Increase of deaths in Mediterranean sea

The tragic weekend deaths of an estimated 103 people, including three babies, when the rubber dinghy they were on sank off the coast of Libya.

The Libyan Coast Guard rescued 16 survivors: young men from the Gambia, Sudan, Yemen, Niger and Guinea.

The incident was followed on Sunday by the capsizing of a small rubber boat off the Libyan port city of Al Khums, east of the capital, Tripoli. The vessel was packed with migrants and while 41 people survived, 100 are reported missing.

During this same time period, the Libyan Coast Guard intercepted several small vessels heading towards the open sea, returning nearly 1,000 migrants to shore.

The people were provided with food, water and health care, as well as other emergency assistance, and were interviewed by IOM staff.  They were later transferred to detention centres, where IOM continues to provide humanitarian assistance.

The Libyan Coast Guard has returned some 10,000 people to shore so far this year, according to IOM. Othman Belbeisi, its Libya Chief of Mission, reported an “alarming increase” in deaths at sea.

“Smugglers are exploiting the desperation of migrants to leave before there are further crackdowns on Mediterranean crossings by Europe,” Othman Belbeisi said.

Déclaration de Tunis sur la route migratoire en Méditerranée

Les Ministres de l’Intérieur réunis à Tunis aujourd’hui ont convenu de renforcer davantage la coordination en matière de gestion de la migration en Méditerranée centrale.

A cette fin, les Ministres ont convenu de l’approche à suivre dans trois domaines clé: traitement des causes profondes des migrations irrégulières; renforcement de l’action et de la coopération contre le trafic et la traite des migrants; coopération en matière de retour.

Les Ministres de l’Intérieur de l’Algérie, Allemagne, Autriche, France, Italie, Libye, Mali, Malte, Niger, Slovénie, Suisse, Tchad, Tunisie, le Commissaire européen chargé de la migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, des affaires intérieures et de la citoyenneté, ainsi que le Ministre de l’Intérieur de l’Estonie assurant la Présidence du Conseil de l’Union Européenne ont participé à la réunion.

 

Sex-traffic from Nigeria at raise

The International Organisation for Migration reports a sharp raise in the number of African girls being trafficked to Europe, especially from Nigeria.

Over the past three years, IOM Italy has seen an almost 600 per cent increase in the number of potential sex trafficking victims arriving in Italy by sea. This upward trend has continued during the first six months of 2017, with most victims arriving from Nigeria.

This is one of the key findings of a new report published by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, Human Trafficking through the Central Mediterranean Route, which was released in Italian this week (21 July) by IOM’s Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome. A translation from Italian to English will be available soon.

Among other findings, the report states that sexual exploitation increasingly involves younger girls – often minors – who are already subject to violence and abuse on their way to Europe. IOM estimates that 80 per cent of girls arriving from Nigeria – whose numbers have soared from 1,454 in 2014 to 11,009 in 2016 – are potential victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The report is based on data collected by IOM at landing sites and in reception centres for migrants in the regions of southern Italy, where the Organization carries out identification of potential victims and assists those who, once identified, decide to escape their exploiters and accept IOM support.

“Trafficking is a transnational crime that devastates the lives of thousands of people and is the cause of untold suffering,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean. “This is a theme we have been working on for years, committing to protect, prevent and collaborate with the authorities dealing with organized crime.”

“The report describes the organization’s activities in the face of this phenomenon: the difficulties in protecting victims and the main vulnerabilities identified among several cases of people who were assisted by the Organization. We also wanted to tell some of the stories of people who have been assisted by IOM staff to highlight the true nature of this painful and hateful form of slavery. We also feel that it is increasingly urgent that data analysis be accompanied by an examination of the market these girls supply, and the growing demand for paid sexual services,” – IOM Project Manager Carlotta Santarossa concluded.

 

Europarliament screens rescue operation in Mediterranean

To avoid migrants continuing to drown while trying to reach Italy, EU countries must offer their help the Members of the European Parliament suggest.

The Civil Liberties Committee held a hearing on search-and-rescue operations, the relations between the different actors including EU military vessels, Frontex staff and NGOs, the need to fight people smugglers as well as cooperation with Libyan authorities.

Italian Coast Guard Captain Sandro Gallinelli, Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri, as well as representatives of Doctors without Borders and Human Rights Watch presented the committee with their views.

Most MEPs in the debate defended the work of NGOs from criticism that their presence and rescue interventions are encouraging perilous journeys and even supporting human traffickers. Nevertheless, some MEPs also agreed that a code of conduct is needed to create order in operations at sea.

Many voiced doubts about the cooperation with Libya, pointing to the political instability in the country, the unreliability of its authorities and the heightened risk of abuse and violence faced by migrants who are returned to its shores.

Finally, most MEPs considered that a longer-term solution is needed, via a well-functioning asylum system, based on fair burden-sharing by all member states, combined with legal ways for migrating to the EU as well as a strategy to address the root causes of migration in the countries of origin.

 

 

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