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  • Land Confiscation Is Latest Barrier to Return for Myanmar’s Displaced

    An amendment to Myanmar’s land-ownership laws will make it nearly impossible for #Rohingya refugees and Myanmar’s internally displaced to return to land they’ve tilled for generations.


    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2019/03/15/land-confiscation-is-latest-barrier-to-return-for-myanmars-displaced
    #terres #confiscation_des_terres #Myanmar #Birmanie #retour_au_pays #IDPs #déplacés_internes #réfugiés #asile #migrations #loi #terre #foncier #réfugiés_rohingya #cartographie #visualisation

  • Why Every University Should Take in Refugee Students and Scholars

    The Institute of International Education’s Allan Goodman and Katherine Miller speak with Refugees Deeply about their work to help more refugee students access higher education and to protect refugee scholars.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/04/10/why-every-university-should-take-in-refugee-students-and-scholars

    #études_universitaires #université #asile #migrations #intégration_professionnelle #éducation #réfugiés #intégration

  • How Borders Are Constructed in West Africa

    The E.U. has led an expensive and often contradictory effort to modernize African borders. Author #Philippe_Frowd looks at the gap between policy and outcomes.

    Over the past 15 years there has been a surge in E.U. spending on borders outside Europe. The impact of this funding on West Africa has received little attention until recently.

    A new book by Philippe M. Frowd, an expert on the politics of borders, migration and security intervention, seeks to correct this. In “Security at the Borders: Transnational Practices and Technologies in West Africa,” Frowd details both the high politics and everyday culture clashes that have shaped European interventions and the way they have been received in countries like Senegal.

    An assistant professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, Frowd coins the term “border work” to denote how everything from training to technology to migration deals work in combination with each other. Here in conversation with Refugees Deeply, he shares some of his main observations.

    Refugees Deeply: You talk about tracing the “who” of border work in West Africa. Can you explain your findings?

    Philippe Frowd: One of my book’s points is to use the term “border work” to identify how seemingly disparate practices such as negotiating migrant readmission agreements, deploying citizen identification technologies, funding border management projects and routine police cooperation actually combine. To try and make sense of what seems to be a bewildering but also often opaque set of actors operating at the intersection of these fields in West Africa specifically.

    One of the most striking developments of the past 10-15 years has been the phenomenal growth of E.U. border security-related spending, much of it in “third countries,” mainly in Africa. This has gone hand in hand with a growing salience of “border security” on the part of many African states as a way of understanding flows at borders.

    One of my main findings was the sheer diversity of actors involved in determining policies, experiences and practices of borders in the region. The African Union is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity which accepted Africa’s inherited borders in 1964, and the A.U. continues to provide assistance for demarcation of borders and dispute resolution. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is one of the guarantors of free movement in the region and generally pursues an ambitious agenda of greater harmonization (e.g., of visa policy).

    Yet other actors, such as the E.U. and U.N. specialized agencies (such as the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime), tend to have agendas driven by primarily Western security concerns. Then there are the more immediately visible police and gendarmeries who directly enact border controls. More recently, the G5 Sahel force consistently invokes border security and transnational crime.

    Beyond simply tracing who does what, there is tracing the interconnections and tensions between these different institutions. Looking sociologically at the diverse range of actors, we can see how knowledge is a crucial part of the equation: What is the vision of borders, security and migration each actor puts forward? On one hand, institutions like ECOWAS are focused on legal mobility rights while those such as Interpol envision mobility as a regulated, digitally legible practice. The range of actors who contribute to this border work is often a patchwork in which uneasy bedfellows co-exist. E.U. funding, for instance, goes to supporting free movement projects at the ECOWAS level but also to train and equip the security forces of states like Niger to crack down on irregular migration routes. West African borders are the product of the balance of forces between this range of competing visions.

    Refugees Deeply: Can you talk us through the way in which border practices move between different regions. Is there a model for the process of emulation?

    Frowd: Border security is made up of everyday routines but also of various digital and other technologies, both of which are potentially mobile. I point to a couple of ways that these tools of doing border security can travel: One of these is emulation of existing (often Western) methods and standards, but this also goes alongside what I describe as “pedagogy” and the role of exemplars.

    “West African borders are the product of the balance of forces between this range of competing visions.”

    All of these interact in some way. As an example, a border management project led by the IOM [International Organization for Migration] might include training sessions during which members of the local police and gendarmerie learn about key principles of border management illustrated by best practices from elsewhere. Emulation is the desired outcome of many of these trainings, which are the backbone of international border security assistance. The EUCAP Sahel missions, for example, put a heavy emphasis on training rather than equipping so there is a strong faith that mentalities matter more than equipment.

    Equipment also matters and plays its part in shaping how border security works. Biometrics, which aim to verify identification using some kind of body measurement, require ways of reading the body and storing data about it. Senegal adopted, in one decade, a range of biometric technologies for national I.D. cards and controls at borders. There is a very obvious mobility of technology here (a Malaysian company providing e-Passport infrastructure, a Belgian company providing visa systems) but movement of border practices is also about ideas. The vision of biometrics as effective in the first place is one that I found, from interviews with Senegalese police commanders, was strongly tied to emulating ideals of modern and selective borders found elsewhere.

    Refugees Deeply: In your work you identify some of the gaps between policy goals and to actual outcomes and practices. Can you talk us through the greatest discrepancies?

    Frowd: Some of the discrepancies I found showed some interesting underlying factors. One of these was the shifting role of global private sector companies in frustrating public policy goals. Not through deliberate sabotage or state capture, but rather through the diverging incentives around doing border work. In the case of Senegal’s biometric systems, the state has been keen to make as coherent an infrastructure as possible, with connections between various elements such as biometric passport issuance, automated airport arrivals for holders of this passport and systems such as the national I.D. card. Given the need for private companies to compete based on technological advantage, rival systems made by rival companies could not interconnect and share data without sharing of valuable corporate information.

    Another underlying factor for the discrepancies I point to is that, once again, the sociological dynamics of the people doing the border work come into play. Many border management projects bring together a diverse range of actors who can have competing visions of how security is to be performed and achieved. For instance the ways police and gendarmerie competed over border post data in Mauritania leading to separate databases. It can also happen at a larger scale through the lack of integration across the donor community, which leads to a huge amount of duplication.

    Refugees Deeply: You spent a section of your book on Spanish-African police cooperation to show the limits of European knowledge and technology. You mention a clash of cultures, can you elaborate?

    Frowd: This is a particularly salient point today for two reasons. First because we are hearing more elite (e.g., Frontex) discourse about the “reopening” of a migration route to Spain. Second because Spain itself is increasingly active in E.U. projects across the Sahel. My book tells some of the story of Spanish security ambitions in Africa. But these ambitions, and those of other Western partners, have hard limits. Some of these limits are quite straightforward: Climate is often a barrier to the functioning of surveillance technologies and some countries (like Mauritania) are harder to recruit international experts for if they cannot or do not bring their families along.

    In terms of Spanish-African cooperation, much of the narrative about clashes of cultures comes down to perceptions. One of the elements of the clash is a temporal one, with Spanish security officials often considering local partners as existing at a completely different stage of progress.

    More broadly in terms of the limits of knowledge itself, the ambitions of experts to implicitly recreate aspects of European best practice are flawed. Part of this form of border security knowledge involves supporting technological solutions to make African mobility more legible to states. This comes up against the reality that movement in West Africa is already quite free but highly informalized. European experts are well aware of this reality but seek to formalize these flows. A police expert I spoke to recently suggested co-located border posts, and many international funders are supportive of specific I.D. cards for residents of border regions. This is not to impede movement, but rather to rationalize it – in much the same way that common I.D. standards and databases underpin free movement within Europe.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/07/18/how-borders-are-constructed-in-west-africa
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Mauritanie #Sénégal

  • Why Spain is a Window into the E.U. Migration Control Industry

    Spain’s migration control policies in North Africa dating back over a decade are now replicated across the E.U. Gonzalo Fanjul outlines PorCausa’s investigation into Spain’s migration control industry and its warning signs for the rest of Europe.

    There was a problem and we fixed it.” For laconic President José María Aznar, these words were quite the political statement. The then Spanish president was speaking in July 1996, after 103 Sub-Saharan migrants who had reached Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa, were drugged, handcuffed and taken to four African countries by military aircraft.

    President Aznar lay the moral and political foundations of a system based on the securitization, externalization and, increasingly, the privatization of border management. This system was consolidated by subsequent Spanish governments and later extended to the rest of the European Union, setting the grounds for a thriving business: the industry of migration control.

    Between 2001 and 2010, long before Europe faced the so-called “refugee crisis,” Spain built two walls in its North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, signed combined development and repatriation agreements with nine African countries, passed two major pieces of legislation on migration, and fostered inter-regional migration initiatives such as the Rabat Process. Spain also designed and established the Integral System of External Surveillance, to this day one of the most sophisticated border surveillance mechanisms in the world.

    The ultimate purpose of these efforts was clear: to deter irregular migration, humanely if possible, but at any cost if necessary.

    Spain was the first European country to utilize a full array of control and cooperation instruments in countries along the migration route to Europe. The system proved effective during the “cayuco crisis” in 2005 and 2006. Following a seven-fold increase in the number of arrivals from West Africa to the Canary Islands by boat, Spain made agreements with several West African countries to block the route, forcing migrants to take the even riskier Sahel passage.

    Although the E.U. questioned the humanitarian consequences of these deals at the time, less than a decade later officials across the continent have replicated large parts of the Spanish system, including the E.U. Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and agreements between the Italian and the Libyan governments.

    Today, 2005 seems like different world. That year, the E.U. adopted its Global Approach on Migration and Mobility, which balanced the “prevention of irregular migration and trafficking” with promising language on the “fostering of well-managed migration” and the “maximization” of its development impact.

    Since then, the combined effect of the Great Recession – an institutional crisis – and the increased arrival of refugees has diluted reformist efforts in Europe. Migration policies are being defined by ideological nationalism and economic protectionism. Many politicians in Europe are electorally profiting from these trends. The case of Spain also illustrates that the system is ripe for financial profit.

    For over a year, Spanish investigative journalism organization porCausa mapped the industry of migration control in Spain. We detailed the ecosystem of actors and interests facilitating the industry, whose operations rely almost exclusively on public funding. A myriad private contractors and civil society organizations operate in four sectors: border protection and surveillance; detention and expulsion of irregular migrants; reception and integration of migrants; and externalization of migration control through agreements with private organisations and public institutions in third countries.

    We began by focusing on securitization and border management. We found that between 2002 and 2017 Spain allocated at least 610 million euros ($720 million) of public funding through 943 contracts related to the deterrence, detention and expulsion of migrants. Our analysis reached two striking conclusions and one question for future research.

    Firstly, we discovered the major role that the E.U. plays in Spain’s migration control industry. Just over 70 percent of the 610 million euros came from different European funds, such as those related to External Borders, Return and Internal Security, as well as the E.U. border agency Frontex. Thus, Spanish public spending is determined by the policy priorities established by E.U. institutions and member states. Those E.U. institutions have since diligently replicated the Spanish approach. With the E.U. now driving these policies forward, the approach is likely to be replicated in other European countries.

    Secondly, our data highlights how resources are concentrated in the hands of a few businesses. Ten out of the 350 companies included in our database received over half of the 610 million euros. These companies have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Spanish government in other sectors such as defence, construction and communications, and are now gaining a privileged role in the highly sensitive areas of border surveillance and migration control.

    Our research also surfaced a troubling question that has shaped the second phase of our inquiry: to what extent are these companies influencing Spanish migration policy? The capture of rules and institutions by elites in an economic system has been documented in sectors such as defence, taxation or pharmaceuticals. That this could also be happening to borders and migration policy should alarm public opinion and regulators. For example, the key role played by private technology companies in the design and implementation of Spain’s Integral System of External Surveillance demonstrates the need for further investigation.

    Spain’s industry of migration control may be the prototype of a growing global phenomenon. Migration policies have been taken over by border deterrence goals and narratives. Meanwhile, border control is increasingly dependent on the technology and management of private companies. As E.U.-level priorities intersect with those of the highly-concentrated – and possibly politically influential – migration control industry, Europe risks being trapped in a political and budgetary vicious circle based on the premise of migration-as-a-problem, complicating any future reform efforts towards a more open migration system.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/05/21/why-spain-is-a-window-into-the-e-u-migration-control-industry
    #Afrique_du_Nord #externalisation #modèle_espagnol #migrations #contrôles_migratoires #asile #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #asile #réfugiés #histoire

  • L’Austria esce dal patto Onu per le migrazioni: “Limita la sovranità del nostro Paese”

    L’accordo internazionale che punta a difendere i diritti dei rifugiati entrerà in vigore a dicembre. Prima di Vienna, anche Usa e Ungheria si sono sfilati. Il governo Kurz: “Migrare non è un diritto fondamentale”.

    L’Austria esce dal patto Onu per le migrazioni: “Limita la sovranità del nostro Paese”

    L’accordo internazionale che punta a difendere i diritti dei rifugiati entrerà in vigore a dicembre. Prima di Vienna, anche Usa e Ungheria si sono sfilati. Il governo Kurz: “Migrare non è un diritto fondamentale”

    L’Austria annuncia il suo ritiro dal patto delle Nazioni Unite sulle migrazioni, e segue così l’esempio di Stati Uniti e Ungheria, che prima di lei sono uscite dall’accordo internazionale, in controcorrente con gli oltre 190 Paesi che l’hanno firmato. Lo ha comunicato il cancelliere Sebastian Kurz, motivando la scelta sovranista come una reazione necessaria per respingere un vincolo Onu che “limita la sovranità del nostro Paese”. Non ci sarà, dunque, nessun rappresentante di Vienna alla conferenza dell’Onu a Marrakech, in Marocco, il 10 e 11 dicembre. Mentre all’Assemblea generale delle Nazioni Unite dell’anno prossimo l’Austria si asterrà.

    COSA PREVEDE L’ACCORDO

    Il patto per le migrazioni era stato firmato da 193 Paesi a settembre 2017 ed entrerà in vigore a dicembre con la firma prevista al summit di Marrakech. Prevede la protezione dei diritti dei rifugiati e dei migranti, indipendentemente dallo status, e combatte il traffico di esseri umani e la xenofobia. E ancora, impegna i firmatari a lavorare per porre fine alla pratica della detenzione di bambini allo scopo di determinare il loro status migratorio; limita al massimo le detenzioni dei migranti per stabilire le loro condizioni, migliora l’erogazione dell’assistenza umanitaria e di sviluppo ai Paesi più colpiti. Facilita anche il cambiamento di status dei migranti irregolari in regolari, il ricongiungimento familiare, punta a migliorare l’inclusione nel mercato del lavoro, l’accesso al sistema sanitario e all’istruzione superiore e ad una serie di agevolazioni nei Paesi di approdo, oltre che ad accogliere i migranti climatici.

    LE RAGIONI DI VIENNA

    Un documento di 34 pagine, per politiche in favore di chi lascia il proprio Paese che promuovano una migrazione sicura. L’Austria in un comunicato respinge tutti i criteri stabiliti da quella che è stata ribattezzata la “Dichiarazione di New York”. Kurz, che da giovanissimo ministro degli Esteri fece il suo esordio mondiale proprio all’Assemblea generale dell’Onu, decide così di strappare e imporre il suo giro di vite sui migranti, spinto dal suo alleato al governo, l’ultradestra dell’Fpö di Heinz-Christian Strache, il quale a margine dell’annuncio del ritiro ha aggiunto: “La migrazione non è e non può essere un diritto fondamentale dell’uomo”. Il governo di Vienna, in particolare, spiega che “il patto limita la sovranità nazionale, perché non distingue tra migrazione economica e ricerca di protezione umanitaria”, tra migrazione illegale e legale. “Non può essere - continua il governo Kurz - che qualcuno riceva lo status di rifugiato per motivi di povertà o climatici”.

    “SEGUIAMO IL LORO ESEMPIO”

    Il patto, in realtà, non è vincolante ai sensi del diritto internazionale, una volta firmato. Si delinea come una dichiarazione di intenti, per mettere ordine nelle politiche sulle migrazioni a livello mondiale, all’insegna della solidarietà. Per questo, la mossa di Vienna assume un valore simbolico, sull’onda delle dichiarazioni di Kurz e i suoi che vorrebbero chiudere le porte dell’Europa all’immigrazione e controllare i confini. Trascina dietro di sé la lodi di altri partiti populisti europei, uno tra tutti l’AfD tedesca, con la leader Alice Weidel che non ha tardato a twittare: “Anche la Germania non aderisca, il Global Compact apre la strada a milioni di migranti africani e legalizza l’immigrazione irregolare”.

    https://www.lastampa.it/2018/10/31/esteri/laustria-esce-dal-patto-onu-per-le-migrazioni-limita-la-sovranit-del-nostro-paese-GbGo3HsbsGygjZ3aOjVfkJ/pagina.html
    #Global_compact #global_compact_on_refugees #migrations #réfugiés #asile #Autriche #Hongrie #USA #Etats-Unis

    • Austria to shun global migration pact, fearing creep in human rights

      Austria will follow the United States and Hungary in backing out of a United Nations migration pact over concerns it will blur the line between legal and illegal migration, the right-wing government said on Wednesday.

      The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was approved in July by all 193 member nations except the United States, which backed out last year.

      Hungary’s right-wing government has since said it will not sign the final document at a ceremony in Morocco in December. Poland, which has also clashed with Brussels by resisting national quotas for asylum seekers, has said it is considering the same step.

      “Austria will not join the U.N. migration pact,” said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, a conservative and immigration hard-liner who governs in coalition with the far-right Freedom Party.

      “We view some points of the migration pact very critically, such as the mixing up of seeking protection with labor migration,” said Kurz, who argues that migrants rescued in the Mediterranean should not be brought straight to Europe.

      U.N. Special Representative for International Migration Louise Arbour called the move regrettable and mistaken and said the compact simply aimed to improve the management of cross-border movements of people.

      “It is no possible sense of the word an infringement on state sovereignty - it is not legally binding, it’s a framework for cooperation,” she told Reuters.

      Vienna currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, a role that usually involves playing a mediating role to bridge divisions within the bloc. Instead its move highlighted the disagreements on migration that have blighted relations among the 28 member states for years.

      The Austrian government is concerned that signing up to the pact, even though it is not binding, could eventually help lead to the recognition of a “human right to migration”. The text of a cabinet decision formally approving its move on Wednesday said it would argue against such a right.

      “We reject any movement in that direction,” Freedom Party leader and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache told a news conference after the weekly cabinet meeting.

      Arbour said such concerns were unfounded.

      “The question of whether this is an invidious way to start promoting a ‘human right to migrate’ is not correct. It’s not in the text, there’s no sinister project to advance that.”

      Austria took in roughly 1 percent of its population in asylum seekers in 2015 during a migration crisis in which more than a million people traveled to Europe, many of them fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.

      That experience dominated last year’s parliamentary election and helped propel Kurz’s conservatives to power. He has said he will prevent any repeat of that influx and has implemented policies that include restricting benefits for new immigrants.

      The U.N. pact addresses issues such as how to protect people who migrate, how to integrate them into new countries and how to return them to their home countries.

      The United Nations has hailed it as a historic and comprehensive pact that could serve as a basis for future policies.

      Austria will not send an envoy to the signing ceremony in Morocco and will abstain at a U.N. General Assembly vote on the pact next year, Kurz’s office said.

      In a paper this month, the Brookings Institution, a U.S. think tank, said the pact “reflects widespread recognition, among even the most skeptical member states, that managing migration effectively is in the common interest”.

      Amnesty International criticized Vienna’s stance.

      “Instead of facing global challenges on an international level, the government is increasingly isolating Austria. That is irresponsible,” the rights group said in a statement.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-migrants-austria/austria-to-withdraw-from-u-n-migration-agreement-apa-idUSKCN1N50JZ

    • Communication Breakdown in Austria – How Far-Right Fringe Groups Hijacked the Narrative on the Global Compact for Migration

      Yesterday Austria announced its withdrawal from the UN Global Compact for Migration (GCM), thus joining the United States and Hungary. The decision was met with little surprise. It followed an announcement in early October that Austria would reconsider its continued participation in the GCM process. And it followed weeks of efforts by the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) and other far-right actors to discredit the GCM.

      As the Austrian decision gained media attention, many outside the world of migration policy wondered what the Global Compact for Migration is. This post is both for newcomers and long-time observers. For the newcomers, I explain how the GCM came about and why it is significant. Long-time observers may want to skip to the section discussing the context and implications of the Austrian decision to withdraw.
      What is the UN Global Compact for Migration?

      The short answer is that it is a non-binding agreement on migration at the UN level. The lengthy intergovernmental negotiations concluded in July, which means that the text of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is already available. The text lays out 23 objectives covering a wide array of policies, including objectives on addressing the drivers of migration, better data gathering, border management, enhanced regular pathways and more. In December, states will adopt the GCM in Marrakesh, right after the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

      The long answer is that the Global Compact for Migration encompasses more than the final text. The process leading up to the agreement is just as noteworthy. The negotiations between states and with close participation of civil society actors stretched over eighteen months. At several thematic sessions, states, non-governmental organisations, researchers, grassroots organisations, and think tanks came together in New York, Vienna, and Geneva. In the sessions, actors mostly read out their condensed two- or three-minute statements. But intense discussions happened during panels, outside, at side-events, and during breaks. And parallel to the global proceedings, there were regional and, in some cases, also national consultations. It was thus also a process of learning and coalition-forming.
      Why did Austria decide to leave the Global Compact for Migration?

      The official Austrian critique of the Global Compact for Migration rests on two points. First, it argues that the GCM would eventually be a legally binding document. Second, the GCM is portrayed to diminish states’ national sovereignty. Neither of these statements holds true. Already in the preamble, it clearly says that it is “a non-legally binding, cooperative framework” and that it “upholds the sovereignty of States.” And during the lengthy negotiations, states overwhelmingly emphasized their sovereignty. The decision to leave therefore appears to be much more about short-term domestic politics than about the above-stated concerns.

      Already during the parliamentary election in 2017, the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) outdid each other with anti-immigration rhetoric. Now that they form the current governing coalition, they have passed increasingly restrictive migration and integration policies. Their recent measures stretch from budget cuts for language courses parallel to restricting welfare based on language skills. In light of this, the Austrian decision is not surprising.

      But until recently, the Global Compact for Migration had not been a point of contention for the Freedom Party. In fact, the Austrian foreign ministry – currently headed by a minister affiliated with the FPÖ – took part in the negotiations. The timing of this withdrawal therefore merits attention. Some weeks ago, fringe groups on the far-right started to mobilize against the GCM. With online petitions, posters, and a protest in front of the UN headquarters in Vienna. The websites contain close to no information on the GCM. Instead, they make the baseless assertion that it would lead to “limitless migration” and repeat the alarmist imagery that Nigel Farage used for his “Breaking Point” banner ahead of the Brexit referendum. At the helm of this disinformation campaign is Martin Sellner, leader of the far-right Identarian movement.

      Shortly after, the Austrian Freedom Party also started to publicly criticize the Global Compact for Migration in widely read Austrian tabloids. During the evening news on the day of the official withdrawal, Armin Wolf confronted FPÖ Vice-Chancellor Strache with the question why the FPÖ had only begun its criticism after far-right fringe group activism had started. Strache denied any connection in the timing. Meanwhile, Martin Sellner celebrated the success of the imitative. Instead, Strache argued that it took time to reach a judgment on the final product. However, the text had been in its final shape for months.
      What can be learned from this?

      To be clear, one should not be tempted to overstate the significance of fringe actors. But one also should not leave the debate in the wider public about the Global Compact for Migration in their hands. The GCM negotiation process has been inclusive to those actors wishing to participate and all previous drafts of the agreement had been available online. The efforts were thus comparatively transparent. But, nonetheless, the communication with the wider public was not proactive.

      In the months that I had been involved with the GCM process, I was repeatedly surprised how many people within the world of migration and integration were unaware of the negotiations, even less so the wider public. And while it is not necessary to indulge in the technicalities of such a lengthy process, it meant that many people in Austria heard about the GCM only when far-right groups brought it to the fore. In the absence of wider public engagement, there was no counter-movement to challenge the misinformation that was spreading.

      What are the implications of this decision? And what is next?

      There is already talk of other countries following the path of Austria, Hungary, and the US. But instead of getting stuck in speculations about who else may withdraw, efforts should concentrate on the majority that upholds the Global Compact for Migration. This incident provides an opportunity to start a conversation beyond those tightly involved in migration policy.

      And it is important to remember that December will just be the beginning, not the end. Ahead lies a long road of implementation. Then, inclusiveness – especially of those directly affected by the GCM – and proactive communication will remain crucial.


      https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/2018/communication-breakdown-in-austria-how-far-right-fringe-groups-hijacked

      –-> et sur cette image, le fameux slogan australien #No_Way (you won’t make Australia home)
      #modèle_australien #Australie

    • Le Pacte de l’ONU pour les migrations divise le parlement

      Le gouvernement souhaite signer, avec une réserve, un projet de traité international sur les réfugiés. Des commissions parlementaires délivrent des messages contradictoires.

      Le Conseil fédéral doit-il approuver le Pacte mondial des Nations unies pour les migrations les 10 et 11 décembre à Marrakech ? C’est son intention. Il l’a annoncée le 10 octobre. Mais cette perspective fait des vagues, à tel point qu’une commission parlementaire émet de sérieuses réserves à ce sujet alors que d’autres sont divisées. Comme il l’avait promis, le gouvernement les a consultées avant de prendre une décision définitive.

      La Commission des institutions politiques du Conseil national (CIP-N) s’est manifestée la première. Le 19 octobre, elle a adopté une motion qui demande que la décision d’approbation soit soumise aux Chambres fédérales. Une semaine plus tard, la Commission de politique extérieure du Conseil des Etats (CPE-E) a adressé au Conseil fédéral une lettre annonçant son intention de déposer une requête similaire. Vendredi dernier, la CIP-N a franchi un pas de plus : par 15 voix contre 9, elle a formellement décidé de recommander au Conseil fédéral de ne pas approuver ce traité migratoire. Cette revendication sera discutée en séance plénière du Conseil national le 6 décembre.

      Ambassadeur actif et décrié

      Lundi, la CPE-N a émis un avis différent. Par 14 voix contre 10, elle recommande au Conseil fédéral d’apposer sa signature au bas du pacte de l’ONU. Dans des proportions similaires, elle a refusé de soumettre celui-ci au vote obligatoire ou de recueillir formellement l’avis des Chambres fédérales. La commission sœur du Conseil des Etats n’a pas encore rendu son verdict. Elle se réunit une nouvelle fois lundi prochain.

      C’est l’UDC qui a ouvert les feux. Mi-septembre, alors que personne à Berne ne se préoccupait de la prochaine signature de cette convention migratoire, elle a condamné ce texte, contraignant politiquement mais pas juridiquement, avec la plus grande virulence. Celui-ci prône une « migration sûre, ordonnée et régulière ». Selon le Conseil fédéral, ses objectifs recoupent les siens : réduire la migration irrégulière, renforcer l’aide sur place, lutter contre la traite des êtres humains et le trafic des migrants, sécuriser les frontières, respecter les droits humains, faciliter le rapatriement, la réintégration ou l’intégration durable dans le pays d’accueil. La Suisse a même joué un rôle moteur dans l’élaboration de ce texte, puisque l’ambassadeur auprès de l’ONU, Jürg Lauber, en a été l’une des chevilles ouvrières avec son homologue mexicain, Juan José Gomez Camacho, et la représentante spéciale de l’ONU pour les migrations internationales, Louise Arbour.
      Plusieurs pays ont renoncé

      L’UDC fait de ce document une lecture très différente. Elle y voit un moyen de permettre « aux migrants d’accéder plus facilement aux pays de leur choix, indépendamment de leurs qualifications ». Elle brandit la menace d’une immigration massive vers la Suisse. A quelques semaines du vote sur l’initiative contre les juges étrangers, et en vertu de l’article constitutionnel qui dit que la Suisse doit gérer son immigration de manière indépendante, l’UDC exige le rejet de ce pacte. Elle n’est pas seule. Le projet est aussi controversé au sein du PLR.

      Pour le Conseil fédéral, la situation n’est pas simple. Les Etats-Unis, la Hongrie et l’Autriche ont déjà fait savoir qu’ils ne participeraient pas à la signature. Comme l’ambassadeur Lauber, sur qui l’UDC tire à boulets rouges et qui est aussi la cible d’une campagne sauvage de la droite identitaire, a contribué activement aux négociations, un refus de la Suisse serait considéré comme un affront au sein de l’ONU.

      Par ailleurs, on rappelle volontiers que les fondements de ce texte, dont l’élaboration a débuté en 2016, recoupent la politique migratoire défendue par Didier Burkhalter et Simonetta Sommaruga. Or, le premier nommé a quitté le Conseil fédéral et c’est son successeur Ignazio Cassis, à qui l’on reproche de ne pas défendre suffisamment son émissaire auprès des Nations unies, qui a repris le flambeau. Début octobre, le gouvernement a proposé d’approuver le pacte assorti d’une réserve portant sur le traitement des mineurs âgés d’au moins 15 ans.

      https://www.letemps.ch/suisse/pacte-lonu-migrations-divise-parlement

    • Ne pas signer le Pacte de l’ONU sur les migrations est « une erreur politique »

      La #Suisse ne signera pas le Pacte de l’ONU sur les migrations, du moins pas pour l’instant, a décidé le Conseil fédéral. « Une erreur politique », selon le président du Parti socialiste Christian Levrat.

      Le Conseil fédéral a reconnu mercredi que ce Pacte est dans l’intérêt de la Suisse, mais estime qu’il est trop tôt pour le signer.

      https://www.rts.ch/info/suisse/10013083-ne-pas-signer-le-pacte-de-l-onu-sur-les-migrations-est-une-erreur-polit

    • Pour Louise Arbour, la volte-face de la Suisse porte atteinte à sa crédibilité multilatérale

      La représentante spéciale de l’ONU pour les migrations démonte le mythe de la perte de souveraineté des Etats qui adopteront le pacte à Marrakech en décembre. Elle ne comprend pas non plus la peur des « soft laws » qui saisit le parlement fédéral

      Alors que le Conseil des Etats débat ce jeudi d’une motion de l’UDC exhortant le Conseil fédéral à ne pas adopter le Pacte mondial de l’ONU pour les migrations ainsi que d’une proposition de la Commission des institutions politiques de soumettre son adoption à l’Assemblée fédérale, les Nations unies mettent les choses au point.

      Interrogée par Le Temps au Palais des Nations à Genève, Louise Arbour, représentante spéciale du secrétaire général de l’ONU pour les migrations, s’étonne des discussions au sujet du pacte qui serait, selon certains parlementaires fédéraux, « de la soft law [droit souple, ndlr] susceptible de se transformer en droit coutumier (obligatoire) ».

      « Je suis avocate moi-même. Je ne comprends pas cette notion selon laquelle ce pacte deviendrait subrepticement obligatoire contre la volonté de la Suisse. Je vous rassure. Ce n’est pas le cas. Aucune disposition du pacte n’empiète sur la souveraineté des Etats qui l’adoptent. »

      Un débat particulièrement agressif

      La responsable onusienne relève que le pacte, qui sera formellement adopté à Marrakech les 10 et 11 décembre prochain (sans la Suisse qui a, sur proposition du conseiller fédéral Ignazio Cassis, finalement renoncé à s’y rendre), offre un menu d’options et de bonnes pratiques que les Etats peuvent choisir d’adopter ou non. « Je suis étonnée que la Suisse s’inquiète de ce pacte. Elle applique elle-même déjà pleinement ce que prévoit le document », précise la Canadienne.

      A Berne, la tonalité du débat demeure très agressive. Certains parlementaires UDC vont jusqu’à demander que l’ambassadeur de Suisse auprès des Nations unies à New York, Jürg Lauber – par ailleurs diffamé dans une campagne menée par des mouvements identitaires et d’extrême droite autrichiens, allemands et suisses – soit traduit en justice pour « trahison ».

      Ignorance ou mauvaise foi ?

      Là encore, Louise Arbour n’en revient pas : « Ce genre de discours montre comment les processus internationaux sont mal compris. J’espère que c’est de l’ignorance et non de la mauvaise foi. Il faut savoir comment un tel processus fonctionne. Quand l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU décide de mettre en place un processus, le président de l’assemblée nomme des cofacilitateurs pour leurs qualités personnelles et non pour leur appartenance nationale.

      L’élaboration du pacte a été cofacilitée de façon neutre par l’ambassadeur Jürg Lauber et son homologue mexicain, Juan José Gomez Camacho. Tant la Suisse que le Mexique avaient des délégations complètement distinctes de leurs ambassadeurs. Il ne faut pas tout mélanger quant à la réelle implication de la Suisse. »
      Un pacte basé sur les faits

      Pour la responsable onusienne, le revirement de la Suisse par rapport à ses positions de négociation est problématique. « Que les Etats qui ont négocié dans leur capacité nationale et même obtenu des concessions d’autres Etats se dissocient aujourd’hui des positions qu’ils ont prises est très décevant. Une telle volte-face porte atteinte à leur crédibilité comme partenaires dans un environnement multilatéral. »

      Louise Arbour tente d’identifier la raison des résistances : « La migration peut être une question traitée de manière très fractionnée, parfois par plusieurs ministères. Sans grande cohésion. Cela peut avoir contribué à la difficulté de faire passer le message. »

      Pas le fruit de bureaucrates

      Quant à l’idée que le pacte migratoire serait le produit de l’imagination de bureaucrates de New York, elle s’en défend : « Le processus ayant mené au pacte a été très respectueux, et surtout basé sur la réalité et des faits. » Les crispations (sensibles en Hongrie, aux Etats-Unis, en Israël, en Suisse, etc.) autour du pacte ne sont pas justifiées, estime-t-elle.

      La meilleure manière de mener une politique migratoire nationale efficace est de coopérer avec ses voisins. La migration implique forcément une interdépendance. C’est ce cadre coopératif que propose le pacte, « négocié non pas en secret, mais avec la société civile, le secteur privé, les syndicats », ajoute Louise Arbour.

      Hors de l’ONU, la pression sur le Conseil fédéral est venue mercredi du CICR dont le président, Peter Maurer, appelle à adopter le pacte « négocié de façon totalement transparente pendant près de trois ans ». La Commission fédérale des migrations abonde dans le même sens, jugeant nécessaire de s’associer à cet effort mondial de réguler la migration.

      https://www.letemps.ch/monde/louise-arbour-volteface-suisse-porte-atteinte-credibilite-multilaterale

    • Global Compact, il governo sospende il patto Onu sull’immigrazione

      L’annuncio del premier Conte su input del ministro Salvini: l’Italia non parteciperà neanche al summit di Marrakech di dicembre.
      L’Italia sospende l’adesione al Global Compact sull’immigrazione, il patto firmato da oltre 190 Paesi il 19 settembre 2016 e ribattezzato “Dichiarazione di New York“. Inoltre l’Italia non parteciperà nemmeno al summit Onu di Marrakech, in Marocco, che tra il 10 e l’11 dicembre adotterà il documento.

      https://www.tpi.it/2018/11/29/global-compact-immigrazione-italia
      #Italie

    • What’s to Fear in the U.N. Global Compact for Migration?

      The forthcoming adoption of the United Nations’ global migration compact has sparked turmoil, particularly among members of the European Union. But the compact itself refutes much of the criticism, says Solon Ardittis, director of Eurasylum.

      After two years of intense intergovernmental negotiations, the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration will be formally adopted on December 10-11 in Marrakech. Though the compact went largely unnoticed by most political parties and the public throughout the negotiation period, its forthcoming adoption is now sparking turmoil in Europe and around the world.

      To date, at least a dozen U.N. member states have declared they do not intend to sign it or are considering doing so. Last fall, the United States became the first to withdraw. Hungary followed earlier this year, which set off a domino effect of withdrawals in the European Union over the past few weeks. Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia have said they won’t sign, and Italy has signaled its disapproval, too. In Belgium, profound disagreement among coalition partners over the compact is threatening to bring down the government.

      So what exactly does the compact proffer to make it the source of such growing discontent? The 30-page document is an international, nonbinding agreement that aims “to make an important contribution to enhanced cooperation on international migration in all its dimensions.” Emerging in the wake of Europe’s 2015 refugee crisis, it draws on a range of existing international instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the vast majority of member states are signatories. And it aims to develop an international cooperative framework acknowledging that no nation can address the contemporary problems of migration alone. This is the first time in history that all U.N. member states have come together to negotiate an agreement on migration in such a comprehensive manner.

      The compact is comprised of 23 objectives. These include, inter alia: collecting adequate data; ensuring all migrants have legal proof of identity; saving lives and establishing coordinated international efforts on missing migrants; strengthening the transnational response to smuggling and trafficking; managing borders in an integrated manner; and giving migrants access to basic services. The compact also includes a follow-up and review mechanism.

      Crucially, while acknowledging states’ shared responsibilities, the compact reaffirms their sovereign right to determine their national migration policies and to govern migration within their jurisdictions. It also stresses that the compact’s implementation will account for different national realities, capacities and levels of development; and will respect national policies and priorities.

      Given such lenient and largely unthreatening policy objectives, what’s behind the growing resentment?

      First, after only recently appearing on the radar of political parties in Europe and internationally, the compact now seems to offer a golden opportunity for populist parties and opinion-makers to push their claims that nations are losing control over their sovereignty and borders. Ironically, the same parties that now criticize the compact have traditionally challenged national governments for not taking sufficiently coordinated action to manage irregular migration, migrant smuggling and human trafficking, or for addressing the growing number of migrant fatalities at sea. The compact represents a foundation for such coordinated action.

      Its most vocal opponents claim, among other things, that the compact does not sufficiently distinguish between legal and illegal migration, that it mixes up the rights of asylum seekers with those of economic migrants, or even stipulates the number of migrants that each member state will need to accept. All this is strictly contradicted in the compact itself.

      Nevertheless, such unfounded criticism has eventually led many governments to adopt a low profile, avoid media exposure and be represented at the Marrakech conference next week at a much less senior level than anticipated. One notable exception is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has intensified efforts to reassure “concerned citizens” and to reaffirm that the compact aims to strengthen the protection of national borders rather than weaken them.

      Also worthy of mention is E.U. migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos’s Dec. 4 warning that withdrawal from the compact could hamper cooperation with third countries to control migration and send mixed messages about the E.U.’s resolve to cooperate on an equal basis with its African partners to address future migration challenges. While the E.U. of course has its own cooperation channels and modalities with key migration origin and transit countries, particularly on development and migration management policies, there is little doubt the Global Compact would open additional avenues for the E.U. (and indeed other U.N. member states) to engage in more informal, multistakeholder and non donor-dominated discussions on a range of migration-related policy initiatives.

      The second point that needs be stressed, particularly with respect to the E.U., is that the compact bears no comparison to some of the remarkably more constraining transnational legal and policy frameworks on migration adopted over the past decade. In particular, there have been a wide array of E.U. directives on immigration (legal and irregular), migrant integration policies, migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings and a range of related policy areas that have been regulated at European Union, rather than member state, level after the E.U. executive gained increased competences to legislate in this field.

      Of course, the E.U. has a history of controversial policy interventions on migration. However, with the exception of the E.U. refugee relocation program, which has generated limited consensus among member states, and of the United Kingdom and Denmark’s decision to opt out of some of the E.U.’s most stringent migration policy instruments, to date none of the bloc’s migration-related policies, including those that were legally binding and requiring transposition into national law, has generated as much turmoil as the U.N. Global Compact for Migration.

      The compact may have some inherent weaknesses, such as not sufficiently demonstrating that it will be relevant and actionable in member states with such contrasting migration features and policy approaches. Doubts also persist on the levels of financial resources that will be allocated to implement such a nonbinding and largely aspirational policy framework.

      It remains that the agreement to be signed next week need not become a cause for concern for any member of society, and even less so be used as a scapegoat by potentially ill-intentioned or ill-informed commentators. Despite its nonbinding nature, the Global Compact looks set to establish some potentially innovative ways for all key stakeholders – in government, civil society and the private sector – to communicate and cooperate on a range of contemporary migration issues.

      At this stage, what should really matter is the degree of genuine commitment signatory parties will express in the next few years and the quality and political clout of the follow-up and review mechanisms to be established after the compact is adopted. All the rest is unnecessary and unhelpful noise.

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/12/05/whats-to-fear-in-the-u-n-global-compact-for-migration

    • Dispute over UN migration pact fractures Belgian government

      Belgium’s center-right government is fighting for its survival this week after the largest coalition party broke away from its three partners and said it would not back a global U.N.-backed migration pact.

      The right-wing N-VA party started a social media campaign against the migration pact Tuesday, more than two months after Prime Minister Charles Michel pledged he would sign the pact for Belgium at a meeting next week in Marrakech, Morocco.

      Instead of a coalition breakup, Michel announced late Tuesday he would take the issue to parliament for vote in the days to come.

      “I want parliament to have its say,” Michel said, staving off an immediate collapse of the government that has been in power for three years. “I have the intention to go to Marrakech and let the position of the parliament be known.”

      Michel’s statement came at the end of a hectic day dominated by an anti-pact social media campaign by the N-VA, of the biggest coalition partner.

      The in-your-face campaign featured pictures of Muslim women with their faces covered and stated the U.N. pact focused on enabling migrants to retain the cultural practices of their homelands.

      The party quickly withdrew the materials after the campaign received widespread criticism.

      “We made an error,” N-VA leader Bart De Wever told VRT network.

      De Wever apologized for the pictures of women wearing face-covering niqab in western Europe, but immediately added “these pictures are not fake. You can take pictures like this every day in Brussels. It is the stark reality.”

      Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel pledged at United Nations headquarters in September that he would go to a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco where the U.N.’s Global Compact Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is to be signed next week.

      Amid the N-VA upheaval, a Cabinet meeting was canceled Tuesday afternoon and Michel resumed consultations with vice-premiers looking for a way out of the crisis.

      Remarking on the party’s withdrawn campaign, Christian Democrat Vice Premier Kris Peeters said: “I only have one word for this — indecent.”

      Even with the parliamentary vote, the options for ensuring the government’s survival were slimming down.

      The United Nations says the compact will promote safe and orderly migration and reduce human smuggling and trafficking.

      The N-VA said it would force Belgium into making immigration concessions. “In our democracy, we decide. The sovereignty is with the people,” the party said in a statement.

      Many experts said the accord is non-binding, but the N-VA said it still went too far and would give even migrants who were in Belgium illegally many additional rights.

      The U.N. compact was finalized in July with only the U.S. staying out. Several European nations have since pulled out of signing the accord during the Dec. 10-11 conference in Morocco.

      https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/belgian-government-fights-for-survival-over-un-migrants-pact

      #Belgique

    • Le pacte migratoire de l’ONU sème la discorde

      191 pays ont approuvé un accord sur la migration échafaudé par l’ONU. Ce jeudi à Berne, les Chambres devraient empoigner le pacte qui en découle, sous tension, et les pays favorables l’adopteront bientôt au Maroc. Histoire d’un texte controversé

      L’Europe s’est-elle remise de la crise migratoire de 2015 ? A voir les résistances qui ont émergé ces dernières semaines contre l’adoption du Pacte mondial de l’ONU sur les migrations, qui doit être formellement adopté à Marrakech le 11 décembre, il est permis d’en douter. Le pacte suscite un déferlement de propos haineux, voire complotistes. A l’ONU, on enregistre avec incompréhension, voire avec une once de panique, les critiques virulentes qui font florès, surtout en Europe. Le pacte est-il devenu un monstre qu’on ne contrôlerait plus ? Sur les 191 pays qui avaient accepté l’accord sur un tel pacte à New York en juillet dernier, seuls deux tiers disent désormais vouloir se rendre au Maroc. Les volte-face se multiplient.

      #Libre_circulation_mondiale

      Mercredi, en Belgique, le premier ministre, Charles Michel, a évité de peu une possible chute de son gouvernement. Au sein de la coalition gouvernementale, le parti flamand N-VA s’oppose avec véhémence au pacte. Le parlement belge a finalement apporté son soutien au premier ministre. Le mouvement des « gilets jaunes » en France, qui est aussi divers que peu structuré, est également happé par la vague anti-pacte. Sur Facebook, des « gilets jaunes » disent vouloir empêcher le président Emmanuel Macron de se rendre à Marrakech. Selon eux, le pacte va créer « un #chaos total » et permettra à quelque 900 000 migrants (voire 4 millions d’entre eux selon certains) d’entrer en France.

      Ils réclament la destitution du chef de l’Elysée. A l’image de l’UDC en Suisse, qui estime à tort que l’adoption du pacte équivaudrait à instaurer une libre circulation mondiale des personnes, les républicains et le Rassemblement national de Marine Le Pen en France soufflent aussi sur les braises. Ce samedi, cette dernière participera à Bruxelles à un meeting du parti nationaliste flamand Vlaams Belang en compagnie de Steve Bannon, l’ex-chef stratège de Donald Trump et héraut du souverainisme.

      Un pacte épouvantail de la #globalisation

      Des « gilets jaunes » allemands réunis sous la bannière du mouvement #Pegida à Berlin ont véhiculé le même type de message, exigeant la démission de la chancelière Angela Merkel, laquelle s’était distinguée en autorisant l’arrivée sur sol allemand d’un million de migrants de Syrie en 2015. L’onde de choc ne s’arrête pas là. Si Budapest a tout de suite exprimé son opposition au pacte onusien, d’autres pays de l’Europe de l’Est et du centre ont suivi : la #Bulgarie, la #Pologne, la #République_tchèque et l’Autriche. En #Slovaquie, le ministre des Affaires étrangères, qui soutenait le pacte, a démissionné face au refus de son gouvernement.

      En Italie, le ministre de l’Intérieur et chef de file du parti d’extrême droite de la Lega, Matteo Salvini, a été catégorique : « Le gouvernement italien, comme les Suisses qui ont porté à bout de bras le pacte avant de faire marche arrière, ne signera rien et n’ira pas à Marrakech. C’est le parlement qui devra en débattre. » Le pacte est devenu une sorte d’épouvantail de la globalisation dont se sont saisis les mouvements populistes et extrémistes. La bataille symbolise celle qui oppose désormais violemment les élites globalisées et les populations qui estiment subir la #mondialisation.

      Aux Etats-Unis, l’opposition de l’administration de Donald Trump n’est pas surprenante tant sa politique migratoire ultra-restrictive est le moyen de cimenter une base électorale remontée contre ce que le président appelle le « #globalisme ». L’#Australie, #Israël mettent aussi les pieds au mur. Même la #République_dominicaine s’est ralliée au camp du refus, craignant que les centaines de Haïtiens tentant chaque jour de franchir la frontière puissent venir s’établir sans problème dans le pays.

      Souveraineté intacte

      Ce pacte, juridiquement non contraignant, ne touche pas à la #souveraineté des Etats. Il ne contraint aucun pays à modifier sa #politique_migratoire, aussi dure soit-elle. Sert-il dès lors à quelque chose ? Il remplit un vide. Aucun cadre n’existait pour améliorer la coordination internationale du phénomène global de la migration. Avec ses 23 objectifs, il vise à encourager les potentiels migrants à rester dans leur pays d’origine en traitant au mieux les problèmes structurels qui les poussent à partir. Il prévoit une feuille de route que les Etats peuvent utiliser ou non pour gérer les 260 millions de migrants qui se déplacent chaque année. Il veut améliorer les voies de migration régulières.

      Face à cette #rébellion inattendue, la haut-commissaire de l’ONU aux Droits de l’homme, Michelle Bachelet, a déclaré hier à Genève : « Certains responsables politiques n’agissent pas en leaders. Ils suivent les sondages. » Directeur de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations, le Portugais Antonio Vitorino exprime lui aussi son courroux : « Nous assistons de la part de certains secteurs politiques à la #manipulation, à la distorsion des objectifs du pacte. On a la sensation que la migration est devenue le #bouc_émissaire des problèmes culturels et sociaux. »

      https://www.letemps.ch/monde/pacte-migratoire-lonu-seme-discorde
      #populisme

    • European governments in melt-down over an inoffensive migration compact

      IT WAS LIKE watching paint dry, or other people’s children play baseball. Last month Gert Raudsep, an Estonian actor, spent two hours on prime-time television reading out the text of a UN migration agreement. Estonia’s government was tottering over whether to pull out of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to give it its full name. So Mr Raudsep was invited to present the source of the discord to worried viewers. Thoughts of weary migrants from Africa and Latin America kept him going, he said. “But my eyes got a bit tired.”

      Mr Raudsep’s recital made for dull viewing because the compact is a dull document. Its 23 “objectives” are peppered with vague declarations, platitudes and split differences. Partly in the spirit of other global agreements like the Paris climate deal, it encourages states to co-operate on tricky cross-border matters without forcing them to do anything. It urges governments to treat migrants properly, but also to work together on sending them home when necessary. At best it helps build the trust between “sending” and “receiving” countries that is the foundation of any meaningful international migration policy.

      None of this has prevented European governments from melting down over it. In the end Estonia resolved its row; it will join more than 180 other countries in Marrakesh on December 10th-11th to adopt the compact. But so far at least ten others, including seven from Europe, have followed the lead of Donald Trump and pulled out of a deal that they helped negotiate. The agreement is agitating parliaments, sparking protests and splintering coalitions; Belgium’s is on the verge of collapse. More withdrawals may follow.

      Why the fuss? The text explicitly states that governments retain the sovereign right to make immigration policy. But critics say that cannot be trusted. Although the compact is not legally binding, they argue it is “soft law” that might one day be used to press governments into hard commitments, such as acknowledging a “human right” to migration or expanding the grounds for asylum.

      This is, largely, codswallop. The compact is hardly perfect; the drafters should have refrained from urging governments to “educate” journalists on migration, for example, or to hold “culinary festivals” to celebrate multiculturalism. Yet until cynical politicians started paying attention, the main charge the compact faced was toothlessness. Most of the political arguments against it emerged after governments had already approved the draft in July.

      That suggests other forces are at work. In Slovakia, the compact stirred passions only after the speaker of parliament, embroiled in a plagiarism scandal, sought a way to change the subject. The government has since withdrawn from the compact, which led the foreign minister, a former president of the UN General Assembly, to offer his resignation. In Germany a row over the compact, triggered by the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), has forced the candidates running to succeed Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democratic Union to declare themselves: for or against? (The party chooses her successor on December 7th.) Now the AfD boasts, correctly, that its ideas have infiltrated the mainstream.

      As has become depressingly routine in Europe, the row over the UNcompact has little to do with its ostensible target and everything to do with the smouldering embers of a culture war that the drastic reduction in illegal immigration since the surge of 2015 has failed to extinguish. (A pointless spat over border controls nearly destroyed Mrs Merkel’s coalition earlier this year.) Immigration remains a potent topic for the right; the trouble in Belgium started when the country’s largest party, the nationalist New Flemish Alliance, began a social-media campaign against the compact, replete with imagery of women in niqabs and the like (it later apologised). But in the absence of a genuine crisis to mobilise support, fake problems must be confected. The UN compact is a sitting duck. There is no downside to hammering a multilateral agreement on a controversial subject negotiated by obscure officials in air-conditioned rooms abroad. That it was agreed by governments in plain sight, with parliamentarians invited to participate, is by-the-by.
      Displacement activity

      In Berlin, where outrage over the compact took the establishment by surprise, some say the government should have forcefully made the case for it as soon as it was agreed. Instead, caught on the back foot, Mrs Merkel and other defenders of the deal are locked into an awkward argument: that fears about the compact are overblown because it is not legally binding, but that it is also an important tool for managing migration. Yet aside from Mrs Merkel’s perennial reluctance to lead rather than react to debates, arguing for the deal earlier would simply have given opponents a bigger target and more time to shoot at it. A more sobering conclusion is that, for now, it has become impossible to have a level-headed conversation about managing migration in Europe.

      UN insiders profess themselves frustrated but unbowed by the string of withdrawals. (Many blame Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, whose decision in October to pull out inspired several others to follow.) Although the idea for the compact was drawn up just after Europe’s refugee crisis of 2015-16—indeed, partly at the request of panicked European leaders—its provisions are global. Europe’s navel-gazing arguments have little bearing on the lot of Bangladeshi workers in the Gulf or Zimbabweans in South Africa.

      True enough. But Europe’s rejectionist governments are shooting themselves in the foot nonetheless. Even a hard-headed policy of tough border controls, swift return of illegal immigrants and encouraging would-be migrants to stay home obliges governments to work with others, if only to strike grubby repatriation deals. Building trust by sticking to international commitments lays the foundations for that. That so many governments are choosing to do precisely the opposite does not inspire hope that Europe is groping towards a more sensible migration policy.


      https://www.economist.com/europe/2018/12/08/european-governments-in-melt-down-over-an-inoffensive-migration-compact

      #dessin_de_presse #caricature

    • Under far-right pressure, Europe retreats from UN migration pact

      A previously obscure 34-page, jargon-filled document is causing political convulsions across Europe — even though it’s not even legally binding.

      Italy this week became the latest in a string of European countries to say it would not sign the U.N.’s Global Compact on Migration at a ceremony in Marrakech in just under two weeks. From the Netherlands through Belgium and Germany to Slovakia, the pact has triggered infighting in ruling parties and governments, with at least one administration close to breaking point.

      The fight over the pact illuminates how migration remains a combustible issue across the Continent, three years after the 2015 refugee crisis and with next May’s European Parliament election on the horizon. Far-right parties keen to make migration the key campaign issue have seized on the pact while some mainstream parties have sought to steal their thunder by turning against the agreement. Liberals and centrists, meanwhile, have found themselves on the defensive — arguing that the agreement poses no harm and migration is best handled through international cooperation.

      Louise Arbour, the senior U.N. official overseeing the pact, said she is surprised by the controversy, as diplomats from 180 countries — including many that have now pulled out — signed off on the text last summer after two years of negotiations.

      The initiative was launched at the request of Europe after the migration surge of 2015, Arbour said. The countries now having “second thoughts or misgivings” were very active during the negotiations and “extracted compromises from the others,” she told POLITICO in an interview.

      Arbour, a former Canadian judge and U.N. human rights commissioner, said the recent backtracking illustrates a clear “disconnect” between some countries’ foreign policies “and domestic pressures or national concerns that were not included into the process.”

      She stressed the compact is not binding and, after its formal adoption next month, “there is not a single member state that is obligated to do anything that it doesn’t want to.”

      The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to give it its full name, sets out a “cooperative framework” for dealing with international migration. Signatories agree, for example, to limit the pressure on countries with many migrants and to promote the self-reliance of newcomers. The document states that no country can address migration alone, while also upholding “the sovereignty of States and their obligations under international law.”

      That assurance has not been enough to placate many in Europe. Hungary, whose Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has made anti-migrant policies his signature issue, pulled out while the pact was being negotiated. But the recent wave of European withdrawals was triggered by conservative Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who renounced the pact at the end of October.

      Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of the far-right Freedom Party, Kurz’s coalition partner, declared that “Austria must remain sovereign on migration” and said the country is “playing a leading role in Europe.” At least in terms of the pact, that turned out to be true with Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia and Switzerland all following Vienna’s lead. (Croatia caused confusion after its president declared she would not sign the document but the government later said a minister would go to Marrakech and support the adoption of the pact.)
      Bratislava, Berlin and beyond

      Slovakia is among the most recent countries to withdraw its support for the pact. After an EU summit on Sunday, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said Bratislava would not support the pact “under any circumstances and will not agree with it.”

      Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák on Thursday said he would resign after parliament decided to reject the pact. Lajčák was president of the U.N. General Assembly when the migration pact was adopted.

      Populist parties in other countries have forced the pact to the top of the political agenda. The Dutch government under Prime Minister Mark Rutte has come under pressure from far-right leaders, including Geert Wilders and Thierry Baudet, who refers to the agreement as the “U.N. Immigration Pact.” The government ordered a legal analysis of the text last week to ensure that signing it will not entail any legal consequences. The Cabinet finally decided on Thursday that it would support the pact, but would add an extra declaration, a so-called explanation of position, to prevent unintended legal consequences.

      In Germany, the pact has become an issue in the battle to succeed Angela Merkel — the EU politician most associated with a more liberal approach to migration — as leader of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Two of the leading contenders for the post, Jens Spahn and Friedrich Merz, have both criticized the agreement and called for it to be amended.

      The German chancellor mounted a spirited defense of the pact, telling the Bundestag last week that the agreement is in Germany’s national interest as it will encourage better conditions for refugees and migrants elsewhere in the world.

      Arbour argued that although the pact is not legally binding, it is still worthwhile. “The pact is a major cooperation project ... a political initiative to align initiatives for the common benefit,” she said.

      But such arguments cut little ice with the WerteUnion ("Union of Values"), a group of thousands of conservative members of the CDU and its Bavarian sister party. It takes issue with multiple sections of the pact, such as a declaration that migrants “regardless of their status, can exercise their human rights through safe access to basic services.” The group argues that as German social benefits are high, such a commitment would encourage migrants to come to Germany.

      In Belgium, the pact has put liberal Prime Minister Charles Michel’s coalition government at risk. The Flemish nationalist N-VA, the biggest party in government, has demanded Belgium withdraw from the agreement. Michel is caught between his commitment to the pact and his coalition partner’s rejection of it — while seeking to fend off a Francophone opposition that will take any opportunity to portray him as a puppet of the Flemish nationalists ahead of federal, regional and European elections next May.

      Searching for a way to keep his government afloat, Michel has been consulting with a handful of European countries including Denmark, Estonia, the U.K. and Norway, to produce a joint statement to be attached to the pact, according to Belgian media. Another idea is for several of those countries to join the Netherlands in signing a common “explanation of position,” Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

      Arbour said it’s too late to start making changes to the pact itself. Renegotiating the text or attaching an extra statement is “not what other [countries] have signed up to,” she said.

      https://www.politico.eu/article/migration-un-viktor-orban-sebastian-kurz-far-right-pressure-europe-retreats

    • Apparemment, la #Suisse a soutenu le pacte, mais je ne comprends pas pourquoi elle a soutenu à New York, mais pas à Marrakech... reste le mystère pour moi, si je trouve la réponse à ma question, je la posterai ici.

      La CFM salue le soutien de la Suisse au Pacte mondial sur les réfugiés

      La Commission fédérale des migrations CFM salue le vote par la Suisse du Pacte mondial sur les réfugiés à l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU.

      Ce document marque la volonté internationale de mieux répondre aux défis des exodes de réfugiés. Il a le grand mérite de présenter un projet cohérent afin de soulager la pression sur les pays qui accueillent les réfugiés, de renforcer l’autonomie des réfugiés, de développer l’accès aux possibilités de réinstallation dans des pays tiers et de promouvoir les conditions permettant aux réfugiés de rentrer dans leurs pays d’origine lorsque cela redevient possible.

      Ce document n’est pas contraignant pour les États et ne va pas au-delà des engagements internationaux existants liés à la Convention de 1951 et au protocole de 1967 qui règlent les modalités d’accueil des réfugiés. Il marque cependant une volonté forte de la Communauté internationale déjà exprimée dans la déclaration de New York de 2016. Le pacte met en avant la nécessité de trouver des solutions globales et collectives au plan international pour soulager les souffrances des réfugiés au moyen de différents instruments allant de l’aide sur place à la réinstallation des plus vulnérables. Il institue un #Forum_Global_sur_les_réfugiés qui réunira tous les quatre ans des délégations de haut niveau et favorisera le dialogue et la mise en œuvre de projets communs. Cette volonté de favoriser une réponse globale et solidaire à l’échelle mondiale correspond à la tradition humanitaire de la Suisse et doit être saluée.

      https://www.ekm.admin.ch/ekm/fr/home/aktuell/stellungnahmen/2018/2018-12-14.html

    • Pacte migratoire : une large coalition de sympathisants anti-islam, extrême droite et néo-nazis a influencé les partis traditionnels en Europe

      Sur le site d’information POLITICO Europe (https://www.politico.eu/article/united-nations-migration-pact-how-got-trolled) deux chercheurs universitaires – #Laurens_Cerulus et #Eline_Schaart – racontent la virulente campagne en ligne de nombreux activistes d’#extrême_droite contre le Pacte migratoire de l’ONU. Elle a réussi à influencer les principaux partis traditionnels en Europe.

      Depuis le mois de septembre dernier une coalition de sympathisants #anti-islam, extrême droite et #néo-nazis s’est mobilisée sur les #réseaux_sociaux contre le Pacte migratoire. Le texte non contraignant n’avait jusque là pas inquiété les gouvernements, régulièrement consultés durant le processus de rédaction à l’ONU.

      Analyse du #cyber_activisme de groupuscules d’extrême droite

      L’intensité des interventions coordonnées sur Twitter notamment, les nombreuses vidéos et les pétitions en ligne, ont incité les responsables politiques de plusieurs pays à revenir en arrière sur leurs positions initiales. En Suisse, le Conseil fédéral a fait marche arrière sur son engagement favorable initial et a demandé au parlement de se prononcer. En Belgique, la controverse a conduit à la chute du gouvernement.

      Selon Laurens Cerulus et Eline Schaart, l’engouement initial quasi planétaire autour du Pacte migratoire – seuls les Etats-Unis et la Hongrie s’étaient initialement opposés au Pacte migratoire – a été stoppé par les attaques d’un réseau mondial de militants nationalistes d’extrême droite.

      Elles ont été menées par des “youtuber” populaires et des influenceurs politiques d’extrême droite comme l’activiste autrichien Martin Sellner. Ces efforts ont été coordonnés via des groupes de discussion et des sites Web hyper-partisans. Sur YouTube, les vidéos de Sellner figurent en tête de liste des clips les plus regardés, selon Tagesschau, un journal télévisé de la chaîne publique allemande.

      Ico Maly chercheur et enseignant sur les nouveaux médias et la politique à l’Université de Tilburg aux Pays-Bas est du même avis, selon lui les partis nationalistes du monde entier agissent ensembles sur des réseaux spécifiques. Tous ces acteurs s’informent mutuellement et adoptent les mêmes positions politiques.

      L’Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), un centre d’information et de recherche contre l’extrémisme basé à Londres surveille les activités de certains groupuscules sur internet et est arrivé à la même constatation, les comptes des médias sociaux gérés par le site Web Epoch Times, celui du chroniqueur populiste de droite Thomas Böhm, qui dirige le site d’information journalistenwatch.com et le blog anti-islam Philosophia Perennis figurent tous parmi les 10 comptes les plus cités dans plus d’un million de tweets analysés dans le monde après le 31 octobre, expliquent Laurens Cerulus et Eline Schaart.

      Que votera le parlement suisse ?

      Le 19 décembre dernier lors du vote à l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU, 152 pays ont approuvé l’accord. Les États-Unis, la Hongrie, Israël, la République tchèque et la Pologne ont voté contre le texte, 12 autres pays se sont abstenus (l’Algérie, l’Australie, l’Autriche, la Bulgarie, le Chili, l’Italie, la Lettonie, la Libye, le Liechtenstein, la Roumanie, Singapour et la Suisse) tandis que 24 autres pays membres n’ont pas pris part au vote.

      En Suisse trop de politiciens ont été lamentablement influencés par des groupuscules ignares, désinformés et xénophobes. Ils auront bientôt la possibilité de démontrer leur confiance dans les avis déjà exprimés des experts suisses en matière de migration (1).

      Le 14 décembre, le Conseil fédéral décidait de mandaté le Département fédéral des affaires étrangères (DFAE) pour préparer un arrêté fédéral simple permettant aux chambres de se prononcer sur la signature ou non par la Suisse de ce pacte onusien. Le DFAE a jusqu’à fin 2019 pour préparer l’arrêté.

      On espère qu’il parviendra à convaincre car le texte ne crée pas de droit à la migration mais réaffirme simplement et justement le respect des droit fondamentaux des personnes migrantes. Je vous recommande la lecture de l’article de Laurens Cerulus et Eline Schaart dans POLITICO, How the UN Migration Pact got trolled.
      https://blogs.letemps.ch/jasmine-caye/2019/01/08/pacte-migratoire-une-large-coalition-de-sympathisants-anti-islam-extre

  • The Grand Refugee Hotel: The Sequel to My Grandfather’s Germany

    On a visit to one of Germany’s most radical refugee integration experiments, U.S. migration journalist and academic Daniela Gerson went in search of her family history and found an increasingly uneasy relationship between past and present.

    At the #Grand_Hotel_Cosmopolis, an African teenager served cappuccinos to European travelers below clocks telling the time in Kabul, Damascus, Grozny and other global centers of crisis.

    Lamin Saidy – sporting a style he described as “American proper” with tight jeans, lots of earrings and a big smile – was 13 when he fled violence in the Gambia. After he arrived in Germany as a refugee, he was told about this place, where tourists, asylum seekers and artists all share one building. The hotel is run by staff composed of a core group of resident German artists and a diverse team that includes volunteers who may be refugees like Saidy or local college students who want to join the experiment.

    Then, in the fall of 2016, at a meeting in Washington, D.C., on immigration, a public artist gave a presentation on cultural integration initiatives in #Augsburg like none I had seen in more than a decade of reporting on immigration in the United States and Europe.

    The artist flashed images of the migrant job center, cafe and immigrant rights organization called Tuer an Tuer, which helped convince the city to take a stance against large institutional centers. Instead, all asylum seekers in Augsburg have been housed in residences of 100 or fewer people. She also showed photos of the colorful, boundary-bending Grand Hotel. This was Augsburg? It was definitely not the city of my imagination.

    Soon after, my mother forwarded me an invitation. In summer 2017, there was going to be a gathering of Jews from Augsburg and their families to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the synagogue. I set off, eager to explore my family’s past and to see if a city I associated with historic brutality had succeeded in building a more welcoming society as a result.
    A Welcoming Nation

    When I arrived in Munich, the Bavarian capital, I borrowed a friend’s bike and pedaled down to the vast main train station. In 2015, in what was known as the Welcoming Summer, more than 1 million asylum seekers came to Germany and the station was full of arriving migrants. There was such an outpouring of public support for them that they had to close the station to donations.

    Two years later, the backlash was mounting. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government had taken steps to slow the tide of arrivals, limiting countries from which people are eligible for asylum and speeding up deportations of people whose applications had been rejected.

    Munich’s size has helped mask the impact of the refugee influx. Augsburg, founded more than 2,000 years ago, is a different story. With a population approaching 300,000, and a popular destination for refugees and foreign laborers, it was a contender to become the first majority minority city in Germany. Now almost 50 percent residents have a “migration background.”

    After a quick train trip an hour east of Munich, I biked across Augsburg’s picture-perfect main square of churches and beer gardens, passing by women strolling in hijabs and Chechnyan kids racing in circles on scooters. And near one of the largest cathedrals, down a cobblestone street, I found the Grand Hotel Cosmopolis. On first impression, it hardly felt grand, but rather like the 1960s old-age home it once was, converted into a lively Berlin artists’ squatter house.

    In a sun-drenched garden, I joined two of the artist founders and a refugee artist for a vegetarian lunch cooked in the communal basement kitchen. As we ate, they explained that the building had been abandoned for six years when some local artists spotted it and inquired about renting it out as a temporary exhibition space. But the owners, a Protestant social enterprise, said they had already entered into negotiations with the government to house asylum seekers.

    That’s when the idea came up to merge the two concepts, and add a hotel. The artists take care of the hotel, cafe and ateliers. The social enterprise, with government support, provides housing for the migrants.

    Three days after the first asylum seekers moved in, it became clear to the artists this was not just a utopian experiment in aesthetics and communal living when the first deportation letter for one of its residents arrived. “Many of the artists stopped their artistic work,” one of my guides, Susa Gunzner, told me. Instead, they focused all of their energies on learning about immigration laws and how to help the refugees.

    After lunch, I toured the 12 uniquely designed hotel rooms: One was bordello hot pink, another constructed to feel like a container ship, a third had a forest growing through it. My stark room, with a long wooden bench of a bed and simple, low table, struck me as a very elegant prison cell.

    Three days after the first asylum seekers moved in, it became clear to the artists this was not just a utopian experiment in aesthetics and communal living when the first deportation letter for one of its residents arrived.

    Gunzner, who teamed up with an Iranian artist to create the room, told me it symbolized freedom. The room is a homage to a Persian woman who moved with her family to Europe at the beginning of the 20th century and later became a spy against the Nazis. Gunzner pointed out illustrations of trees on the wall from Shiraz. “We are always trying to enrich each other and find out – sometimes through very slow processes – who the other person is,” she told me.

    Left on my own, I walked downstairs to the refugee floor, and passed a half-dozen or so baby carriages crowding the stairwell. I had been warned I was only allowed to intrude if an asylum seeker invited me in. The founders of the hotel like to say they “only have guests – with and without asylum.” I was also struck by the strangeness of putting us all in one building as fellow travelers: people on holiday rubbing elbows with people who have been running for their lives.

    Not far from Augsburg, in the aftermath of World War II, my other grandparents – on my father’s side – landed in a very different type of refugee camp, set up by the United Nations and largely funded by the United States. They were Polish Jews whose families had been slaughtered in the streets and in concentration camps. They survived the war in Siberian labor camps and in Uzbek villages, where my father was born.

    In the desperate limbo of the displaced persons camp, they created a community – my grandfather took part in local governance; my father remembers a pet dog, Blackie, a synagogue and a school. What would my grandmother have said if artists lived upstairs and American tourists stayed for a week or two, temporarily sharing her first home outside Poland, the place where my father formed his first memories? Would she have appreciated the attention, or would she have felt like a monkey in the zoo?
    The Shadow of the Past

    It was not the first time that I had traveled to Germany and discovered echoes of my family’s past in my present, as I grapple with issues of migration, persecution and intolerance today as a journalist and academic.

    https://newsdeeply.imgix.net/20181008083027/fohrenwald_Gerson_family_19482.jpeg

    A decade ago, I spent a little over a year researching contemporary guest worker policies in Berlin and Bonn. Despite my last living relative who survived the Holocaust reprimanding me that Germany was no place for a nice Jewish girl, I fell for the country’s bike and cafe culture, numerous lakes and deliberate approach to its troubled history. I almost always felt welcome as a Jew. Even my neighbor who was a neo-Nazi was dating a Venezuelan and liked to come over and chat with me. Another neighbor, whose grandfather had been active in Hitler Youth, became one of my closest friends.

    Though I was sometimes disturbed by the recent stance that Germany was not a country of immigration, as well as the focus on integration – this notion some leaders interpreted as demanding that newcomers should cede their other cultural identities – I, in many ways, felt that Germany had dealt with its past in ways that could be a lesson to all nations.

    Ten years later, I visited a Germany increasingly conflicted about its moral obligations as it confronted the refugee crisis. And in Augsburg the juxtaposition of this tolerant, generous nation and the pernicious shadow of its intolerant past were in stark relief.

    I left the Grand Hotel on Sunday morning to meet other descendants of Augsburg Jews in the glorious sanctuary of the synagogue built in 1917. The descendants of those who fled the Nazis, or had the foresight or luck to leave before the war, had traveled from South Africa, Norway, Israel and across the United States. Civil leaders turned out in large numbers to pledge “never again.” It was a familiar message. But the synagogue’s attic museum reminded me how quickly a nation can shift toward hate. For the first time, it felt less like a history lesson and more like a warning that struck very close to home.

    In Augsburg, the juxtaposition of this tolerant, generous nation, and the pernicious shadow of its intolerant past were in stark relief.

    Created in 1985, the Augsburg synagogue houses the first independent museum in Germany dedicated to Jewish history. It tells the story of how there were only 1,500 Jews in Augsburg when the Nazis came, but they enjoyed comfortable local prominence. The synagogue is a clear sign of that position. Congregants built the sanctuary – one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, with its 95ft (29m) dome and an architectural style that spans from Byzantine and Oriental elements to Art Noveau – investing in what they imagined would be a vibrant future in Augsburg.

    I was struck by a slide titled “Integration through Achievement.” The museum describes the dreams of these Jews, and it reminded me of the aspirations of many of the asylum seekers I met during my stay in Augsburg. They did not want just to live free from danger, they wanted an opportunity to be productive, successful German citizens. Chillingly, the museum concludes, the local Jewish communities were “extinguished totally.”
    Looking Back, Looking Forward

    In the year since my visit to the synagogue, I have covered U.S. authorities tearing apart asylum-seeking families as part of a larger, often vicious, crackdown. While I wish I could at least point to Germany today as a model of how to do things differently, the picture is unfortunately not so black and white.

    In German elections last fall, the far-right anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party – whose senior member maintains that the country should be more positive about its Nazi past – won 13 percent of the popular vote. According to current polls, the party is on track to win around a similar proportion of votes in upcoming regional parliamentary elections in Bavaria on October 14.

    This year, the leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s sister party in Bavaria, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, pushed her to clamp down on border policy. In the eastern German city of Chemnitz, far-right protests against immigrants in recent weeks were accompanied by xenophobic tirades.

    In August Seehofer instituted the beginning of a new plan in Bavaria that could soon transform how asylum seekers are treated. In what he described as a national model, the goal is to expedite rapid deportations. Most new asylum seekers will be transported to institutions that can house more than 1,000 people, where they will not be in contact with anyone who is not an official or a lawyer or has specific permission.

    “That’s the opposite of what we tried to do in the last years, now we are going two steps back,” said Tuelay Ates-Brunner, the managing director of Tuer an Tuer. “For people who will be rejected, nobody will see them, nobody will know them.”

    “My first impression was that I felt like I was in a new world,” Saidy told me to the beat of Afro Pop on the jukebox. “The hotel is kind of incomparable.”

    The Grand Hotel is located in Augsburg, an ancient German city on Bavaria’s tourist-trod Romantic Road. It is also the place where my mother’s father was born. He was one of the first boys to have a bar mitzvah in the ornate, domed synagogue in Augsburg – just a few years before the Jews were forced to flee or perished at the hands of the Nazis.

    Nearly a century later, I went to stay at the Grand Hotel – one of Germany’s most radical refugee integration experiments.

    Like so many inherited homelands, Augsburg was a mythical place for me, formed from family memories I had never lived – portraits of stern ancestors, the men with elaborate waxy mustaches, the buxom women with beautifully tailored clothes and lace collars. My Augsburg froze when the Nazis took over.


    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/10/08/the-grand-refugee-hotel-the-sequel-to-my-grandfathers-germany

    #Allemagne #hôtel #réfugiés #travail #migrations #asile

  • Uganda’s refugee policies: the history, the politics, the way forward

    Uganda’s refugee policy urgently needs an honest discussion, if sustainable solutions for both refugees and host communities are to be found, a new policy paper by International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) reveals.

    The paper, entitled Uganda’s refugee policies: the history, the politics, the way forward puts the “Ugandan model” in its historical and political context, shines a spotlight on its implementation gaps, and proposes recommendations for the way forward.

    Uganda has since 2013 opened its borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees from South Sudan, bringing the total number of refugees to more than one million. It has been praised for its positive steps on freedom of movement and access to work for refugees, going against the global grain. But generations of policy, this paper shows, have only entrenched the sole focus on refugee settlements and on repatriation as the only viable durable solution. Support to urban refugees and local integration have been largely overlooked.

    The Ugandan refugee crisis unfolded at the same time as the UN adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and states committed to implement a Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). Uganda immediately seized this opportunity and adopted its own strategy to implement these principles. As the world looks to Uganda for best practices in refugee policy, and rightly so, it is vital to understand the gaps between rhetoric and reality, and the pitfalls of Uganda’s policy. This paper identifies the following challenges:

    There is a danger that the promotion of progressive refugee policies becomes more rhetoric than reality, creating a smoke-screen that squeezes out meaningful discussion about robust alternatives. Policy-making has come at the expense of real qualitative change on the ground.
    Refugees in urban areas continue to be largely excluded from any support due to an ongoing focus on refugee settlements, including through aid provision
    Local integration and access to citizenship have been virtually abandoned, leaving voluntary repatriation as the only solution on the table. Given the protracted crises in South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, this remains unrealistic.
    Host communities remain unheard, with policy conversations largely taking place in Kampala and Geneva. Many Ugandans and refugees have neither the economic resources nor sufficient political leverage to influence the policies that are meant to benefit them.

    The policy paper proposes a number of recommendations to improve the Ugandan refugee model:

    First, international donors need to deliver on their promise of significant financial support.
    Second, repatriation cannot remain the only serious option on the table. There has to be renewed discussion on local integration with Uganda communities and a dramatic increase in resettlement to wealthier states across the globe.
    Third, local communities hosting refugees must be consulted and their voices incorporated in a more meaningful and systematic way, if tensions within and between communities are to be avoided.
    Fourth, in order to genuinely enhance refugee self-reliance, the myth of the “local settlement” needs to be debunked and recognized for what it is: the ongoing isolation of refugees and the utilization of humanitarian assistance to keep them isolated and dependent on aid.


    http://refugee-rights.org/uganda-refugee-policies-the-history-the-politics-the-way-forward
    #modèle_ougandais #Ouganda #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    Pour télécharger le #rapport:
    http://refugee-rights.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/IRRI-Uganda-policy-paper-October-2018-Paper.pdf

    • A New Deal for Refugees

      Global policies that aim to resettle and integrate displaced populations into local societies is providing a way forward.

      For many years now, groups that work with refugees have fought to put an end to the refugee camp. It’s finally starting to happen.

      Camps are a reasonable solution to temporary dislocation. But refugee crises can go on for decades. Millions of refugees have lived in their country of shelter for more than 30 years. Two-thirds of humanitarian assistance — intended for emergencies — is spent on crises that are more than eight years old.

      Camps are stagnant places. Refugees have access to water and medical care and are fed and educated, but are largely idle. “You keep people for 20 years in camps — don’t expect the next generation to be problem-free,” said Xavier Devictor, who advises the World Bank on refugee issues. “Keeping people in those conditions is not a good idea.” It’s also hard to imagine a better breeding ground for terrorists.

      “As long as the system is ‘we feed you,’ it’s always going to be too expensive for the international community to pay for,” Mr. Devictor said. It’s gotten more and more difficult for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to raise that money; in many crises, the refugee agency can barely keep people from starving. It’s even harder now as nations turn against foreigners — even as the number of people fleeing war and violence has reached a record high.

      At the end of last year, nearly 70 million people were either internally displaced in their own countries, or had crossed a border and become a refugee. That is the largest number of displaced in history — yes, more than at the end of World War II. The vast majority flee to neighboring countries — which can be just as badly off.

      Last year, the United States accepted about 30,000 refugees.

      Uganda, which is a global model for how it treats refugees, has one-seventh of America’s population and a tiny fraction of the wealth. Yet it took in 1,800 refugees per day between mid-2016 and mid-2017 from South Sudan alone. And that’s one of four neighbors whose people take refuge in Uganda.

      Bangladesh, already the world’s most crowded major nation, has accepted more than a million Rohingya fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. “If we can feed 160 million people, then (feeding) another 500,00-700,000 …. We can do it. We can share our food,” Shiekh Hasina, Bangladesh’s prime minister, said last year.

      Lebanon is host to approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees, in addition to a half-million Palestinians, some of whom have been there for generations. One in three residents of Lebanon is a refugee.

      The refugee burden falls heavily on a few, poor countries, some of them at risk of destabilization, which can in turn produce more refugees. The rest of the world has been unwilling to share that burden.

      But something happened that could lead to real change: Beginning in 2015, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees crossed the Mediterranean in small boats and life rafts into Europe.

      Suddenly, wealthy European countries got interested in fixing a broken system: making it more financially viable, more dignified for refugees, and more palatable for host governments and communities.

      In September 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution stating that all countries shared the responsibility of protecting refugees and supporting host countries. It also laid out a plan to move refugees out of camps into normal lives in their host nations.

      Donor countries agreed they would take more refugees and provide more long-term development aid to host countries: schools, hospitals, roads and job-creation measures that can help both refugees and the communities they settle in. “It looked at refugee crises as development opportunities, rather than a humanitarian risk to be managed,” said Marcus Skinner, a policy adviser at the International Rescue Committee.

      The General Assembly will vote on the specifics next month (whatever they come up with won’t be binding). The Trump administration pulled out of the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration, but so far it has not opposed the refugee agreement.

      There’s a reason refugee camps exist: Host governments like them. Liberating refugees is a hard sell. In camps, refugees are the United Nations’ problem. Out of camps, refugees are the local governments’ problem. And they don’t want to do anything to make refugees comfortable or welcome.

      Bangladesh’s emergency response for the Rohingya has been staggeringly generous. But “emergency” is the key word. The government has resisted granting Rohingya schooling, work permits or free movement. It is telling Rohingya, in effect, “Don’t get any ideas about sticking around.”

      This attitude won’t deter the Rohingya from coming, and it won’t send them home more quickly. People flee across the closest border — often on foot — that allows them to keep their families alive. And they’ll stay until home becomes safe again. “It’s the simple practicality of finding the easiest way to refuge,” said Victor Odero, regional advocacy coordinator for East Africa and the Horn of Africa at the International Rescue Committee. “Any question of policies is a secondary matter.”

      So far, efforts to integrate refugees have had mixed success. The first experiment was a deal for Jordan, which was hosting 650,000 Syrian refugees, virtually none of whom were allowed to work. Jordan agreed to give them work permits. In exchange, it got grants, loans and trade concessions normally available only to the poorest countries.

      However, though the refugees have work permits, Jordan has put only a moderate number of them into jobs.

      Any agreement should include the views of refugees from the start — the Jordan Compact failed to do this. Aid should be conditioned upon the right things. The deal should have measured refugee jobs, instead of work permits. Analysts also said the benefits should have been targeted more precisely, to reach the areas with most refugees.

      To spread this kind of agreement to other nations, the World Bank established a $2 billion fund in July 2017. The money is available to very poor countries that host many refugees, such as Uganda and Bangladesh. In return, they must take steps to integrate refugees into society. The money will come as grants and zero interest loans with a 10-year grace period. Middle-income countries like Lebanon and Colombia would also be eligible for loans at favorable rates under a different fund.

      Over the last 50 years, only one developing country has granted refugees full rights. In Uganda, refugees can live normally. Instead of camps there are settlements, where refugees stay voluntarily because they get a plot of land. Refugees can work, live anywhere, send their children to school and use the local health services. The only thing they can’t do is become Ugandan citizens.

      Given the global hostility to refugees, it is remarkable that Ugandans still approve of these policies. “There have been flashes of social tension or violence between refugees and their hosts, mostly because of a scarcity of resources,” Mr. Odero said. “But they have not become widespread or protracted.”

      This is the model the United Nations wants the world to adopt. But it is imperiled even in Uganda — because it requires money that isn’t there.

      The new residents are mainly staying near the South Sudan border in Uganda’s north — one of the least developed parts of the country. Hospitals, schools, wells and roads were crumbling or nonexistent before, and now they must serve a million more people.

      Joël Boutroue, the head of the United Nations refugee agency in Uganda, said current humanitarian funding covered a quarter of what the crisis required. “At the moment, not even half of refugees go to primary school,” he said. “There are around 100 children per classroom.”

      Refugees are going without food, medical care and water. The plots of land they get have grown smaller and smaller.

      Uganda is doing everything right — except for a corruption scandal. It could really take advantage of the new plan to develop the refugee zone. That would not only help refugees, it would help their host communities. And it would alleviate growing opposition to rights for refugees. “The Ugandan government is under pressure from politicians who see the government giving favored treatment to refugees,” Mr. Boutroue said. “If we want to change the perception of refugees from recipients of aid to economic assets, we have to showcase that refugees bring development.”

      The World Bank has so far approved two projects — one for water and sanitation and one for city services such as roads and trash collection. But they haven’t gotten started yet.

      Mr. Devictor said that tackling long-term development issues was much slower than providing emergency aid. “The reality is that it will be confusing and confused for a little while,” he said. Water, for example, is trucked in to Uganda’s refugee settlements, as part of humanitarian aid. “That’s a huge cost,” he said. “But if we think this crisis is going to last for six more months, it makes sense. If it’s going to last longer, we should think about upgrading the water system.”

      Most refugee crises are not surprises, Mr. Devictor said. “If you look at a map, you can predict five or six crises that are going to produce refugees over the next few years.” It’s often the same places, over and over. That means developmental help could come in advance, minimizing the burden on the host. “Do we have to wait until people cross the border to realize we’re going to have an emergency?” he said.

      Well, we might. If politicians won’t respond to a crisis, it’s hard to imagine them deciding to plan ahead to avert one. Political commitment, or lack of it, always rules. The world’s new approach to refugees was born out of Europe’s panic about the Syrians on their doorstep. But no European politician is panicking about South Sudanese or Rohingya refugees — or most crises. They’re too far away. The danger is that the new approach will fall victim to the same political neglect that has crippled the old one.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/opinion/refugee-camps-integration.html

      #Ouganda #modèle_ougandais #réinstallation #intégration

      avec ce commentaire de #Jeff_Crisp sur twitter :

      “Camps are stagnant places. Refugees have access to water and medical care and are fed and educated, but are largely idle.”
      Has this prizewinning author actually been to a refugee camp?

      https://twitter.com/JFCrisp/status/1031892657117831168

    • Appreciating Uganda’s ‘open door’ policy for refugees

      While the rest of the world is nervous and choosing to take an emotional position on matters of forced migration and refugees, sometimes closing their doors in the face of people who are running from persecution, Uganda’s refugee policy and practice continues to be liberal, with an open door to all asylum seekers, writes Arthur Matsiko

      http://thisisafrica.me/appreciating-ugandas-open-door-policy-refugees

    • Ouganda. La générosité intéressée du pays le plus ouvert du monde aux réfugiés

      L’Ouganda est le pays qui accueille le plus de réfugiés. Un million de Sud-Soudanais fuyant la guerre s’y sont installés. Mais cette noble intention des autorités cache aussi des calculs moins avouables : l’arrivée massive de l’aide internationale encourage l’inaction et la #corruption.

      https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/ouganda-la-generosite-interessee-du-pays-le-plus-ouvert-du-mo

    • Refugees in Uganda to benefit from Dubai-funded schools but issues remain at crowded settlement

      Dubai Cares is building three classrooms in a primary school at Ayilo II but the refugee settlement lacks a steady water supply, food and secondary schools, Roberta Pennington writes from Adjumani


      https://www.thenational.ae/uae/refugees-in-uganda-to-benefit-from-dubai-funded-schools-but-issues-remai

    • FUGA DAL SUD SUDAN. LUIS, L’UGANDA E QUEL PEZZO DI TERRA DONATA AI PROFUGHI

      Luis zappa, prepara dei fori per tirare su una casa in attesa di ritrovare la sua famiglia. Il terreno è una certezza, glielo ha consegnato il Governo ugandese. Il poterci vivere con i suoi cari non ancora. L’ultima volta li ha visti in Sud Sudan. Nel ritornare a casa sua moglie e i suoi otto figli non c’erano più. É sicuro si siano messi in cammino verso l’Uganda, così da quel giorno è iniziata la sua rincorsa. É certo che li ritroverà nella terra che ora lo ha accolto. Quella di Luis è una delle tante storie raccolte nei campi profughi del nord dell’Uganda, in una delle ultime missioni di Amref, in cui era presente anche Giusi Nicolini, già Sindaco di Lampedusa e Premio Unesco per la pace. 



      Modello Uganda? Dell’Uganda il mondo dice «campione di accoglienza». Accoglienza che sta sperimentando da mesi nei confronti dei profughi sud sudanesi, che scappano da uno dei Paesi più drammaticamente in crisi al mondo. Sono 4 milioni le persone che in Sud Sudan hanno dovuto lasciare le proprie case. Chi muovendosi verso altri Paesi e chi in altre regioni sud sudanesi. In questi ultimi tempi arrivano in Uganda anche persone che fuggono dalla Rep. Democratica del Congo.

      https://www.amref.it/2018_02_23_Fuga_dal_Sud_Sudan_Luis_lUganda_e_quel_pezzo_di_terra_donata_ai_pro

    • As Rich Nations Close the Door on Refugees, Uganda Welcomes Them

      President Trump is vowing to send the military to stop migrants trudging from Central America. Europe’s leaders are paying African nations to block migrants from crossing the Mediterranean — and detaining the ones who make it in filthy, overcrowded camps.

      But Solomon Osakan has a very different approach in this era of rising xenophobia. From his uncluttered desk in northwest Uganda, he manages one of the largest concentrations of refugees anywhere in the world: more than 400,000 people scattered across his rural district.

      He explained what he does with them: Refugees are allotted some land — enough to build a little house, do a little farming and “be self-sufficient,” said Mr. Osakan, a Ugandan civil servant. Here, he added, the refugees live in settlements, not camps — with no barbed wire, and no guards in sight.

      “You are free, and you can come and go as you want,” Mr. Osakan added.

      As many nations are securing their borders and turning refugees away, Uganda keeps welcoming them. And they keep coming, fleeing catastrophes from across this part of Africa.

      In all, Uganda has as many as 1.25 million refugees on its soil, perhaps more, making it one of the most welcoming countries in the world, according to the United Nations.

      And while Uganda’s government has made hosting refugees a core national policy, it works only because of the willingness of rural Ugandans to accept an influx of foreigners on their land and shoulder a big part of the burden.

      Uganda is not doing this without help. About $200 million in humanitarian aid to the country this year will largely pay to feed and care for the refugees. But they need places to live and small plots to farm, so villages across the nation’s north have agreed to carve up their communally owned land and share it with the refugees, often for many years at a time.

      “Our population was very few and our community agreed to loan the land,” said Charles Azamuke, 27, of his village’s decision in 2016 to accept refugees from South Sudan, which has been torn apart by civil war. “We are happy to have these people. We call them our brothers.”

      United Nations officials have pointed to Uganda for its “open border” policy. While the United States, a much more populous nation, has admitted more than three million refugees since 1975, the American government settles them in the country after they have first been thoroughly screened overseas.

      By contrast, Uganda has essentially opened its borders to refugees, rarely turning anyone away.

      Some older Ugandans explain that they, too, had been refugees once, forced from their homes during dictatorship and war. And because the government ensures that spending on refugees benefits Ugandans as well, younger residents spoke of how refugees offered them some unexpected opportunities.

      “I was a farmer. I used to dig,” Mr. Azamuke said. But after learning Arabic from refugees from South Sudan, he got a better job — as a translator at a new health clinic that serves the newcomers.

      His town, Ofua, is bisected by a dirt road, with the Ugandans living on the uphill side and the South Sudanese on the downhill side. The grass-thatched homes of the Ugandans look a bit larger and sturdier, but not much.

      As the sun began to set one recent afternoon, a group of men on the Ugandan side began to pass around a large plastic bottle of waragi, a home brew. On the South Sudanese side, the men were sober, gathered around a card game.

      On both sides, the men had nothing but tolerant words for one another. “Actually, we don’t have any problems with these people,” said Martin Okuonzi, a Ugandan farmer cleaning his fingernails with a razor blade.

      As the men lounged, the women and girls were still at work, preparing dinner, tending children, fetching water and gathering firewood. They explained that disputes did arise, especially as the two groups competed for limited resources like firewood.

      “We’ve been chased away,” said Agnes Ajonye, a 27-year-old refugee from South Sudan. “They say we are destroying their forests.”

      And disputes broke out at the well, where Ugandan women insist they should be allowed to skip ahead of refugees.

      “If we hadn’t given you the land you live on, wouldn’t you be dying in Sudan?” said Adili Chandia, a 62-year-old refugee, recounting the lecture she and others got from a frustrated Ugandan woman waiting in line.

      Ugandan officials often talk about the spirit of Pan-Africanism that motivates their approach to refugees. President Yoweri Museveni, an autocratic leader who has been in power for 32 years, says Uganda’s generosity can be traced to the precolonial days of warring kingdoms and succession disputes, when losing factions often fled to a new land.

      This history of flight and resettlement is embedded in some of the names of local groups around western Uganda, like Batagwenda, which means “the ones that could not continue traveling.”

      The government encourages the nation to go along with its policy by directing that 30 percent of foreign aid destined for refugees be spent in ways that benefit Ugandans nearby. So when money for refugees results in new schools, clinics and wells, Ugandans are more likely to welcome than resent them.

      For Mr. Museveni, hosting refugees has given him relevance and political capital abroad at a time when he would otherwise have little.

      A former guerrilla fighter who quickly stabilized much of his country, Mr. Museveni was once hailed as an example of new African leadership. He was relatively quick to confront the AIDS epidemic, and he invited back Ugandans of Indian and Pakistani descent who had been expelled during the brutal reign of Idi Amin in the 1970s.

      But his star has fallen considerably. He has clung to power for decades. His security forces have beaten political opponents. Freedom of assembly and expression are severely curtailed.

      Even so, Uganda’s openness toward refugees makes Mr. Museveni important to European nations, which are uneasy at the prospect of more than a million refugees heading for Europe.

      Other African nations also host a significant number of refugees, but recent polls show that Ugandans are more likely than their neighbors in Kenya or Tanzania to support land assistance or the right to work for refugees.

      Part of the reason is that Ugandans have fled their homes as well, first during the murderous reign of Mr. Amin, then during the period of retribution after his overthrow, and again during the 1990s and 2000s, when Joseph Kony, the guerrilla leader who terrorized northern Uganda, left a trail of kidnapped children and mutilated victims.

      Many Ugandans found refuge in what is today South Sudan. Mark Idraku, 57, was a teenager when he fled with his mother to the area. They received two acres of farmland, which helped support them until they returned home six years later.

      “When we were in exile in Sudan, they also helped us,” Mr. Idraku said. “Nobody ever asked for a single coin.”

      Mr. Idraku has since returned the favor, loaning three acres to a South Sudanese refugee named Queen Chandia, 37. Ms. Chandia said the land — along with additional plots other Ugandans allow her to farm — has made all the difference.

      Her homestead of thatched-roof huts teemed with children tending their chores, grinding nuts into paste and maize into meal. Ms. Chandia is the mother of a girl and two boys. But over the years, as violence hollowed out her home country, Ms. Chandia started taking in the orphaned children of relatives and friends. Now 22 children call her “mom.”

      A refugee for nearly her entire life, Ms. Chandia arrived in Uganda as a young girl nearly 30 years ago. For years, she worried about being expelled.
      Image

      “Maybe these Ugandans will change their minds on us,” she said, describing the thought that plagued her. Then one day the worry stopped.

      But Mr. Osakan, the administrator who oversees refugee affairs in the country’s extreme northwest, is anxious. There is an Ebola outbreak over the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. Osakan fears what might happen if — or when — a refugee turns up in Uganda with the dreaded illness.

      “It would destroy all the harmony between refugees and host communities,” he said, explaining that it would probably lead to calls to seal the border.

      For now, the border is very much open, although the number of refugees arriving has fallen significantly. In one of the newer settlements, many of the refugees came last year, fleeing an attack in a South Sudanese city. But some complained about receiving too little land, about a quarter acre per family, which is less than previous refugees had received.

      “Even if you have skills — in carpentry — you are not given a chance,” said one refugee, Simon Ludoru. He looked over his shoulder, to where a construction crew was building a nursery school. The schoolhouse would teach both local Ugandan and South Sudanese children together, but the workers were almost entirely Ugandan, he said.

      At the construction site, the general contractor, Sam Omongo, 50, said he had hired refugees for the job. “Oh, yes,” he exclaimed.

      How many?

      “Not a lot, actually,” he acknowledged. “I have about three.” Mr. Omongo called one over.

      “Are you a refugee?” Mr. Omongo asked the slight man.

      “No, I’m from Uganda,” he said softly. His name was Amos Chandiga, 28. He lived nearby and owned six acres of land, though he worked only four of them. He had lent the other two to a pair of refugees.

      “They asked me, and I gave it to them,” Mr. Chandiga explained. He patted his chest. “It comes from here, in my heart.”


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/28/world/africa/uganda-refugees.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes

    • Uganda: a role model for refugee integration?

      Uganda hosts the largest refugee population in Africa and is, after Turkey and Pakistan, the third-largest refugee recipient country worldwide. Political and humanitarian actors have widely praised Ugandan refugee policies because of their progressive nature: In Uganda, in contrast to many other refugee-receiving countries, these are de jure allowed to work, to establish businesses, to access public services such as education, to move freely and have access to a plot of land. Moreover, Uganda is a pilot country of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). In this Working Paper the authors ascertain whether Uganda indeed can be taken as a role model for refugee integration, as largely portrayed in the media and the political discourse. They identify the challenges to livelihoods and integration to assess Uganda’s self-reliance and settlement approach and its aspiration towards providing refugees and Ugandan communities receiving refugees with opportunities for becoming self-reliant. Drawing on three months of field research in northern and southern Uganda from July to September of 2017 with a particular focus on South Sudanese refugees, the authors concentrate on three aspects: Access to land, employment and education, intra- and inter-group relations. The findings show that refugees in Uganda are far from self-reliant and socially integrated. Although in Uganda refugees are provided with land, the quality and size of the allocated plots is so poor that they cannot earn a living from agricultural production, which thus, rather impedes self-reliance. Inadequate infrastructure also hinders access to markets and employment opportunities. Even though most local communities have been welcoming to refugees, the sentiment has shifted recently in some areas, particularly where local communities that are often not better off than refugees feel that they have not benefitted from the presence of refugees....

      https://www.ssoar.info/ssoar/handle/document/62871

  • En Italie, les migrants sont arrêtés à la chaîne pour avoir tenu la barre

    Depuis 2013, plus de 1500 migrants ont été arrêtés après leur arrivée en Sicile, accusés d’être des passeurs. Des chiffres élevés qui interpellent : parmi eux, combien d’innocents ?

    Quand il a été récupéré en haute mer en automne 2016 par un bateau italien avec 157 autres compagnons d’infortune, Moussa*, un Gambien de 20 ans, pensait respirer. Mais son cauchemar n’était pas terminé. Dans le port de Palerme, une longue file d’officiels et de secouristes l’attendait. « A peine arrivé, j’ai été arrêté par des policiers. Sans que je comprenne ce qui m’arrivait, je me suis retrouvé en prison », raconte-t-il. Une fois sa surprise passée, Moussa demande des explications. Il n’en aura pas.

    Au lieu de cela, une question revient sans cesse : « Est-ce que tu pilotais l’embarcation ? » Pour la police italienne, il dirigeait le bateau qui lui a permis de quitter la Libye. Il passera près de six mois en prison et son jugement n’a toujours pas été rendu. Son avocat Marco Di Maria l’assure : « Lorsque les policiers palermitains ont arrêté Moussa et neuf autres migrants, ils n’ont fait aucune vérification sur leurs liens avec une organisation criminelle en Libye. Ils se sont contentés de les mettre en prison. »

    Une situation qui est devenue la norme. La semaine dernière, la justice italienne a libéré quatorze migrants accusés d’avoir conduit le bateau qui leur a permis de traverser la Méditerranée. Certains d’entre eux, comme Alex, un Guinéen, avaient déjà fait vingt-huit mois de prison.
    Guerre aux passeurs

    Cette intransigeance date d’octobre 2013, quand 368 Erythréens se sont noyés au large de l’île de Lampedusa. Horrifiée, l’opinion publique italienne réclame des coupables. La justice déclare alors la guerre aux passeurs. En première ligne, l’une des divisions anti-mafia se voit assigner la plupart des affaires de traite d’êtres humains.

    En cinq ans, 1500 migrants ont été arrêtés et des centaines d’entre eux emprisonnés. Responsable de la question migratoire pour l’association culturelle Arci Sicilia, Fausto Melluso assure que les erreurs judiciaires sont très fréquentes. « Les procureurs ont renversé le principe de la présomption d’innocence. Les autorités préfèrent arrêter dix innocents pour trouver un éventuel coupable. Ces malheureux sont souvent relâchés après plusieurs années de détention, lorsqu’on se rend compte de leur innocence. Mais au lieu de les aider, les autorités leur donnent une semaine pour quitter le pays. »

    Selon l’activiste, l’accélération des procédures n’améliore pas la situation. « Les vrais trafiquants d’êtres humains ne quittent jamais les eaux libyennes. Grâce à leurs très bonnes relations avec les gardes-côtes libyens, ils ne risquent pas d’être arrêtés. En général, un bateau plus petit suit l’embarcation remplie de migrants. Une fois dans les eaux internationales, les passeurs se jettent à l’eau et changent de bateau. Parfois, ils restent sur la plage et choisissent deux migrants au hasard, un pour la navigation et un qui regarde la boussole. »
    « Des permis de séjour pour les témoins »

    L’avocate Cinzia Pecoraro défend de nombreux migrants accusés d’être des passeurs. Ces derniers sont souvent représentés par des avocats commis d’office, qui ont tout intérêt à bâcler les procédures afin d’être payés plus rapidement. Pour l’avocate sicilienne, la procédure mise en place par la justice de son île souffre de graves défauts. « Il arrive que les témoins reçoivent un permis de séjour suite à leur collaboration. Cela crée une incitation à raconter ce que la police veut entendre. De plus, les entretiens se passent sur les navires des gardes-côtes. Une fois débarqués en Italie, les témoins disparaissent dans la nature. Du coup, nous n’avons aucune possibilité de vérifier lors du procès ce qu’ils ont raconté. »

    Autre problème de taille : en cas de noyade ou de décès durant la traversée, les migrants à la barre du bateau sont inculpés pour homicide par les procureurs. Les peines qu’ils risquent deviennent alors très lourdes, de 30 ans à la prison à vie. Ne parlant pas la langue, incapables de se défendre, ils se retrouvent seuls face à l’entièreté du système judiciaire. « Lorsque vous êtes coincés comme des sardines dans un bateau qui prend l’eau, vous faites quoi ? Vous attendez qu’il coule ou vous prenez la barre et vous écopez l’eau ? Ces gens sont des héros que nous traitons comme des criminels », dénonce l’avocate.
    « Prendre la barre ou mourir »

    C’est cet argument du dernier recours qui a convaincu le juge Gigi Omar Modica, le premier juge à avoir acquitté deux Libyens accusés d’être des passeurs en 2016. « Après quelques recherches, je me suis rendu compte que les migrants n’avaient pas d’autre choix. Ces deux personnes étaient menacées par des trafiquants armés. C’était prendre la barre ou mourir. » Avant d’ajouter : « Pourtant, les procureurs font comme s’ils avaient pris cette décision en toute liberté. »

    Si l’opinion publique semble prendre conscience de ce problème, Moussa devra s’armer de patience car son procès est toujours en cours. Il devra également faire face à la détermination des procureurs. Depuis 2016, le Ministère public de Palerme a fait recours contre chaque acquittement.

    *Prénom d’emprunt


    https://www.letemps.ch/monde/italie-migrants-arretes-chaine-tenu-barre

    #passeurs #Italie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #condamnations #smugglers #smuggling #criminalisation #emprisonnement #scafisti #scafista

  • Italian government pressures #Panama to stop #Aquarius rescues on world’s deadliest maritime route

    Central Mediterranean– SOS MEDITERRANEE and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are reeling from the announcement by the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) that it has been forced to revoke the registration of the search and rescue ship Aquarius, under blatant economic and political pressure from the Italian government. This announcement condemns hundreds of men, women and children who are desperate to reach safety to a watery grave, and deals a major blow to the life-saving humanitarian mission of the Aquarius, the only remaining non-governmental search and rescue vessel in the Central Mediterranean. Both organisations demand that European governments allow the Aquarius to continue its mission, by affirming to the Panamanian authorities that threats made by the Italian government are unfounded, or by immediately issuing a new flag under which the vessel can sail.

    On Saturday, 22 September, the Aquarius team was shocked to learn of an official communication from the Panamanian authorities stating that the Italian authorities had urged the PMA to take “immediate action” against the Aquarius. The PMA message explained that, “unfortunately, it is necessary that [the Aquarius] be excluded from our registry, because it implies a political problem against the Panamanian government and the Panamanian fleet that arrive to European port.” The message came despite the fact that Aquarius meets all maritime standards and is in full compliance with rigorous technical specifications as required under the Panama flag.

    SOS MEDITERRANEE and MSF strongly denounce the actions as further proof of the extent to which the Italian government is willing to go to, knowing that the only consequence is that people will continue to die at sea and that no witnesses will be present to count the dead.

    “European leaders appear to have no qualms implementing increasingly abusive and vicious tactics that serve their own political interests at the expense of human lives,” said Karline Kleijer, MSF’s Head of Emergencies. “For the past two years, European leaders have claimed that people should not die at sea, but at the same time they have pursued dangerous and ill-informed policies that have brought the humanitarian crisis in the Central Mediterranean and in Libya to new lows. This tragedy has to end, but that can only happen if EU governments allow the Aquarius and other search and rescue vessels to continue providing lifesaving assistance and bearing witness where it is so desperately needed.”

    Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,250 people have drowned while attempting to cross the Central Mediterranean. Those that attempt the crossing are three times more likely to drown than those who made the same journey in 2015. The real number of deaths is likely much higher, as not all drownings are witnessed or recorded by authorities or U.N. agencies. This underreporting is represented in shipwrecks like the one in early September in which it is estimated that at least 100 people drowned.

    Meanwhile, the European-sponsored Libyan coastguard continues to make an increasing number of interceptions in international waters between Italy, Malta and Libya, while denying survivors their right to disembark in a place of safety as required by International Maritime and Refugee Law. Instead, these vulnerable people are returned to appalling conditions in Libyan detention centres, several of which are now affected by heavy fighting in Tripoli’s conflict zones.

    “Five years after the Lampedusa tragedy, when European leaders said ‘never again’ and Italy launched its first large scale search and rescue operation, people are still risking their lives to escape from Libya while the death rate on the Central Mediterranean is skyrocketing” said Sophie Beau, vice president of SOS MEDITERRANEE international. “Europe cannot afford to renounce its fundamental values.”

    News from the PMA arrived at the Aquarius while the team was engaged in an active search and rescue operation in the Central Mediterranean. Over the past three days, Aquarius has assisted two boats in distress and now has 58 survivors on board, several of whom are psychologically distressed and fatigued from their journeys at sea and experiences in Libya, and who must be disembarked urgently in a place of safety in accordance with international maritime law. Throughout its current operation and during all previous rescue operations, the Aquarius has maintained full transparency while operating under the instructions of all maritime coordination centres and following international maritime conventions.

    SOS MEDITERRANEE and MSF demand that European governments allow the Aquarius to continue its rescue mission by reassuring the Panama authorities that the threats made by the Government of Italy are unfounded, or by immediately issuing a new flag under which the vessel can sail.

    https://www.msf.org/italian-government-pressures-panama-stop-aquarius-rescues-worlds-deadliest-mari
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Méditerranée #ONG #sauvetage #pavillon

    • Le gouvernement italien fait pression sur le Panama pour stopper les opérations de sauvetage de l’Aquarius

      Les autorités maritimes du Panama ont annoncé à SOS Méditerranée et Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) avoir été forcées de révoquer l’enregistrement du navire de secours en mer Aquarius. Cette révocation résulte de la pression économique et politique flagrante exercée par le gouvernement italien et condamne des centaines d’hommes, de femmes et d’enfants en fuite à rejoindre le cimetière marin qu’est devenu la Méditerranée. Elle porte un coup violent à la mission humanitaire vitale de l’Aquarius, le seul navire de recherche et de sauvetage non gouvernemental encore présent en Méditerranée centrale. Nos deux organisations demandent aux gouvernements européens d’autoriser l’Aquarius à poursuivre sa mission en intercédant auprès des autorités panaméennes et en réaffirmant que les menaces de rétorsion formulées à leur égard par les autorités italiennes sont infondées, ou en lui délivrant immédiatement un nouveau pavillon sous lequel naviguer.

      Le samedi 22 septembre, l’équipe de l’Aquarius a été choquée d’apprendre qu’une communication officielle émanant des autorités panaméennes, indiquait que le gouvernement italien les avait exhorté à prendre des « mesures immédiates » contre l’Aquarius. Le message des autorités maritimes du Panama expliquait alors que « malheureusement, il faut qu’il [l’Aquarius] soit exclu de notre registre, car maintenir ce pavillon impliquerait de sérieuses difficultés politiques pour le gouvernement panaméen et pour la flotte panaméenne qui travaille dans les ports européens ». Cela intervient en dépit du fait que l’Aquarius répond à toutes les normes maritimes en vigueur et qu’il respecte scrupuleusement les spécifications techniques exigées par les autorités du Panama.

      Les deux organisations humanitaires dénoncent ces actions comme une preuve supplémentaire du jusqu’au-boutisme du gouvernement italien qui choisit sciemment de laisser les gens se noyer en mer Méditerranée, et cherche à se débarrasser des derniers témoins de ces naufrages.

      "Les dirigeants européens semblent n’avoir aucun scrupule à mettre en œuvre des tactiques de plus en plus violentes et sordides qui servent leurs propres intérêts politiques au détriment des vies humaines", a déclaré Karline Kleijer, responsable des urgences chez MSF. « Au cours des deux dernières années, les dirigeants européens ont affirmé que plus personne ne devait mourir en mer, mais elles ont parallèlement mis en place des politiques dangereuses qui n’ont fait que renforcer la crise humanitaire en Méditerranée et en Libye. Cette tragédie doit cesser, et pour cela, il faut que les gouvernements de l’Union européenne autorisent l’Aquarius et d’autres navires de recherche et de sauvetage à continuer à fournir une assistance, là où elle est nécessaire, pour sauver des vies et témoigner de ce qu’il se passe. »

      Depuis le début de l’année, plus de 1 250 personnes se sont noyées alors qu’elles essayaient de traverser la Méditerranée centrale. Ceux qui tentent la traversée à présent ont trois fois plus de risque de se noyer que ceux qui ont fait le même trajet en 2015. Le nombre réel de décès est probablement beaucoup plus élevé, les autorités ou les agences des Nations unies n’étant pas témoins de toutes les noyades. Cela a été clairement mis en évidence lors du naufrage survenu au début du mois de septembre au large des côtes libyennes, où plus de 100 personnes se sont noyées.

      Pendant ce temps, les garde-côtes libyens, soutenus par l’Europe, continuent d’intercepter dans les eaux internationales entre l’Italie, Malte et la Libye un nombre croissant de personnes fuyant la Libye, les privant de leur droit à débarquer dans un lieu sûr, comme l’exige le droit international maritime et le droit international relatif aux réfugiés. Ces personnes vulnérables sont renvoyées dans un dangereux système de détention en Libye, où plusieurs centres de détention sont d’ailleurs actuellement touchés par les violents combats qui se déroulent à Tripoli, la capitale.

      "Cinq ans après la tragédie de Lampedusa, lorsque les dirigeants européens ont déclaré ‘plus jamais ça’ et que l’Italie a lancé sa première opération de recherche et de sauvetage à grande échelle, les gens risquent toujours leur vie pour fuir la Libye tandis que le taux de mortalité en mer Méditerranée grimpe en flèche », a tancé Francis Vallat, président de SOS MEDITERRANEE France.

      L’annonce des autorités maritimes du Panama est parvenue à l’Aquarius alors que ses équipes étaient engagées dans une opération active de recherche et de sauvetage en Méditerranée. Au cours des trois derniers jours, l’Aquarius a porté assistance aux passagers de deux bateaux en détresse et compte maintenant 58 rescapés à son bord. Plusieurs d’entre eux sont dans un état de détresse psychologique, épuisés par les expériences traumatisantes vécues en mer et en Libye Ces rescapés doivent être rapidement débarqués dans un port sûr conformément au droit international maritime.

      Tout au long de son opération de sauvetage actuelle et au cours de toutes les opérations précédentes, l’Aquarius a maintenu une transparence totale sur ses actions, intervenant sous les instructions des centres de coordination maritimes et respectant les conventions maritimes internationales en vigueur.

      SOS Méditerranée et MSF insistent de nouveau sur le fait que l’Aquarius doit être autorisé à poursuivre sa mission de secours humanitaire. Elles exigent que les gouvernements européens lui attribuent un nouveau pavillon ou qu’ils intercèdent auprès des autorités panaméennes, leur confirmant que les menaces de rétorsion formulées par le gouvernement italien sont infondées.

      http://www.sosmediterranee.fr/journal-de-bord/CP23-09-2018-Panama

    • Migranti, Panama blocca la nave #Aquarius_2. Msf e Sos Méditerranée: «Pressioni dal governo italiano»

      Le autorità panamensi hanno revocato l’iscrizione dai propri registri navali, informando il proprietario della richiesta italiana di «azioni immediate». Il Viminale nega ogni intervento. Salvini: «Nessun Paese vuole essere identificato con una nave che intralcia i soccorsi in mare e attacca governi democratici»

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/09/23/news/aquarius2-207151404

    • Pressioni italiane su Panama che cancellerà Aquarius dai registri navali, l’accusa è per non aver restituito alla Libia i migranti salvati

      SOS Méditerranée e Medici Senza Frontiere sono «sconvolte dall’annuncio dell’Autorità marittima di Panama di essere stata costretta a revocare l’iscrizione dell’Aquarius dal proprio registro navale sotto l’evidente pressione economica e politica delle autorità italiane.

      Questo provvedimento condanna centinaia di uomini, donne e bambini, alla disperata ricerca di sicurezza, ad annegare in mare e infligge un duro colpo alla missione umanitaria di Aquarius». Così in una nota le due organizzazioni umanitarie.

      SOS Mediterrannee e MSF chiedono all’Europa di permettere all’Aquarius di poter continuare ad operare nel Mediterraneo centrale e di far sapere alle autorità panamensi che «le minacce del governo italiano sono infondate o di garantire immediatamente una nuova bandiera per poter continuare a navigare».

      E’ quanto chiedono le due Ong in una nota nella quale è riportata anche una dichiarazione di Karline Kleijer, responsabile delle emergenze per Msf. «I leader europei - afferma Kleijer - sembrano non avere scrupoli nell’attuare tattiche sempre più offensive e crudeli che servono i propri interessi politici a scapito delle vite umane. Negli ultimi due anni, i leader europei hanno affermato che le persone non dovrebbero morire in mare, ma allo stesso tempo hanno perseguito politiche pericolose e male informate che hanno portato a nuovi minimi la crisi umanitaria nel Mediterraneo centrale e in Libia. Questa tragedia deve finire, ma ciò può accadere solo se i governi dell’Ue permetteranno all’Aquarius e alle altre navi di ricerca e soccorso di continuare a fornire assistenza».

      Salvini,denuncerò ong che aiutano scafisti - «Denuncerò per favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina chi aiuta gli scafisti». Lo afferma il Ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini che aggiunge: «Nelle ultime ore i trafficanti hanno ripreso a lavorare, riempiendo barchini e approfittando della collaborazione di qualche Ong. Tra queste c’è Aquarius 2, che poco fa ha recuperato 50 persone al largo di Zuara. Altri due gommoni, con a bordo 100 immigrati ciascuno, sarebbero in navigazione».

      Aquarius 2 recupera 50 persone,altre 100 in arrivo - Aquarius 2 ha recuperato 50 persone al largo della Libia, più precisamente al largo della città di Zuara. A renderlo noto è il Ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini.
      Salvini riferisce anche che Aquarius 2 sta per essere cancellata dai registri navali di Panama. La notizia era stata pubblicata due giorni fa dal quotidiano panamense La Prensa.

      "Per aver disatteso le procedure internazionali in materia di immigranti e rifugiati assistiti al largo delle coste nel Mediterraneo - si legge nell’articolo - l’amministrazione marittima panamense ha avviato l’iter per annullare d’ufficio la registrazione della nave «Aquarius 2», ex «Acquarius», con numero IMO 7600574. Questa nave ha registrato la prima immatricolazione in Germania e circa un mese fa è arrivata a Panama".

      «L’autorità marittima di Panama - riporta ancora la Prensa - ha riferito che la denuncia principale proviene dalle autorità italiane, che hanno riferito che il capitano della nave si è rifiutato di restituire gli immigranti e i rifugiati assistiti al loro luogo di origine».

      Nell’articolo si ricorda inoltre che già «l’amministrazione marittima di Gibilterra aveva negato il permesso di ’Aquarius’ di agire come un battello di emergenza e anche nel mese di giugno e luglio di quest’anno, ha chiesto formalmente che ’sospenda le sue operazioni’ e ritorni al suo stato di registrazione originale come ’nave oceanografica’».

      Galantino, strano parlare di migranti in dl sicurezza - «A me sembra strano che si parli di immigrati all’interno del decreto sicurezza. Inserirlo lì dentro significa giudicare già l’immigrato per una sua condizione», «per il suo essere immigrato e non per i comportamenti che può avere. E’ un brutto segnale sul piano culturale, perché si tratta di un tema sociale che va affrontato nel rispetto della legalità ma non possiamo considerare la condizione degli immigrati come una condizione di delinquenza». Lo ha detto a «Stanze Vaticane» di Tgcom24, Mons. Nunzio Galantino, Segretario Generale Cei.

      https://dirittiumani1.blogspot.com/2018/09/pressioni-italiane-su-panama-che.html

    • The Aquarius : Migrant rescue ship has registration revoked

      A rescue vessel operating in the central Mediterranean Sea has had its registration revoked, leaving its future operations in jeopardy.

      When the Aquarius next docks, it will have to remove its Panama maritime flag and cannot set sail without a new one.

      It is the last private rescue ship operating in the area used for crossings from Libya to Europe.

      The charities who run the vessel accuse the Italian government of pressuring Panama into deflagging the Aquarius.

      The two groups who lease it, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS Mediterranée, say they were notified of the decision by the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) on Saturday.

      The authority is said to have described the ship as a “political problem” for the country’s government, and said Italian authorities had urged them to take “immediate action” against them, according to SOS Mediterranée.

      Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has previously described the aid boats as a “taxi service” for migrants, denies his country put pressure on Panama.

      On Sunday, he tweeted he “didn’t even know” what prefix Panama has for telephone calls.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45622431

    • Dopo le accuse alle ong da oggi Mediterraneo senza presidi umanitari

      Oggi, 20 settembre 2018, uno degli obiettivi politici di molti governi europei sembra pienamente raggiunto: il Mediterraneo centrale è privo di presidi umanitari, di imbarcazioni destinate a prestare soccorso, di mezzi attrezzati e personale formato al fine di salvare vite umane.

      Dunque, con la sola eccezione della nave Aquarius, dove opera Medici Senza Frontiere, il Mediterraneo è stato, per così dire, sgomberato dalla presenza di tutti i soccorritori e i volontari. E di tutti gli operatori umanitari (medici, psicologi, mediatori e interpreti) – a partire dal 2015 – hanno realizzato centinaia di missioni e centinaia di salvataggi, risparmiando migliaia e migliaia di vittime, offrendo riparo e protezione ai fuggiaschi di tante guerre e di tante miserie. E riducendo il numero delle stragi che, non da ieri ma dai primi anni novanta (attenzione: dai primi anni novanta), si ripetono in quel tratto di mare. Ora lì operano, quando operano, solo navi e organismi degli stati europei, in genere indirizzati verso la difesa delle frontiere piuttosto che verso il soccorso dei naufraghi.

      E alcune guardie costiere prive di indirizzi politici univoci e le motovedette della Libia (meglio sarebbe dire: delle diverse milizie libiche). È ciò che alcuni governi europei, compreso quello italiano, si sono proposti da tempo: cancellare, o comunque ridurre al minimo, il ruolo delle organizzazioni non governative finalizzate al soccorso per lasciare campo libero all’attività di respingimento di migranti e profughi attraverso il blocco del Mediterraneo con la chiusura di porti, vie d’accesso, canali di fuga e rotte alternative. L’obiettivo è chiarissimo: attraverso l’esclusione delle Ong si persegue la mortificazione, fino all’annullamento, del diritto/dovere al soccorso.

      E per ottenere quest’ultimo scopo, nel corso degli ultimi due anni si è attuata una sequenza micidiale: prima una campagna di delegittimazione delle Ong tramite lo sfregio della loro identità e della loro immagine e l’indecente assimilazione dei soccorritori ai criminali («Le ong complici degli scafisti»); poi una successione di iniziative giudiziarie tendenti ad assimilare l’attività di soccorso a una fattispecie penale: ovvero il salvataggio come reato. Infine, un attacco politico fondato sulla rappresentazione di migranti e richiedenti asilo come nemici della stabilità e della sicurezza dell’Europa – e in particolare dell’Italia – e delle ong come loro complici e sicari.

      Oggi, a distanza di qualche anno da quando questa manovra politica è iniziata, sul piano giudiziario non c’è stato nemmeno un rinvio a giudizio per un solo membro di una sola ong e, all’opposto, si sono avute ordinanze e sentenze che riconoscevano la loro attività come fondamentale e pienamente rispettosa delle leggi e del diritto internazionale. Tuttavia, come si è detto, oggi nel Mar Mediterraneo i presidi umanitari sono ridotti al lumicino e le conseguenze materiali e il relativo carico di sofferenze è stato onerosissimo. Le navi delle Ong hanno dovuto percorrere molte miglia in più durante ciascuna missione e sono rimaste in mare per giorni senza l’indicazione di un porto di approdo sicuro – costringendo donne, uomini e bambini, già provati fisicamente e psicologicamente, ad affrontare lunghissime traversate, spesso in condizioni meteorologiche avverse. Non solo, quindi, le recenti politiche nazionali e internazionali hanno messo in pericolo la loro incolumità e quella degli equipaggi delle Ong, ma perfino la Guardia Costiera italiana, come è noto, ha dovuto attendere dieci giorni prima di poter sbarcare a Catania le persone salvate.

      Eppure la partita è tutt’altro che conclusa. I flussi di migranti e profughi continuano e le morti non si arrestano. E la riduzione delle cifre relative agli sbarchi corrisponde, in una certa misura, all’incremento del numero di quanti vengono rinchiusi nei centri di detenzione in Libia, e lì torturati, stuprati, uccisi. L’assenza di presidi umanitari nel Mediterraneo fa sì che sempre meno si sappia di quanto lì accade: ma se è vero, come è vero, che appena qualche giorno fa ben 184 persone sono sbarcate a Lampedusa, ciò significa che le fughe continuano ma che si sono fatte meno visibili e meno controllabili.

      Per tutte queste ragioni, ieri si è tenuta una conferenza stampa alla Camera dei Deputati dove Sandro Veronesi, i rappresentanti di Proactiva Open Arms, Sea Watch e Medici Senza Frontiere, Eleonora Forenza, Riccardo Magi e chi scrive, hanno ragionato intorno al tema «Mediterraneo. Mare loro». Si è ricordato che Proactiva Open Arms ha deciso di trasferire le sue missioni nel Mediterraneo Occidentale, in attesa di tornare il prima possibile a fare il suo lavoro: salvare vite umane. Altrettanto intendono fare Sea Watch e Medici Senza Frontiere, come hanno affermato Giorgia Linardi e Marco Bertotto, convinti che il diritto/dovere al soccorso costituisca una prerogativa fondamentale della civiltà umana.

      https://ilmanifesto.it/dopo-le-accuse-alle-ong-da-oggi-mediterraneo-senza-presidi-umanitari

      #ONG #Méditerranée #asile #migrations #Méditerranée_centrale #sauvetage #réfugiés

    • Le Panama retire son pavillon à l’“Aquarius 2”, le dernier bateau d’ONG en Méditerranée

      Les autorités panaméennes ont annoncé leur intention de retirer son pavillon au bateau Aquarius 2. SOS Méditerranée et Médecins sans frontières, qui affrètent le bateau, dénoncent des pressions du gouvernement italien.


      https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/le-panama-retire-son-pavillon-laquarius-2-le-dernier-bateau-d

    • L’Aquarius demande à accoster en France, Paris préfère une « solution européenne »

      Bientôt privé de pavillon, le navire humanitaire Aquarius était lundi « en route vers Marseille » après avoir demandé « à titre exceptionnel » à la France de pouvoir y débarquer les 58 migrants secourus à son bord. Mais Paris y semblait peu favorable, évoquant plutôt une « solution européenne ».

      « Aujourd’hui, nous faisons la demande solennelle et officielle aux autorités françaises » de donner, « de manière humanitaire, l’autorisation de débarquer » les rescapés, parmi lesquels 17 femmes et 18 mineurs, a indiqué le directeur des opérations de SOS Méditerranée, Frédéric Penard.

      Il est pour l’instant impossible de prévoir « quand le navire arrivera » sur les côtes françaises, a souligné M. Penard lors d’une conférence de presse à Paris, l’Aquarius étant « toujours susceptible d’être mobilisé » pour une opération de sauvetage.

      Mais il faudrait « environ quatre jours » au navire, qui se trouve actuellement au large de la Libye, pour gagner Marseille, a précisé Francis Vallat, le président de l’ONG en France.

      Depuis le début de la crise provoquée cet été par la fermeture des ports italiens aux migrants, la France n’a jamais accepté de laisser débarquer les navires humanitaires, arguant qu’en vertu du droit maritime les naufragés doivent être débarqués dans le « port sûr » le plus proche.

      « Nous avons alerté d’autres pays mais nous avons du mal à imaginer que la France puisse refuser, compte tenu de la situation humanitaire », a ajouté M. Vallat. Sans préjuger de la réponse, il a assuré qu’à aucun moment les autorités, qui ont été prévenues en amont, « ne nous ont dissuadés de monter vers Marseille ».

      Mais Paris semblait dans la soirée peu favorable à cette hypothèse. Contacté par l’AFP, Matignon a d’abord indiqué chercher « une solution européenne » selon le principe du « port sûr le plus proche ». « Et en l’occurrence ce n’est pas Marseille », a ensuite précisé le porte-parole du gouvernement, Benjamin Griveaux, sur Canal+.

      Pour SOS Méditerranée et Médecins sans frontières (MSF), qui ont affrété le navire, la situation est également « extrêmement critique » parce que le navire risque de perdre le pavillon du Panama au moment de toucher terre, a fait valoir M. Penard. Regagner Marseille, port d’attache du navire et siège de SOS Méditerranée, est donc crucial pour « mener ce combat, qui va être difficile, pour repavilloner l’Aquarius ».

      – « Du jamais vu » -

      Les autorités maritimes panaméennes ont annoncé samedi qu’elles allaient retirer son pavillon à l’Aquarius, déjà privé en août de pavillon par Gibraltar, pour « non-respect » des « procédures juridiques internationales » concernant le sauvetage de migrants en mer Méditerranée.

      « Du jamais vu et en soi un scandale », selon M. Vallat, qui a demandé au Panama « de revenir sur sa décision » et sinon aux Etats européens de fournir un pavillon à l’Aquarius. « Nous ne voulons pas nous arrêter, nous ne cèderons qu’à la force ou à la contrainte », a-t-il lancé.

      Les deux ONG avaient précédemment dénoncé « la pression économique et politique flagrante exercée par le gouvernement italien » sur les autorités panaméennes — allégation contestée par le ministre italien de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini.

      Aujourd’hui « l’Aquarius est le seul navire civil en Méditerranée centrale, qui est la route maritime la plus mortelle du monde », a fait valoir SOS Méditerranée, avec « plus de 1.250 noyés » depuis le début de l’année.

      Les autres navires humanitaires, qui étaient encore une dizaine il y a un peu plus d’un an au large de la Libye, ont quitté la zone pour des raisons diverses. Le Lifeline est bloqué à La Valette où les autorités ont ouvert une enquête administrative, tandis que le Iuventa, soupçonné de collusion avec des passeurs, a été saisi par les autorités italiennes en août 2017.

      « Non seulement les Européens ne mettent pas en place de mécanisme de sauvetage pérenne, mais ils essaient de détruire la capacité de la société civile à répondre à cette crise en Méditerranée », s’est indignée AssiBa Hadj-Sahraoui de MSF.

      Même si on est loin du pic des arrivées de 2015, la question migratoire divise encore profondément l’Europe, qui cherche à empêcher les départs clandestins.

      En juin, l’Aquarius avait déjà été au cœur d’une crise diplomatique, après avoir récupéré 630 migrants au large de la Libye, débarqués en Espagne après le refus de l’Italie et de Malte de les accepter. Le scénario s’était répété en août pour 141 migrants débarqués à Malte.

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2018/09/24/l-aquarius-demande-a-accoster-en-france-paris-prefere-une-solution-europe

    • La marine royale ouvre le feu sur un go-fast et fait 1 mort et 3 blessés

      Les personnes à bord étaient toutes marocaines, à l’exception du pilote, espagnol.

      Un bateau qui naviguait dans les eaux marocaines de la Méditerranée, a été, ce mardi 25 septembre, la cible de tirs d’une unité de la marine royale, annonce un communiqué de la préfecture de M’diq-Fnideq. L’embarcation avait refusé de se conformer aux avertissements qui lui avaient été adressés, poursuit le communiqué.

      Le bateau rapide de type “Go fast”, qui a été arrêté, était piloté par un citoyen espagnol et transportait des candidats à l’immigration clandestine, selon les données initiales rapportées par la préfecture. Les migrants à bord seraient quant à eux de nationalité marocaine, rapportent 2M.ma.

      La #fusillade a causé 4 blessés qui ont été transférés à l’hôpital régional de Fnideq pour recevoir les traitements nécessaires.

      Une première information rapportée par nos confrères de 2M, citant une source hospitalière dans un post sur Twitter, indiquait qu’une femme parmi les blessés avait succombé à ses blessures à l’hôpital. Ce post a été supprimé dans la soirée, avant de repartager l’info après 22h.

      https://www.huffpostmaghreb.com/entry/la-marine-royale-ouvre-le-feu-sur-un-go-fast-et-fait-un-mort-et-tro
      #Maroc

      Une des victimes:
      Una joven, víctima de los disparos de la Marina Real de Marruecos cuando huía a España


      https://elpais.com/politica/2018/09/26/actualidad/1537984724_391033.html?id_externo_rsoc=TW_CC

    • L’"Aquarius", un bateau pirate ? Quatre questions sur l’imbroglio juridique qui menace le navire humanitaire

      Le Panama a décidé de retirer le pavillon accordé cet été au bateau géré par l’ONG SOS Méditerranée, remettant en cause sa mission de sauvetage de migrants récupérés au large de la Libye.

      Les obstacles à la navigation de l’Aquarius s’accumulent. Le Panama a annoncé, samedi 22 septembre, qu’il allait retirer son pavillon au navire humanitaire, alors que celui-ci cherche un port pour débarquer 58 naufragés secourus au large de la Libye. L’Aquarius avait repris ses activités de sauvetage la semaine dernière après une escale forcée de 19 jours, faute de pavillon, et a annoncé qu’il faisait désormais route vers Marseille. Franceinfo fait le point sur cette décision et ses conséquences pour le navire humanitaire.

      Comment le Panama justifie-t-il cette décision ?

      Les autorités maritimes du Panama se sont fendues d’une explication de quelques lignes dans un communiqué diffusé sur leur site. « L’administration maritime panaméenne a entamé une procédure d’annulation officielle de l’immatriculation du navire Aquarius 2, ex-Aquarius (...) après la réception de rapports internationaux indiquant que le navire ne respecte pas les procédures juridiques internationales concernant les migrants et les réfugiés pris en charge sur les côtes de la mer Méditerranée », établit ce communiqué.

      Le Panama évoque également le fait que le navire s’est déjà vu retirer son pavillon par Gibraltar. En août, le gouvernement de Gibraltar avait révoqué le pavillon de l’Aquarius après lui avoir demandé de suspendre ses activités de sauvetage pour lesquelles il n’est pas enregistré dans le territoire britannique. Le bateau s’était alors tourné vers le Panama.

      L’"Aquarius" a-t-il enfreint le droit international ?

      A quelles « procédures juridiques internationales » le Panama fait-il référence ? L’Etat d’Amérique centrale indique que la principale plainte émane des autorités italiennes, selon lesquelles « le capitaine du navire a refusé de renvoyer des migrants et réfugiés pris en charge vers leur lieu d’origine ».

      Une référence, ici, au refus du navire de ramener en Libye des naufragés qui avaient pris la mer depuis les côtes libyennes, selon Alina Miron, professeure de droit international à l’université d’Angers et spécialisée dans le droit maritime, « puisque tous les naufragés secourus par l’Aquarius, depuis qu’il bat le pavillon panaméen, venaient de Libye », souligne-t-elle à franceinfo.

      Et « de ce point de vue-là, l’Aquarius ne contrevient nullement au droit international », explique Alina Miron. « L’Aquarius a surtout l’obligation de ne pas les ramener en Libye », fait-elle valoir. En effet, les conventions maritimes internationales prévoient que toute personne secourue en mer, quels que soient son statut et sa nationalité, soit débarquée dans un lieu sûr. Or, la Libye n’est pas considérée comme un lieu sûr de débarquement, comme l’a rappelé le Haut-Commissariat pour les réfugiés des Nations unies (HCR) en septembre.

      Quel est le rôle de l’Italie dans cette décision ?

      « Cette révocation résulte de la pression économique et politique flagrante exercée par le gouvernement italien » sur le Panama, ont déclaré les ONG Médecins sans frontières et SOS Méditerrannée, qui gèrent l’Aquarius, dans un communiqué.

      « Le communiqué du Panama établit que les autorités ont pris cette décision suite à une communication avec l’Italie. Cela veut bien dire que le Panama n’a pas pris cette décision de son propre chef, d’autant plus qu’il avait pris le temps de vérifier la situation de l’Aquarius avant de lui accorder son pavillon cet été », souligne de son côté Alina Miron.

      Le communiqué du Panama précise par ailleurs que « l’exécution d’actes portant atteinte aux intérêts nationaux constitue une cause de radiation d’office de l’immatriculation des navires ».

      Cela illustre les pressions de l’Italie qui ont conduit le Panama à prendre cette décision.Alina Miron, spécialiste du droit maritimeà franceinfo

      Qu’est-ce que cela change pour l’"Aquarius" ?

      Le retrait du pavillon panaméen n’est pas effectif immédiatement. Les conventions internationales établissent qu’aucun changement de pavillon ne peut intervenir au cours d’un voyage ou d’une escale. L’Aquarius conserve donc son pavillon pendant toute la durée de son voyage, jusqu’à ce qu’il rejoigne son port d’attache au Panama ou qu’il fasse une longue escale technique.

      « Ça, c’est en théorie, détaille Alina Miron, mais le Panama a créé une situation de confusion et certaines marines nationales, notamment la marine libyenne, vont utiliser cette confusion pour considérer l’Aquarius comme un navire sans nationalité. » Or, les marines nationales peuvent exercer des pouvoirs de police sur des navires sans nationalité en haute mer, ce qui est impossible sur un navire qui bat pavillon, développe la juriste. « Le risque le plus immédiat, pour l’Aquarius, c’est que la marine libyenne monte à bord pour opérer des vérifications, même sans accord du capitaine », explique Alina Miron.

      Face à cette situation, SOS Mediterrannée et Médecins sans frontières « demandent aux gouvernements européens d’autoriser l’Aquarius à poursuivre sa mission, en intercédant auprès des autorités panaméennes et en réaffirmant que les menaces de rétorsion formulées à leur égard par les autorités italiennes sont infondées, ou en lui délivrant immédiatement un nouveau pavillon sous lequel naviguer ».

      https://mobile.francetvinfo.fr/monde/europe/migrants/aquarius/l-aquarius-un-bateau-pirate-quatre-questions-sur-l-imbroglio-juridique-qui-menace-le-navire-humanitaire_2954663.html#xtref=http://m.facebook.com

    • Aquarius, "Stati Ue concedano bandiera”. E spunta l’ipotesi Vaticano

      Dopo le pressioni Panama cancella Aquarius II dal suo registro. Penard (Sos Mediterranée): “Stati che dicono di aderire a solidarietà propongano soluzione”. Lodesani (Msf): “Stanchi di menzogne e attacchi, nostro obiettivo salvare vite, a bordo anche famiglie libiche che scappano da inferno”

      Un appello a tutti gli Stati europei, in particolare a quelli che “ripetono di aderire a valori di solidarietà” perché consentano l’iscrizione della bandiera della nave Aquarius II, in uno dei loro registri nazionali. “L’unico gesto concreto per rendere ancora possibile il salvataggio in mare di persone in difficoltà all’ultima nave di ong rimasta nel Mediterraneo”. Lo hanno ribadito in una conferenza stampa oggi a Roma Frederic Penard, direttore delle operazioni Sos Mediterranee e Claudia Lodesani, presidente di Medici senza frontiere.

      Il caso politico diplomatico è noto: dopo gli ultimi salvataggi in mare operati da Aquarius II, a largo della Libia, e il rifiuto di riconsegnare le persone alla cosiddetta guardia costiera libica, Panama ha comunicato di voler ritirare la sua bandiera alla nave, per evitare di avere “problemi politici” con l’Italia. Ma l’assenza di una bandiera vuol dire di fatto fermare la nave. “Per noi è stato uno shock - spiega Penard - In questo momento siamo l’ultima nave a fare ricerca e soccorso nel Mediterraneo. Per l’iscrizione al registro di Panama abbiamo fornito oltre 70 certificazioni alle autorità, siamo perfettamente in regola e abbiamo sempre agito nella legalità - aggiunge il responsabile di Sos Mediterranèe -. Abbiamo chiesto spiegazioni, anche per capire il perché di questo passo indietro”. Le due ong spiegano che in una nota riservata dell’autorità marittima panamense inviata all’ armatore di Aquarius, si dice esplicitamente che la nave deve essere esclusa dal registro perché la sua permanenza provocherebbe un “problema politico” con l’Italia. L’armatore di Aquarius ha parlato esplicitamente di “pressioni politiche” sul governo panamense.

      “La nostra richiesta è che Panama torni indietro sulla sua decisione, riconsiderandola - aggiunge Penard -. Inoltre chiediamo agli Stati europei di proporre una soluzione per Aquarius, e alla società civile di fare pressione sui propri governi per sostenere il nostro lavoro, il soccorso in mare non può essere criminalizzato”. In queste ore alcuni parlamentari si sono mossi in Svizzera per chiedere che il governo elvetico conceda la propria bandiera.

      Un appello dal basso, che inizia a circolare anche sui social, chiama in causa anche il Vaticano: “Non so se sia possibile, ma se lo fosse, sarebbe bello che il Vaticano offrisse la propria bandiera alla nave Aquarius - sottolinea don Luca Favarin, parroco di Padova su Facebook-. Una chiesa in acqua non farà mai acqua. Così limpidamente e semplicemente schierata dalla parte degli ultimi, sbilanciata sui diritti dei poveri”. Penard ha spiegato di non aver contattato direttamente nessuno stato, e che l’appello vale per tutti quindi semmai fosse offerto il registro Vaticano sarebbe accettato con favore, anche se “probabilmente quel registro, che esiste, non viene usato da secoli”.

      Intanto, le due organizzazioni non nascondono il malumore per i continui attacchi politici, e mediatici, nei confronti del loro operato. "Siamo stanchi di menzogne, attacchi e intimidazioni, di essere additati come quelli che violano le norme internazionali. È il momento di accusare chi sono i veri responsabili del business degli scafisti: le scellerate politiche europee” sottolinea Claudia Lodesani. “Siamo stati chiamati noi vicescafisti - aggiunge - ma oggi gli Stati europei non prendono neanche in considerazione l’ipotesi di pensare a vie legali di ingresso. Sono queste politiche che aiutano gli scafisti, non certo noi. Il nostro obiettivo è la salvaguardia della vita umana e in nome di questo operiamo salvataggi in mare”. Lodesani ricorda che dall’inizio dell’anno, pur a fronte di una diminuzione di arrivi dell’80 per cento, ci sono già stati 1260 morti in mare. “Siamo passati da 1 morto ogni 32 a 1 morto ogni 18 - Ostacolare il soccorso e l’azione umanitaria vuol dire solo eliminare testimoni scomodi dal Mediterraneo. La vita delle persone non è più al centro delle politiche, ma ora le persone sono usate come ostaggio dalla politica - aggiunge - . Questa situazione è responsabilità è di tutti i paesi europei, anche perché parlando di poche persone. Inoltre, bisogna ricordare che il salvataggio in mare va distinto dall’accoglienza ed è governato da leggi internazionali. Va assicurato il porto più sicuro e più vicino di sbarco. Poi - continua - come sempre abbiamo fatto, chiediamo la solidarietà europea nell’accoglienza”.

      Tra le 58 persone tratte in salvo da Aquarius II nel Mediterraneo ci sono anche 37 libici: “ si tratta di famiglie che scappano dall’Inferno della Libia, un paese attualmente in guerra. E che quindi non può essere considerato un luogo sicuro, le persone non possono essere respinte in Libia. Ci chiediamo se riportarle in quell’inferno sia etico e se sia legale”. “Tra le altre persone a bordo - aggiunge Mathilde Auvillain, di Sos Mediterranée, ci sono 18 minori, 17 donne, di cui una incinta. Ci siamo rifiutati di fare il trasbordo di queste persone sulle motovedette libiche, perché riportarle indietro è illegale”. Lo sbarco, dopo il rifiuto dell’Italia dovrebbe avvenire nei prossimi giorni a Malta, ma non si sa ancora quando. I migranti saranno poi accolti in 4 paesi: Francia, Portogallo, Spagna e Germania.

      “Il soccorso in mare è regolato da principi fondamentali e regole precise - spiega Lorenzo Trucco, presidente di Asgi (Associazione studi giuridici sull’immigrazione) - In particolare, dalla Convenzione Soas sulla salvaguardia in mare, dalla Convenzione Sar e dalla Convenzione europea sul soccorso in mare. Tutte queste convenzioni sono state ratificate con leggi in Italia e tutte dicono che il principio primario è la salvaguardia della persona, che va salvata e portata in un luogo sicuro. Per questo la questione libica non è un’opinione, è certificato che non si tratti un luogo sicuro, quello che accade nei centri di detenzione è stato denunciato a settembre anche da Unhcr. Il respingimento di persone in Libia è grave - afferma - La questione del soccorso non è solo diritto ma un obbligo sanzionato da tutte le nazioni. E’ paradossale, quindi, quello che sta succedendo”.

      Duro il commento anche di Filippo Miraglia di Arci sulle pressioni dell’Italia verso il governo panamense: “Msf e Sos Medierranée in questo momento rappresentano tutti noi in mare, mi fa accapponare la pelle pensare che il governo italiano abbia intimidito in maniera mafiosa il governo panamense - afferma - E’ un gesta che fa venire i brividi, come fa venire i brividi il combinato disposto tra la chiusura dei porti e il decreto Salvini. C’è da vergognarsi”.

      http://www.redattoresociale.it/Notiziario/Articolo/598417/Aquarius-Stati-Ue-concedano-bandiera-E-spunta-l-ipotesi-Vaticano
      #Vatican

    • Appel à donner le pavillon suisse à l’Aquarius : interview de Guillaume Barazzone

      Le Conseil fédéral doit accorder un pavillon suisse à l’Aquarius, ont demandé mercredi trois parlementaires. Depuis trois jours, ce navire qui porte secours aux migrants en mer Méditerranée, n’a plus de drapeau. Interview de Guillaume Barazzone (PDC/GE), l’un des auteurs de cette interpellation.

      https://www.rts.ch/play/radio/forum/audio/appel-a-donner-le-pavillon-suisse-a-laquarius-interview-de-guillaume-barazzone?i

    • Vive émotion au Maroc après les tirs meurtriers de la marine sur un bateau de migrants

      La jeune femme tuée tentait d’atteindre l’Espagne. Un trajet de plus en plus emprunté, sur fond de tension migratoire accrue dans le royaume.

      L’émotion était vive au Maroc, mercredi 26 septembre, au lendemain de la mort d’une femme de 22 ans, originaire de la ville de Tétouan, tuée alors qu’elle tentait d’émigrer vers l’Espagne. Selon les autorités locales, la marine a été « contrainte » d’ouvrir le feu alors qu’un « go fast » (une puissante embarcation à moteur) piloté par un Espagnol « refusait d’obtempérer » dans les eaux marocaines au large de M’diq-Fnideq (nord). Outre la jeune Marocaine décédée, trois autres migrants ont été blessés, a confirmé une source officielle à l’AFP.

      Le drame s’est produit dans un contexte de tension migratoire au Maroc, confronté à une forte hausse des tentatives d’émigration depuis ses côtes et autour des enclaves espagnoles de Ceuta et Melilla. Rabat a ainsi indiqué avoir empêché 54 000 tentatives de passage vers l’Union européenne depuis janvier. De son côté, le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) chiffre le nombre d’arrivées en Espagne à quelque 40 000 personnes depuis le début de l’année (contre 28 000 en 2017 et 14 000 en 2016).

      Rafles et éloignements forcés

      La route migratoire Maroc-Espagne, qui était très utilisée il y a une dizaine d’années, a connu une nouvelle hausse d’activité depuis le renforcement des contrôles sur la Libye et les témoignages d’extrême violence contre les migrants par les réseaux de passeurs dans ce pays. Mais le Maroc voit également augmenter le nombre de ses nationaux candidats au départ, poussés par l’absence de perspectives dans un pays où 27,5 % des 15-24 ans sont hors du système scolaire et sans emploi. Selon le HCR, les Marocains représentaient 17,4 % des arrivées en Espagne en 2017, la première nationalité devant les Guinéens et les Algériens.

      Depuis 2015, le palais royal avait mis en avant une nouvelle politique migratoire avec deux campagnes de régularisation de 50 000 clandestins, principalement des Subsahariens. Mais ces derniers mois, le royaume a considérablement durci ses pratiques, multipliant les rafles et les éloignements forcés. Selon le Groupe antiraciste de défense et d’accompagnement des étrangers et migrants, une association marocaine, 6 500 personnes ont ainsi été arrêtées et déplacées du nord du pays vers des villes reculées du centre et du sud entre juillet et septembre.

      Le gouvernement a eu beau plaider que ces déplacements se font dans le « respect de la loi », les associations dénoncent des violences et l’absence de cadre légal concernant ces pratiques. Mi-août, deux migrants sont morts après avoir sauté du bus qui les éloignait de Tanger. Amnesty International a souligné une « répression choquante », « à la fois cruelle et illégale ». « Depuis fin juillet, la police marocaine ainsi que la gendarmerie royale et les forces auxiliaires procèdent à des raids majeurs dans les quartiers de plusieurs villes où vivent les réfugiés et les migrants, d’une intensité particulière dans les provinces du nord du pays de Tanger, Nador et Tétouan, qui bordent la frontière espagnole », écrit l’ONG. Les zones entourant les deux enclaves espagnoles en terre africaine, Ceuta et Melilla, sont traditionnellement le lieu de regroupement des migrants qui veulent tenter de rejoindre l’Europe.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/09/27/vive-emotion-au-maroc-apres-les-tirs-meurtriers-de-la-marine-sur-un-bateau-d

    • Migranti, la sfida delle associazioni italiane: una imbarcazione nel Mediterraneo per salvarli

      Ong e Onlus hanno organizzato un’imbarcazione battente la bandiera del nostro Paese per «un’azione di disobbedienza morale contro gli slogan delle destre nazionaliste e di obbedienza alle leggi del mare, del diritto internazionale e della Costituzione»

      A BORDO DELLA NAVE APPOGGIO BURLESQUE - Il rimorchiatore battente bandiera italiana “Mare Ionio” è partito nella notte di mercoledì dal porto di Augusta alla volta della costa Libica. Si tratta della prima missione in acque internazionali completamente organizzata in Italia ed è stata ribattezzata “Mediterranea”.
      Il progetto, promosso da varie associazioni (tra cui Arci nazionale, Ya Basta di Bologna, la Ong Sea-Watch, il magazine online I Diavoli e l’impresa sociale Moltivolti di Palermo) e sostenuto politicamente e finanziariamente da Nichi Vendola e tre parlamentari di Leu (Nicola Fratoianni, Erasmo Palazzotto e Rossella Muroni). E’ stato avviato nello scorso luglio ed ha preso corpo nei mesi successivi. L’attività del “Mar Ionio” sarà ufficialmente circoscritta di “monitoraggio, testimonianza e denuncia”, spiegano gli organizzatori. Tuttavia tra le dotazioni a disposizione del “Mare Ionio” ci sono anche gli equipaggiamenti per il Sar, l’attività di search and rescue per la quale però non è abilitato.

      Nelle prossime ore l’imbarcazione, seguita dalla barca appoggio Burlesque (uno sloop Bavaria 50 battente bandiera spagnola con a bordo giornalisti nazionali e internazionali, attivisti e mediatori culturali), entrerà in azione nella stessa zona in cui da qualche giorno incrocia il veliero Astral dell’ong spagnola Open Arms, più volte definita dal ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini, un “taxi del mare”.

      “Non potevamo più stare a guardare – dicono da bordo gli attivisti - bisognava agire e trovare il modo di contrastare il declino culturale e morale che abbiamo davanti. Quella di Mediterranea è un’azione di disobbedienza morale ed al contempo di obbedienza civile. Disobbediamo al prevalente del discorso pubblico delle destre nazionaliste obbedendo alle leggi del mare, del diritto internazionale e della nostra Costituzione che prevedono l’obbligatorietà del salvataggio di chi si trova in condizioni di pericolo”.


      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/10/04/news/migranti_una_nave_delle_ong_italiane_nel_mediterraneo_per_salvarli-208134

      –-> reçu par la mailing-list Migreurop, en commentaire de l’article italien:

      FR : Plusieurs ONG ont organisé un bateau battant le drapeau de l’Italie comme une « action de désobéissance morale contre les slogans des droites nationalistes et d’obéissance aux droits de la mer, au droit international et à la Constitution »
      Le remorqueur battant le drapeau italien « #Mare_Ionio » est parti dans la nuit de mercredi du port d’Auguste (Sicile) vers les côtes libyennes. C’est la première mission en eaux internationales entièrement organisée en Italie et a été nommée « #Mediterranea ».
      Le projet, à l’initiative de diverses associations (dont Arci, Ya Basta de Bologne, l’ONG Sea-Watch, la revue en ligne I Diavoli et Moltivolti de Palerme) est politiquement soutenue et financée par Nichi Velonda et trois autres parlementaires LeU (Nicola Fratoianni, Erasmo Palazzotto e Rossella Muroni).
      Le projet a commencée en juillet dernier et a pris forme dans les mois suivants. L’activité de « Mare Ionio » sera officiellement circonscrite à celles de la « surveillance, le témoignage et la dénonciation », expliquent les organisateurs. Cependant, parmi les équipements et les dispositifs du « Mare Ionio », on retrouve des équipements Sar, l’activité de Search and Rescue pour laquelle il ne dispose pas d’habilitation.
      Dans les prochaines heures, l’embarcation, suivie par le bateau Burlesque (un voilier Bavaria 50 battant le drapeau espagnol, avec à bord des journalistes nationaux et internationaux, des activistes et des médiateurs culturels), entrera en action dans la même zone que le voilier Astral de l’ONG espagnole Open Arms, défini à plusieurs reprises comme un « taxi de la mer » par le ministre de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini.

    • New Italian-flagged migrant rescue ship heads into Mediterranean

      A new Italian-flagged migrant rescue ship was headed for the waters off Libya on Thursday, one of the aid groups running the boat said, after similar vessels were prevented from operating.

      “The #MareJonio is on its way!” Sea-Watch tweeted. “In cooperation with #Mediterranea we are back at sea, to keep a sharp lookout and to challenge the European policy of letting people drown.”

      The announcement came on the same day that the Aquarius rescue ship sailed into Marseille harbour and an uncertain fate after Panama pulled its flag, meaning it cannot leave port without a new flag.

      The Mare Jonio is a tug flying the Italian flag that left Augusta in Sicily on Wednesday evening, headed south, maritime tracking websites said. The 37-metre vessel – around half the length of the Aquarius – is not intended to rescue migrants and bring them to a safe port, but to spot and secure migrant-carrying boats that are in distress.

      It will also provide a civilian presence in an area where they say the Libyan coastguard and international military vessels are failing to rescue people, despite several shipwrecks in September. Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms sent the Astral sailboat to the area on a similar mission a few days ago.

      The Astral was off the coast of Lampedusa on Wednesday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of a shipwreck there in which 366 migrants died in 2013. The disaster pushed Italy to launch its Mare Nostrum military operation to rescue migrants making the perilous journey from North Africa to Europe.

      Since then European Union and NGO boats have joined in, although most of the aid group boats have now stopped work, some because of what they say are trumped-up administrative charges.

      The International Organisation for Migration says that around 15,000 migrants have drowned in the central Mediterranean since the Lampedusa disaster. During the same period Italy has received around 600,000 migrants on its coast, while other European nations have closed their borders.

      Italy’s former centre-left government tried to stem the flow of migrants by working with the Libyan authorities and limiting the NGO effort. Anti-immigrant Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who came to power as part of a populist government in June, has since then closed Italian ports to civilian and military boats that have rescued migrants, saying Italy bears an unfair share of the migrant burden.


      https://www.thelocal.it/20181004/new-italian-flagged-migrant-rescue-ship-heads-into-mediterranean
      #Mare_Jonio

    • Tweet de Matteo Villa:

      Tutto sbagliato nella missione di #Mediterranea. Un disastro pronto per succedere, sotto tutti i punti di vista: tecnico, logistico, politico. Non è così che si fa salvataggio in mare. E non è così che si fa azione politica.
      Il problema è molteplice. Non si va in mare: (a) con gente impreparata; (b) con navi scassate e che contengono a malapena l’equipaggio; (c) con intenti solo politici, senza possibilità di salvare vite; (d) con lo scopo di forzare, portando violenza dove dovrebbe esserci soccorso.

      https://twitter.com/emmevilla/status/1047886597071548416

    • Italian-flagged migrant rescue boat defies anti immigration minister

      Vessel Mare Jonio sets out towards Libya despite Matteo Salvini clampdown on rescued migrants entering Italian ports

      The first non-military, Italian-flagged, rescue boat to operate in the Mediterranean since the migration crisis began has left for waters off Libya, in a direct challenge to Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

      NGO rescue boats have all but disappeared from the main migration routes since Salvini announced soon after taking office this summer that he was closing Italian ports to non-Italian rescue vessels.

      The Italian flag on the 38-metre Mare Jonio will make it harder for Salvini to prevent it from docking, though he could still move to prevent people from disembarking. The boat has been bought and equipped by a coalition of leftwing politicians, anti-racist associations, intellectuals and figures in the arts, under the supervision of two NGOs. Its mission has been called Mediterranea.
      “We want to affirm a principle of humanity that rightwing policies seem to have forgotten,” Erasmo Palazzotto from the leftwing LeU (Free and Equal) party said.

      Anti-immigration policies by the Maltese and Italian governments, which have closed their ports to rescue vessels, have driven a sharp decrease in rescue missions. People seeking asylum are still attempting the risky crossing. But without the rescue boats, shipwrecks are likely to rise dramatically.
      Advertisement

      In August, Salvini refused a landing to 177 people saved in the central Mediterranean by an Italian coastguard ship. The vessel was authorised to dock at the port of Catania but the people on board were forced to remain on board for almost a week.

      ‘‘Should we expect Salvini to close the ports to us too? We are an Italian boat, flying the Italian flag. They will have to answer to this,” Palazzotto said. “If they then attempt to refuse to let the migrants disembark we will not remain silent and will give voice to them from the ship.”

      The ship has received support from the Spanish NGO Pro-Activa and the aid group Seawatch, as well as the writer Elena Stancanelli and the film director Paolo Virzì.

      “This is a moral disobedience mission but also a civil obedience one,” the Mediterranea mission’s press office said in a statement. “We will disobey nationalism and xenophobia. Instead we will obey our constitution, international law and the law of the sea, which includes saving lives.”

      The death toll in the central Mediterranean has fallen in the past year, but the number of those drowning as a proportion of arrivals in Italy has risen sharply in the past few months, with the possibility of dying during the crossing now three times higher. So far in 2018, 21,041 people have made the crossing and 1,260 have died.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/italian-flagged-migrant-rescue-boat-mare-jonio-sets-sail-in-challenge-t

    • Giovedì 4 ottobre – ore 16.25 – Salvini: “Nave Mediterranea? In Italia non ci arrivate”. “Ho saputo che c’è una nave dei centri sociali che vaga per il Mediterraneo per una missione umanitaria e proverà a sbarcare migranti in Italia. Fate quello che volete, prendete il pedalò. Andate in Tunisia, Libia o Egitto, ma in Italia nisba”. Lo ha detto il vicepremier e ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini in una diretta Facebook con riferimento alla nave italiana Mediterranea, salpata oggi per svolgere un’attività di monitoraggio, testimonianza e denuncia della situazione nel Mediterraneo.

      “Potete raccogliere chi volete però in Italia non ci arrivate”, ha aggiunto Salvini.

      https://www.tpi.it/2018/10/05/governo-ultime-news

    • *Perché la missione umanitaria «Mediterranea» rischia di diventare un boomerang*

      Mezzi inadeguati, personale non preparato, ricerca dello scontro diplomatico. «Politicizzare i salvataggi in mare rischia di non portare benefici», dice Matteo Villa dell’Ispi.

      Una piccola missione umanitaria nel Canale di Sicilia rischia di compromettere le operazioni di salvataggio dei migranti nel Mediterraneo, già rese complesse dalla politica dei respingimenti adottata dal governo italiano. Nella notte tra mercoledì e giovedì il piccolo rimorchiatore Mare Jonio è salpato dal porto di Augusta per dirigersi verso le acque sar (search and rescue) della Libia, nell’ambito dell’operazione denominata “Mediterranea”. La missione è stata preparata in gran segreto durante gli ultimi mesi e coinvolge ong (Sea Watch), associazioni (Ya Basta Bologna e Arci), e politici (Fratoianni, Palazzotto, Vendola e Muroni) che hanno raccolto i finanziamenti necessari. L’obiettivo – spiega il sito di “Mediterranea” – è quello di svolgere l’“essenziale funzione di testimonianza, documentazione e denuncia di ciò che accade in quelle acque, e che oggi nessuno è più messo nelle condizioni di svolgere”. Quasi un assist per il ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini, che l’ha subito definita una «nave di scalcagnati dei centri sociali che va a prendere tre merluzzetti». «E’ una sentinella civica, benvenga», ha commentato invece l’altro vicepremier, Luigi Di Maio, ribadendo la scarsa condivisione di vedute con la Lega in tema di immigrazione.

      Mare Jonio è un’imbarcazione datata – varata nel 1972 – e rimessa a nuovo per l’occasione, ma soprattutto piccola, con appena 35 metri di lunghezza e 9 di larghezza. E’ coadiuvata dal veliero Astral dell’ong Proactiva Open Arms, l’unica nave umanitaria ancora attiva nel Mediterraneo centrale (anch’essa con soli compiti di osservazione) e da una goletta con a bordo giornalisti e mediatori culturali. Degli 11 membri dell’equipaggio a bordo del Mare Jonio, fatta eccezione per due operatori dell’ong Sea Watch, nessuno ha esperienze di operazioni sar in mare. La nave è dotata di un solo Rhib (la sigla sta per Rigid Inflatable boats), uno dei piccoli motoscafi adatti a svolgere salvataggi, anche in condizioni difficili. Un container è stato invece adattato a ospedale di bordo, pronto a prestare soccorso in caso di emergenza.

      Nonostante la missione voglia essere una risposta delle ong alla campagna anti-migranti voluta dal governo gialloverde, le criticità sono diverse. “L’idea di fondo, quella di aumentare l’attenzione generale nel Mediterraneo, è giusta. Ma politicizzare i salvataggi in mare rischia di non portare benefici, soprattutto nel lungo periodo”, spiega al Foglio Matteo Villa dell’Ispi. Secondo il ricercatore, che da anni studia i flussi migratori attraverso il Mediterraneo, gli strumenti a disposizione di “Mediterranea” sono inadeguati rispetto all’obiettivo della missione: “Pensare di pattugliare una zona tanto vasta con una sola imbarcazione non ha senso, oltre a comportare un esborso eccessivo tra carburante e strumentazione. Se davvero l’attività principale è quella di monitorare, è molto più efficace usare gli aerei, come succede già con i ’Piloti volontari’, attivi con ottimi risultati da maggio”.

      Ma l’aspetto ancora più preoccupante riguarda i rischi cui saranno sottoposti sia i migranti sia l’equipaggio di “Mediterranea”. Dice Villa: “Le perplessità sono tante e sono condivise anche da molti altri operatori umanitari che con professionalità compiono attività sar. Sotto diversi punti di vista, sia logistici sia politici, la missione è pronta a trasformarsi in un disastro a causa della notevole approssimazione con cui è organizzata, dice il ricercatore dell’Ispi. Nella migliore delle ipotesi l’operazione potrebbe risolversi in una magra figura, come già successo un anno fa con ’Defend Europe’, la nave anti-ong partita per ostacolare le missioni umanitarie e poi finita in avaria”. Ma potrebbero crearsi anche circostanze più complesse. “In caso di identificazione di un barcone in emergenza non è chiaro come si comporterà Mare Jonio. Sulla base di quanto avviene già adesso, è probabile che contatterà il comando Mrcc di Roma che coordina le operazioni di salvataggio e che, a sua volta, contatterà le autorità libiche. Nel caso di intervento delle motovedette di Tripoli potrebbe succedere di tutto: il rimorchiatore come intende agire? Interverrà? Segnalerà l’emergenza e basta?”, si chiede Villa. Per non parlare delle difficoltà logistiche: “In quei momenti concitati i migranti, soprattutto alla vista delle motovedette libiche, sono presi dal panico, molti si gettano in acqua per paura di essere riportati indietro. A bordo del rimorchiatore pare possano essere raccolte poche persone, e certo non per lunghi periodi di tempo”. Andare a cercare lo scontro aperto o l’incidente diplomatico per riaccendere l’attenzione dei governi sui salvataggi in mare può trasformarsi in un boomerang per le ong. La mobilitazione è figlia senza dubbio della politica migratoria più stringente adottata dal governo italiano. “Ma affidare a gruppi antagonisti le operazioni di salvataggio, senza una preparazione e una visione di lungo periodo – conclude Villa – rischia di essere controproducente per chi ritiene i salvataggi in mare una questione molto seria”.

      https://www.ilfoglio.it/cronache/2018/10/05/news/perche-la-missione-umanitaria-mediterranea-rischia-di-diventare-un-boomeran

    • « On doit veiller à ce que ces gens ne se noient pas »

      L’Aquarius vient de perdre pour la deuxième fois son pavillon. Le navire de sauvetage fait route vers Malte avec 58 migrants à son bord. Sans pavillon, il devrait interrompre sa mission. Des parlementaires demandent qu’on lui donne le pavillon suisse.

      Avec les organisations d’entraide Médecins sans frontières (MSFLien externe) et SOS MéditerranéeLien externe, l’Aquarius sauve des migrants en détresse. Il est le dernier navire de sauvetage non gouvernemental en Méditerranée centrale. Depuis que l’Italie a fermé ses ports aux bateaux humanitaires, toutes les ONG se sont retirées du secteur.

      Le week-end dernier, le Panama a annoncé qu’il retirerait son pavillon à l’Aquarius, car celui-ci n’aurait pas respecté le droit international de la mer. En août, Gibraltar avait déjà biffé le navire de son registre maritime. Sans pavillon, l’Aquarius ne peut plus remplir ses missions de sauvetage.

      Cette semaine, trois parlementaires suisses ont demandé, par voie d’interpellation, un geste humanitaire de la Suisse, afin qu’elle accorde son pavillon à l’Aquarius. L’un d’eux est #Kurt_Fluri, conseiller national du Parti libéral-radical et maire de la ville de Soleure. Interview.

      swissinfo.ch : Vous avez la réputation d’être un politicien réaliste. Cette idée humanitaire a-t-elle des chances de passer ?

      Kurt Fluri : Ce qui nous émeut, ce sont les tragédies qui se jouent en Méditerranée. Et c’est peut-être une solution possible pour atténuer le problème. Je ne sais pas si c’est une illusion. C’est pourquoi nous posons la question au gouvernement.
      La Suisse n’a qu’une petite flotte marchande de 30 navires. Pourquoi devrait-elle précisément accorder son pavillon à un bateau de sauvetage ?

      Nous sommes tous d’accord qu’il s’agit d’une situation tout à fait exceptionnelle. Pour moi, cela ne change rien au fait que l’on devrait faire en sorte que ces gens n’essaient même pas de traverser la Méditerranée. Mais s’ils le font quand même, on doit veiller à ce qu’ils ne se noient pas et à ce qu’ils soient admis en Europe.
      Selon la loi, le pavillon suisse est réservé aux navires de commerce. S’il faut modifier la loi pour répondre à votre demande, cela va prendre beaucoup de temps pour que l’Aquarius puisse hisser le pavillon suisse. Or, il a besoin d’une solution rapide…

      Le sens de notre interpellation, c’est de clarifier à quelles conditions il serait possible d’arriver à quelque chose. Ce que nous allons faire concrètement dépendra de la réponse du gouvernement.
      Si l’Aquarius battait pavillon suisse, est-ce qu’il n’en résulterait pas automatiquement l’exigence que les migrants qu’il sauve soient conduits en Suisse ?

      Ici comme ailleurs, c’est le système de Dublin qui s’applique. Il définit quel pays est en charge de l’examen de la demande d’asile. Les requérants doivent demander l’asile dans le premier pays de l’UE ou pays signataire de l’accord, comme la Suisse, où ils arrivent. La répartition se fait ensuite.

      Toutefois, l’UE est invitée à décider d’une répartition plus équitable, afin de soulager le plus vite possible les pays méditerranéens, l’Italie, la Grèce et l’Espagne, des réfugiés qui arrivent chez eux.
      Avez-vous pleine confiance en les responsables de ce navire de sauvetage, auquel vous voulez accorder le pavillon suisse ?

      Oui, je fais confiance à ces responsables.
      Le Panama leur a pourtant retiré son pavillon au prétexte qu’ils auraient violé le droit maritime international…

      D’après moi, c’était pour se protéger. Le Panama veut se débarrasser de ce devoir, qui est apparemment devenu un fardeau pour lui.
      MSF et SOS Méditerranée disent que le Panama a retiré son pavillon sur pression de l’Italie. Ça vous paraît possible ?

      Il y a certainement eu des tentatives de pression.
      Cette pression ne pourrait-t-elle pas s’exercer sur la Suisse, si elle intervient ?

      C’est possible. Nous soutenons l’appel lancé à l’UE pour qu’elle décide d’une répartition plus équitable des réfugiés. L’Italie serait alors également satisfaite. Malheureusement, l’UE n’y arrive pas.

      https://www.swissinfo.ch/fre/pavillon-suisse-pour-l-aquarius-_-on-doit-veiller-%C3%A0-ce-que-ces-gens-ne-se-noient-pas-/44434264

    • Nous avons un navire !

      Dans un texte confié à Mediapart, le sociologue et activiste italien #Sandro_Mezzadra revient sur la mise à l’eau du « Mare-Ionio », ce navire battant pavillon italien, affrété jeudi par des activistes de la gauche italienne pour secourir des migrants en Méditerranée, en opposition aux politiques de l’extrême droite au pouvoir à Rome.

      Les noms des victimes résonnent les uns après les autres, des noms sans corps qui racontent une multitude de vies et d’histoires, brisées sur les frontières de l’Europe : le court-métrage de Dagmawi Yimer s’intitule Asmat-Nomi, une des œuvres les plus puissantes et évocatrices sur le naufrage du 3 octobre 2013 [visible ici : https://vimeo.com/114343040]

      . Au fond, l’anonymat est une des caractéristiques qui définissent les femmes, les hommes et les enfants en transit dans la mer Méditerranée — comme dans de nombreux autres espaces frontaliers. Réhabiliter la singularité irréductible d’une existence est le geste extrême de résistance que nous propose Asmat-Noms.

      Cinq ans après ce naufrage, alors que l’on continue de mourir en Méditerranée, nous avons mis un navire à la mer, le Mare-Ionio. Nous l’avons fait après un été marqué par un gouvernement italien qui a déclaré la guerre contre les migrations et contre les organisations non gouvernementales, en fermant les ports et en séquestrant sur un navire de la Garde côtière des dizaines de réfugié.e.s et de migrant.e.s. La criminalisation des opérations « humanitaires » a vidé la Méditerranée des présences gênantes, a repoussé les témoins et a réaffirmé l’anonymat de femmes et d’hommes en transit : à l’abri des regards indiscrets, la Garde côtière libyenne a pu renvoyer aux centres de détention, c’est-à-dire à la torture, à la violence et à l’esclavage, des centaines de personnes, tandis que d’autres ont fait naufrage. Et certains se réjouissent de cela, en criant victoire...

      Cela n’a pas été facile de réaliser la mise à l’eau du Mare-Ionio. La plateforme qui s’est appelée très simplement Operazione Mediterranea n’est pas une ONG : celles et ceux qui ont travaillé à la recherche et à la préparation de l’embarcation ces dernières semaines n’avaient aucune expérience de ce monde associatif. Mais sur les docks de nombreux ports, nous avons rencontré des gens qui nous ont aidé.e.s sur la base de rapports professionnels, mais aussi guidé.e.s par une solidarité instinctive et par l’élan de refus de plus en plus partagé par les gens de la mer, une réponse au mépris de la vie et du droit international — en particulier après l’affaire du navire Diciotti.

      L’expérience et la collaboration de diverses ONG actives ces dernières années dans la Méditerranée ont joué un rôle décisif dans la réalisation de notre projet. L’une d’entre elles (Sea-Watch) fait partie de la plateforme, tandis qu’Open Arms coordonnera ses activités avec les nôtres. D’autre part, l’opération que nous avons lancé affronte ouvertement la criminalisation actuelle des interventions « humanitaires ». Ils sont loin les jours où la « raison humanitaire » pouvait être analysée comme un élément appartenant à un système de gouvernance (des migrations, notamment) bien plus large. Le défi ne peut être que radicalement politique. Il s’agit d’investir en particulier cela : l’affirmation pratique du droit d’un ensemble de sujets non étatiques à intervenir politiquement dans une zone où les « autorités compétentes » violent de manière flagrante le devoir de préserver la vie des gens en transit.

      C’est autour de ce point que la plateforme Operazione Mediterranea : une plateforme ouverte à l’adhésion et à la participation de celles et ceux qui voudront nous soutenir dans les semaines à venir (notamment via un crowdfunding, ce qui est vraiment essentiel pour assurer la réalisation d’un projet ambitieux et prenant). Cet aspect est évidemment fondamental. Mais l’objectif est plus général : il s’agit d’ouvrir, à travers une pratique, un espace de débat, d’action et de conflit à propos des migrations en Italie et en Europe.

      Nous voudrions que notre navire fende la mer, comme la terre des mobilisations qui, sur la question migratoire, se sont déployées ces derniers mois, de Vintimille aux Pouilles, de Catane à Milan ; nous voudrions que le Mare-Ionio devienne une sorte de forum, que des milliers de femmes et d’hommes se l’approprient, qu’il soit présent sur les places et dans les rues, que de lui se propagent des récits d’une migration radicalement différente de celle incarnée par les menaces et les décrets de Salvini : nous voudrions que le navire soit un instrument pour proposer une Italie et une Europe autres.

      Nous ne sous-évaluons pas la difficulté de cette période. Nous savons que nous agissons en tant que minorité, que nous devons affronter une hégémonie qui nous est hostile concernant la migration ; nous savons que ces derniers mois l’équation entre le migrant et l’ennemi (à laquelle même des forces politiques qui ne se définissent pas de droite ont donné une contribution essentielle) a été exacerbée, autorisant et promouvant la diffusion en Italie d’un racisme de plus en plus agressif. Mais nous savons aussi que cette hégémonie peut et doit être renversée, en assumant les risques et le hasard qui sont inévitables. L’opération qui a commencé ce 3 octobre, date chargée d’une valeur symbolique, est une contribution qui va dans ce sens.

      Un navire, comme le disait C.L.R. James dans son grand livre sur Melville (écrit en 1952 dans une cellule d’Ellis Island, en attendant son expulsion des États-Unis pour « activité anti-américaine »), n’est au fond qu’un ensemble divers et varié des travaux et des activités à bord, qui littéralement le constituent. Voilà, notre navire ne serait rien sans la passion et l’engagement de centaines de femmes et d’hommes qui ont travaillé et qui travaillent pour le faire naviguer, mais aussi pour construire et démultiplier de nouvelles passerelles entre mer et terre. Un navire, comme le rajoutait James, « est une miniature du monde dans lequel nous vivons ». Dans notre cas, c’est une miniature du monde que nous nous engageons à construire. Et nous sommes certain.e.s que nous serons bientôt des milliers à partager cet engagement.

      https://blogs.mediapart.fr/les-invites-de-mediapart/blog/061018/nous-avons-un-navire

    • L’Aquarius, sous pavillon suisse ? Carlo Sommaruga face à Hugues Hiltpod

      Trois parlementaires suisses - Ada Marra (PS/VD) Guillaume Barrazone (PDC/GE) et Kurt Fluri (PLR/SO) - ont déposé à Berne une interpellation pour que notre pays octroie le pavillon national à l’Aquarius. Le navire affrété par SOS Méditerranée, qui est en mer depuis 2016, a recueilli quelque 30 000 personnes en danger de mort. Sur change.org, près de 20 000 personnes ont signé une pétition dans ce sens. Carlo Sommaruga, conseiller national socialiste et Hugues Hiltpold, conseiller national PLR exposent leurs point de vue.

      Pour un pavillon suisse humanitaire

      Carlo Sommaruga, conseiller national socialiste

      La Suisse doit accorder le pavillon à l’Aquarius, le bateau humanitaire affrété par SOS Méditerranée, pour secourir les migrants en perdition en pleine mer. C’est une nécessité humanitaire destinée à sauver des milliers de vies. Un geste qui s’inscrit dans la tradition humanitaire de la Suisse. En cohérence tant avec la générosité de la population suisse pour les populations en difficulté qu’avec la position défendue jusqu’à aujourd’hui par notre pays sur la scène politique et diplomatique internationale. Le dernier rapport de l’Organisation internationale des migrations montre que les traversées de la Méditerranée par des hommes et des femmes de tout âge, accompagnés de leurs enfants, voire de nouveau-nés, ont commencé dès les années 70.

      La cause en est la fermeture progressive de la migration légale par les pays européens, qui ont rejeté les migrants sur les routes clandestines et dangereuses, notamment la Méditerranée. Or, ceux qui depuis des décennies empruntent ces routes ne le font pas par plaisir ou par goût de l’aventure. Comme les Suisses du XIXe siècle dont plus de 500 000 rejoignirent les USA ou les 29 millions d’Italiens qui quittèrent leur pays de 1860 à nos jours, les migrants d’aujourd’hui se mettent en marche pour les mêmes raisons. La croissance démographique et le manque d’opportunités de travail dans les campagnes et dans les villes.

      Aujourd’hui s’ajoutent les affres des dictatures, comme en Érythrée, des conflits civils, comme en Libye, et des guerres internationales, comme en Syrie. En 2013, suite au naufrage de 366 migrants au large des côtes italiennes, le premier ministre Enrico Letta lançait l’opération Mare Nostrum. La marine italienne sauvait plus de 150 000 êtres humains de la noyade en Méditerranée. L’opération fut close en raison de la lâcheté des pays européens qui refusaient de venir en appui à l’Italie. L’Union européenne remplaça le dispositif de sauvetage par un dispositif de défense des frontières géré par Frontex. Depuis lors, ce sont les organisations humanitaires et leurs bateaux qui assument l’immense et courageuse tâche de sauver les naufragés en Méditerranée.

      Les bateaux se nomment Sea-eye, Lifeline, Aquarius et, depuis peu, le Mare Jonio. Au cours des deux dernières années SOS Méditerranée, organisation créée et soutenue par des citoyens européens, par son navire l’Aquarius, a sauvé 29 600 personnes, soit l’équivalent de la population de Lancy. L’Aquarius comme les autres bateaux humanitaires doivent poursuivre leur mission aussi longtemps que les États se défaussent de leurs responsabilités.

      Il est inacceptable que l’Aquarius reste à quai sans pavillon alors que des personnes meurent en pleine Méditerranée. La Suisse neutre doit rester fidèle à ses engagements humanitaires, qu’elle a poursuivi en soutenant le CICR, le HCR et bien d’autres organisations. Elle doit accorder le pavillon. La loi le permet et cela ne coûte rien. Il faut saluer l’intervention de parlementaires du PLR, PDC, Verts et PS dans ce sens, tout comme la lettre adressée ce jour par des personnalités au Conseil fédéral. Refuser le pavillon à l’Aquarius, c’est un choix politique. Celui de mépris de la vie et du rejet de la solidarité humaine. Il faut tous espérer que Conseil fédéral ne s’inscrive pas dans cette logique.

      Haut de la page

      Aquarius : le respect de la loi avant tout !

      Hugues Hiltpold, conseiller national PLR

      La crise des migrants en Méditerranée est terrible, personne ne peut le contester. Bon nombre de personnes sont attirées par l’Europe et se livrent à la merci de passeurs peu scrupuleux, avec à la clé de nombreux et épouvantables drames humains. Durant deux ans, le navire humanitaire Aquarius, ancien navire des gardes-côtes allemands battant pavillon panaméen, a secouru près de 30 000 personnes en détresse. Avec un certain succès il faut le reconnaître. Puis, sous pression internationale, il a cessé de battre pavillon panaméen, errant en mer quelque temps à la recherche d’un port d’accueil voulant bien l’accueillir.

      Ayant mouillé l’ancre aujourd’hui à Marseille, il attend de pouvoir naviguer à nouveau, mais a besoin pour ce faire qu’un pays accepte qu’il puisse battre son pavillon. Certains élus fédéraux estiment que ce navire humanitaire devrait battre pavillon suisse. Or, la loi suisse ne le permet tout simplement pas. L’article 3 de la loi fédérale sur la navigation maritime sous pavillon suisse stipule qu’un pavillon suisse ne peut être arboré que par des navires suisses. L’article 35 de cette même loi précise, s’agissant de la navigation non professionnelle, que des exceptions peuvent être autorisées par le Département fédéral des affaires étrangères pour inscrire, dans le registre des navires suisses, un bâtiment exploité par une société suisse ou ayant son siège en Suisse, à des fins notamment humanitaires.

      Cette dérogation doit faire l’objet d’une enquête minutieuse permettant de fixer les conditions de la dérogation, notamment eu égard aux intérêts pour la Suisse de justifier cette dérogation. Il convient de noter qu’une telle dérogation est exceptionnelle. On constate que la situation actuelle du navire humanitaire Aquarius n’est pas conforme à la loi.

      Il n’est pas contesté que l’association SOS Méditerranée, qui exploite l’Aquarius, n’est pas suisse, n’a pas son siège en Suisse et n’a aucune relation particulière avec notre pays.

      Dès lors, permettre à l’Aquarius de battre pavillon suisse reviendrait purement et simplement à bafouer la loi ! Ce faisant, nous violerions de surcroît les accords de Schengen et Dublin qui nous lient avec l’Union européenne, au respect desquels ceux qui voudraient accorder le pavillon Suisse à l’Aquarius sont notoirement attachés. Aussi terrible que soit cette catastrophe humanitaire, elle ne doit pas conduire notre pays à bafouer notre État de droit et le droit international. Il en va de notre crédibilité et du respect de nos institutions.

      https://www.tdg.ch/blog-wch/standard/aquarius-pavillon-suisse-carlo-sommaruga-face-hugues-hiltpod/story/31191020

    • Migrants : le hold-up de la Libye sur les sauvetages en mer

      Cet été, en Méditerranée, la Libye a créé en toute discrétion sa propre « zone de recherche et de secours », où ses garde-côtes sont devenus responsables de la coordination de tous les sauvetages, au grand dam de l’Aquarius et des ONG. Enquête sur une décision soutenue par l’Union européenne qui jette toujours plus de confusion en mer.

      Vu de loin, c’est un « détail ». Un simple ajout sur une carte maritime. Cet été, la Libye a tracé une ligne en travers de la Méditerranée, à 200 kilomètres environ au nord de Tripoli. En dessous, désormais, c’est sa zone SAR (dans le jargon), sa « zone de recherche et de secours ». Traduction ? À l’intérieur de ce gigantesque secteur, les garde-côtes libyens sont devenus responsables de l’organisation et de la coordination des secours – en lieu et place des Italiens.

      Pour les navires humanitaires, la création de cette « SAR » libyenne, opérée en toute discrétion, est tout sauf un « détail ». Il n’est pas un sauveteur de l’Aquarius, pas un soutier du Mare Jonio ni de l’Astral (partis relayer sur place le bateau de SOS Méditerranée) qui ne l’ait découvert avec stupeur. Car non seulement les garde-côtes libyens jettent leurs « rescapés » en détention dès qu’ils touchent la terre ferme, mais certaines de leurs unités sont soupçonnées de complicité avec des trafiquants et leurs violences sont régulièrement dénoncées.

      Pour les migrants qui s’élancent en rafiot de Sabratha ou Zaouïa, ce « détail » est surtout une trahison supplémentaire : l’Union européenne a budgété plus de 8 millions d’euros en 2017 pour aider Tripoli à créer cette zone « SAR » bien à elle. Alors que les vingt-huit ministres de l’intérieur doivent discuter vendredi 12 octobre du renforcement des frontières de l’UE, Mediapart a enquêté sur ces trois petites lettres qui mettent les humanitaires en colère et jettent la confusion en mer.

      Pour comprendre, il faut d’abord savoir que la Libye, comme n’importe quel État côtier, est souveraine dans ses « eaux territoriales ». Sur cette bande de 19 kilomètres, les garde-côtes de Tripoli ont toujours joué à domicile et jamais l’Aquarius n’y aventurerait sa quille. Mais au-delà, la Méditerranée se complique, elle se découpe en zones SAR : celle de l’Italie ici, celle de la Grèce là-bas, celles de Malte ou encore de l’Égypte, toutes déclarées auprès de l’Organisation maritime internationale (OMI), chacune associée à un « centre de coordination des secours » national (ou MRCC), qui reçoit l’ensemble des signaux de détresse émis dans sa zone, de même que les appels des navires humanitaires qui repèrent des migrants aux jumelles.

      Selon les conventions internationales, chaque MRCC, celui de Rome par exemple, a ensuite la responsabilité d’organiser les secours dans son secteur, de solliciter les navires les mieux placés (tankers et militaires compris), de dépêcher ses propres garde-côtes si nécessaire.

      Jusqu’ici, au large de ses eaux territoriales, la Libye n’avait pas déclaré de zone SAR, faute d’une flotte suffisante et surtout d’un « centre de coordination » en état de marche, capable de communiquer avec la haute mer par exemple. Pour éviter un « triangle des Bermudes » des secours, les Italiens s’y étaient donc collés ces dernières années, élargissant de fait – sinon en droit – leur champ d’activité. Puis le 28 juin dernier, sans prévenir, Tripoli a déclaré sa zone « SAR » et son « centre de coordination » auprès de l’OMI, officialisés du jour au lendemain. Les Italiens ont passé la main. Changement de régime.

      Depuis, dans l’esprit des Libyens, « aucun navire étranger n’a le droit d’accéder [à leur SAR] sauf demande expresse [de leur part] ». C’est ainsi, en tout cas, que le commandant de la base navale de Tripoli, Abdelhakim Bouhaliya, interprétait les choses en 2017 – quand les autorités avaient esquissé une première SAR avant de se rétracter. Dans leur viseur : « les ONG qui prétendent vouloir sauver les migrants clandestins et mener des actions humanitaires », selon les mots sans fard du général Ayoub Kacem, l’un des porte-parole de la marine à l’époque. Un an plus tard, la SAR est bel et bien là. Et il devient urgent que les garde-côtes ouvrent un manuel de droit.

      Car en principe, « la navigation dans leur SAR reste libre, décrypte Kiara Neri, spécialiste de droit maritime et maîtresse de conférences à l’université Jean-Moulin-Lyon-III. Ils n’ont absolument pas le pouvoir d’interdire leur SAR aux navires humanitaires, ce n’est pas devenu leur chasse gardée ». Dans les faits, pourtant, « ils font comme s’ils étaient souverains, s’indigne Nicola Stalla, coordinateur des sauvetages sur l’Aquarius. Ils étaient déjà agressifs avant, mais ils se comportent de plus en plus comme s’ils étaient dans leurs eaux territoriales. Ils ordonnent aux ONG de s’éloigner, ils menacent, par le passé ils ont déjà ouvert le feu plusieurs fois ».

      Concrètement, depuis cet été, « ce n’est plus Rome mais le MRCC de Tripoli qui reçoit les signaux d’alerte et désigne le navire le plus proche pour intervenir », insiste Kiara Neri. À supposer qu’ils répondent aux appels, déjà. « Le MRCC de Rome, lui, était efficace, regrette Nicola Stalla. Quand j’appelais, il y avait toujours un officier à qui parler. Là c’est tout le contraire : les garde-côtes libyens ne répondent pas, ou ne parlent pas bien anglais, ou ne répercutent pas les infos à tous les navires présents sur la zone… » Il y a quelques jours, l’association Pilotes volontaires, qui scrute la mer depuis le ciel à bord de son petit Colibri, s’est aussi arraché les cheveux. « On a repéré une embarcation avec une vingtaine de migrants, raconte un bénévole. On a vite appelé Rome, qui nous a renvoyés automatiquement sur Tripoli, qui n’a jamais répondu. » Ils ont fini par contacter, en direct, un tanker qui croisait à proximité. Du bricolage impensable jusqu’à cet été.

      À supposer qu’ils réagissent correctement, les Libyens peuvent aussi être tentés d’ignorer les humanitaires, de « privilégier » leurs garde-côtes pour les sauvetages, voire des navires marchands. Car ces derniers acceptent parfois de remettre aux Libyens les migrants qu’ils « repêchent », de les transborder en pleine mer pour s’en débarrasser sans trop se dérouter, sans égard pour le droit international qui impose de débarquer ses rescapés dans un « port sûr » où les droits de l’homme sont respectés – ce que la Libye n’est certainement pas, de l’avis même du HCR, l’agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés. « Sans ONG pour témoigner, ces personnes sont perdues dans la narration », dénonce l’Italien Nicola Stalla, d’une formule presque poétique.

      Et si les humanitaires repèrent un pneumatique par eux-mêmes, peuvent-ils désormais être interdits de sauvetage ? « Il y a une subtilité, répond Kiara Neri. Dans leur SAR, les Libyens ont compétence pour coordonner les opérations. Donc s’ils approchent d’une embarcation en détresse [en même temps que l’Aquarius par exemple – ndlr], ils peuvent toujours dire : “On s’en occupe.” Mais ils n’ont certainement pas le droit de monter à bord, aucun pouvoir de police… » Dans les faits, la confusion est à son maximum.

      Ainsi, le 23 septembre, l’Aquarius et les garde-côtes libyens se sont disputés quarante-sept vies en pleine nuit, pendant des heures. Directement alerté par Alarm Phone (une sorte de « central téléphonique » associatif à disposition des migrants qui tentent la traversée), l’Aquarius a foncé vers le secteur indiqué tout en contactant le MRCC de Tripoli, conformément à ses obligations. Au début, pas de réponse. Puis un accord de principe. Puis un patrouilleur libyen arrivé sur le tard a voulu stopper le sauvetage entamé (des femmes et des enfants d’abord), pour reprendre l’affaire en mains. « Quittez la zone ! », ont hurlé les garde-côtes à la radio, selon une journaliste du Monde à bord. « Vous connaissez Tripoli ? Vous voulez venir faire une petite visite ? (…) Vous allez avoir de gros problèmes, on ne veut plus coopérer avec vous parce que vous nous désobéissez. » Le capitaine a tenu bon, mais l’Aquarius a quitté la zone à l’issue de l’opération – sa dernière à ce jour, puisque le Panama l’a privé de pavillon.

      « Le comble du cynisme »

      « Si nous trouvons une embarcation en détresse dans la SAR libyenne, nous ferons le sauvetage même si les garde-côtes demandent de ne pas intervenir », annonce aussi l’équipe de l’Aita Mari, un chalutier basque espagnol sur le point de prendre la route de la Méditerranée centrale, à l’initiative de deux ONG (Salvamento maritimo humanitario et Proem-Aid) soutenues par le gouvernement régional de centre-droit (qui a déboursé 400 000 euros), ainsi que de petites communes basques et andalouses. « La loi, c’est celle du port sûr. Peu importe que l’OMI ait dit “Oui” à la Libye », résume Daniel Rivas Pacheco, porte-parole du projet.

      D’ailleurs, comment une telle zone de « secours » a-t-elle pu être créée ? La Libye, membre de l’OMI (institution des Nations unies) et signataire des conventions internationales sur le secours en mer, a simplement déclaré les coordonnées géographiques de sa zone et de son MRCC. En fait, l’OMI ne « reconnaît » pas les SAR, elle les enregistre, sans audit préalable. N’a-t-elle pas le pouvoir de rejeter l’initiative d’un pays dénué de « port sûr » ? « L’OMI n’a pas le droit de décider si tel ou tel pays est un lieu sûr », nous répondent ses services. Elle peut toujours intervenir en cas de « coordonnée non valide » ou d’« erreur typographique ». Pour le reste…

      Ce processus de déclaration suppose tout de même une coordination préalable avec les pays voisins et des discussions préparatoires (Mediapart a retrouvé un point d’étape soumis à l’OMI en décembre 2017 par l’Italie, qui évoque le soutien de l’UE). Rome et l’Europe ont bien encouragé Tripoli à prendre ses « responsabilités ».

      Pour s’en convaincre, il faut se plonger dans les détails d’un vaste programme européen de soutien à la Libye datant de 2017, doté de 46 millions d’euros, qui vise tout à la fois le renforcement de ses frontières, la lutte contre son immigration illégale et l’amélioration de ses opérations de sauvetage en mer. On y découvre que l’UE a budgété plus de 6 millions d’euros, sur plusieurs années, rien que pour aider Tripoli à créer sa propre SAR et son MRCC « maison » – auxquels s’est ajouté 1,8 million via le Fonds pour la sécurité intérieure de l’Union.

      Les activités programmées ne peuvent être plus claires : « Assister les autorités libyennes pour qu’elles soient en capacité de déclarer une zone SAR », « Évaluations techniques pour la conception d’un véritable MRCC », « Formation pour le personnel opérationnel du MRCC », « Aider les garde-côtes à organiser leur unité SAR » ou encore « à développer des procédures SAR standard », etc.

      Jusqu’ici, on avait surtout entendu parler des fonds européens engagés pour former les garde-côtes (au droit international, au droit des réfugiés, etc.) ou de la fourniture d’équipements censés améliorer la qualité et l’efficacité de leurs opérations de « secours » (voir ici notre précédent article). Les ONG s’en étaient indignées, moult fois. Mais c’est encore autre chose que d’aider les Libyens à élargir leur périmètre d’action, à endosser la responsabilité des opérations au-delà même de leurs eaux territoriales.

      « L’idée n’est évidemment pas de les mettre en compétition avec les ONG et les autres acteurs, plaide-t-on à la Commission. C’est de lutter contre les trafiquants et de sauver des vies. » L’UE n’en démord pas.

      Les services de la Commission tiennent tout de même à préciser qu’à ce stade, sur les quelque 8 millions d’euros budgétés, seul 1,8 million a effectivement été déboursé pour une « étude de faisabilité » de la SAR libyenne. Rien d’autre n’aurait été mis en place avant que la Libye ne dégaine le 28 juin, plus vite que son ombre, aiguillonnée par l’Italie de Matteo Salvini.

      « Le secours n’est absolument pas la priorité de l’Union européenne, dénonce Charles Heller, chercheur associé à l’agence Forensic Architecture, collectif basé à l’université londonienne de Goldsmiths qui enquête sur les violations des droits humains, notamment en Méditerranée. Ce que font les garde-côtes libyens, ce sont des interceptions, de pures opérations de contrôle des frontières pour le compte de l’UE. »

      En 2012, rappelle-t-il, la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme avait condamné l’Italie pour ses pratiques de « refoulement direct » de migrants, après qu’un vaisseau de la marine nationale avait récupéré à son bord (soit sur le sol italien juridiquement) des Somaliens et des Érythréens, raccompagnés illico à Tripoli sans qu’ils aient pu exercer leur droit fondamental à demander l’asile. La nouvelle politique consiste donc « à opérer des “refoulements indirects”, à externaliser auprès des Libyens le contrôle de nos frontières », analyse Charles Heller. « Après une phase de criminalisation des ONG, après l’aide au rétablissement d’une institution de garde-côtes à peu près fonctionnelle, la déclaration d’une SAR libyenne était fondamentale pour donner à ces opérations un vernis humanitaire. Il fallait que les garde-côtes libyens aient tous les attributs : une SAR, un MRCC, etc. C’est la consécration d’un processus. Sachant que ces opérations de “secours” ont pour effet de ramener des gens sur un territoire où leurs droits sont systématiquement violés, c’est le comble du cynisme. »

      Sauvé le 21 juin dernier par le Lifeline, un exilé du Darfour a confié à Mediapart qu’il avait été intercepté trois fois en mer par les garde-côtes libyens, et ramené trois fois dans des centres de détention officiels où les gardiens « frappent tout le monde, tout le temps, avec des bâtons ». « On nettoyait, on lavait le linge, on faisait de la peinture sans être jamais payés », raconte Abazer, aujourd’hui réfugié en France, évoquant une forme d’« esclavage ». Ça, un port sûr ?

      « L’UE fait décidément preuve d’un grand courage, grince Patrick Chaumette, professeur de droit à l’université de Nantes. On laisse les Libyens menacer les ONG, tirer en l’air, confondre leur SAR avec leurs eaux territoriales, dire : “Vous devez nous obéir !”… On a des politiques qui trouvent des prétextes fallacieux pour poursuivre leur véritable objectif : aider la Libye à empêcher les départs en mer. Comme si le droit ne servait plus à rien. Pour nous, universitaires, c’est terrifiant. »

      D’après des chiffres provisoires compilés par Matteo Villa, chercheur pour un think tank italien (l’ISPI), 1 072 migrants se seraient lancés depuis la Libye en septembre, 713 auraient été interceptés, 125 auraient posé le pied en Europe, 234 auraient disparu. Soit un taux de mortalité de plus de 21 %, treize fois plus élevé qu’il y a un an, jamais atteint depuis des années.


      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/111018/migrants-le-hold-de-la-libye-sur-les-sauvetages-en-mer
      #SAR #zone_SAR #cartographie #visualisation

    • Barcone in avaria con 70 persone al largo di Lampedusa: l’Italia prima dice no, poi interviene

      Dopo il braccio di ferro con la nave «Mare Jonio» che ha raccolto l’sos e si è diretta sul posto. E con Malta che non aveva mezzi per i soccorsi. Soddisfatti gli attivisti del progetto umanitario Mediterranea: «Siamo felici che tutti siano in salvo»

      Un barcone con 70 migranti partito dalla Libia venerdì mattina è stato scortato dalle motovedette della Guardia Costiera italiana fino al porto di Lampedusa dove ha attraccato in banchina intorno alle tre del mattino. Di lì a poco, è iniziato lo sbarco dei suoi passeggeri. E questa, già di per sé, è una notizia in epoca di porti chiusi, respingimenti e frontiere blindate. Ma lo è ancora di più se si considera che il gesto della Guardia Costiera è stato solo l’atto finale, la resa, di una lunga partita a scacchi giocata sin dalle sette del pomeriggio dal rimorchiatore Mare Jonio – la nave del progetto Mediterranea – contro le autorità, maltesi prima, e italiane poi.

      La Mare Jonio, giunta al suo ultimo giorno di missione nelle acque libiche, stava lentamente tornando verso l’Italia quando, poco dopo il tramonto, è stata raggiunta da un Navtext, un messaggio di allerta, inviato dalle autorità di La Valletta (l’Mrcc, maritime rescue coordination center): nel testo si segnalava “un gommone in avaria con 70 persone a bordo in acque maltesi”. L’imbarcazione, stando alle coordinate messe nero su bianco nel messaggio, si trovava sì in una zona di competenza maltese ma molto vicino all’isola di Lampedusa. Praticamente al confine. Il messaggio non dava altri elementi.

      La Mare Jonio si trovava, in quel momento, a 40 miglia di distanza dal gommone. Ci sarebbero volute almeno quattro ore buone. Dopo aver modificato la rotta, la plancia del rimorchiatore italiano ha così deciso di mettersi in contatto con Mrcc Malta per avere eventuali altre informazioni o, quanto meno, capire la fonte di quella notizia. I maltesi, però, non avevano altri elementi utili. E soprattutto non avevano mezzi a disposizione per arrivare “fino là” a vedere che cosa era capitato al gommone. Quanto alla fonte, era l’Alarmphone: un servizio dedicato che smista allarmi raccolti dalle varie imbarcazioni che incrociano nel Mediterraneo.

      La Mare Jonio ha così provato a tirare quel filo, ha chiamato Alarmphone e ha chiesto informazioni, scoprendo che di quell’allarme, loro, non sapevano nulla. Malta, dunque, aveva mentito.Mentre il rimorchiatore procedeva verso le coordinate impostate subito dopo l’arrivo del Navtext, gli italiani hanno quindi chiamato l’Mrcc di Roma. E’ vero che l’imbarcazione era in zona di competenza maltese, ma è vero anche che era in avaria e che, stando alle informazioni, la corrente la stava spingendo verso le acque italiane. E poi Malta aveva dichiaratamente rinunciato a intervenire. Il naufragio di quelle settanta anime, insomma, era un rischio più che concreto. La risposta delle autorità italiane è però stata piuttosto rigida. Burocratica. “In acque di competenza maltese coordina Malta. Non è un problema nostro, quando verranno in acque italiane, vedremo”.

      La situazione agli occhi degli attivisti cominciava a farsi preoccupante. Né La Valletta né Roma volevano intervenire e la Mar Jonio era a quattro ore di distanza. E’ cominciata così una lunga serie di telefonate tra il parlamentare di Sinistra Italiana, Erasmo Palazzotto – uno degli ideatori della Missione Mediterranea – la Guardia Costiera e il ministero delle Infrastrutture. Danilo Toninelli aveva il telefono staccato, e dunque il dossier era gestito dal capo di Gabinetto, Gino Scaccia. Il quale però non ha voluto andare oltre il concetto iniziale: “Acque maltesi-problema maltese”.

      Il comandante della Guardia Costiera di fronte alle insistenze di Palazzotto, “siamo una nave italiana e le segnaliamo un problema a due miglia dalle acque italiane”, ha spiegato che “nessuna nave italiana quando ha un problema in Brasile si sogna di chiamare la Guardia Costiera italiana”. Il resto della triangolazione è stato utile solamente per capire tre cose. Uno quello che inizialmente doveva essere un gommone era in realtà un barcone di legno. Due, l’avevano trovato due pescherecci tunisini (il Fauzi e l’Adamir) che però dopo aver dato l’allarme se ne erano andati. Tre, a distanza di quattro ore, il Mare Jonio continuava ad essere l’unica imbarcazione che si stava dirigendo verso il barcone per cercare di trarre in salvo le settanta persone che erano a bordo.

      Era l’una del mattino, ormai. E il rimorchiatore era quasi arrivato alla zona indicata dal primo allarme. Ma in mare non c’era nessuno. Dalla plancia hanno ricontattato sia Roma che La Valletta per avere coordinate più precise. Ma dai due Mrcc sono arrivate le indicazioni di due punti diversi. A distanza di dodici miglia l’uno dall’altro, più di un’ora di navigazione: mentre i maltesi davano l’imbarcazione in acque italiane, molto vicino a Lampedusa, secondo gli italiani il barcone si trovava ancora nel mare di Malta.

      A quel punto il rimorchiatore ha smesso di contare sugli aiuti via radio delle autorità che evidentemente stavano giocando a nascondere la barca più che a fargliela trovare e hanno cominciato a perlustrare la zona, partendo dalle coordinate fornite dall’Mrcc italiano. Dopo nemmeno mezz’ora, via radio, l’ultima comunicazione della nottata: “La Guardia Costiera italiana ha intercettato il barcone a 2,7 miglia da Lampedusa. E l’ha scortato in porto. I migranti stanno tutti bene”. Festeggiano quelli di Mediterranea: “Siamo felici di apprendere che dopo una notte di monitoraggi e segnalazioni queste persone siano in salvo, in Italia”.


      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/10/12/news/gommone_con_70_persone_in_avaria_davanti_a_lampedusa_mare_jonio_chiede_in

    • Un jeune migrant marocain de 16 ans blessé par balles par la #Marine_royale

      La Marine royale a encore tiré à balles réelles sur des migrants. Après la mort de #Hayat, c’est cette fois-ci un jeune de 16 ans qui est blessé par balles à l’épaule lors de l’interception d’une barque transportant 50 migrants, tous marocains, qui tentaient de rejoindre illégalement l’Europe, selon 2M.ma citant une source sécuritaire et précisant sur Twitter qu’il s’agissait « de tirs de sommations d’usage en direction de l’embarcation ». L’adolescent blessé a d’ores et déjà été transporté vers l’hôpital de Tanger, précise la même source. L’embarcation interceptée tôt ce matin se trouvait entre Assilah et Larache, sur la façade Atlantique des côtes marocaines. Contactée par Le Desk, une source militaire autorisée confirme l’information précisant qu’un communiqué officiel est en cours de préparation.

      https://ledesk.ma/encontinu/un-jeune-migrant-marocain-de-16-ans-blesse-par-balles-par-la-marine-royale

    • Au Maroc, deux ans de prison pour avoir dénoncé sur #Facebook la mort d’une migrante

      La jeune femme originaire de Tétouan a été tuée fin septembre par des tirs de la marine royale alors qu’elle tentait de rejoindre clandestinement les côtes espagnoles.

      Un Marocain a été condamné à deux ans de prison ferme pour avoir protesté sur les réseaux sociaux contre la mort d’une jeune migrante tuée fin septembre par des tirs de la marine marocaine, a-t-on appris jeudi 18 octobre auprès de son avocat.

      #Soufiane_Al-Nguad, 32 ans, a été condamné dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi par le tribunal de Tétouan, ville du nord du Maroc, pour « #outrage_au_drapeau_national », « #propagation_de_la_haine » et « #appel_à_l’insurrection_civile », selon son avocat Jabir Baba. Il avait été interpellé début octobre, après des troubles lors d’un match de football le 30 septembre à Tétouan.

      Selon son avocat, avant ce match, M. Al-Nguad avait appelé, à travers des publications sur sa page Facebook, le groupe des ultras Los Matadores du club de football local à « manifester et à porter des habits noirs de deuil » pour protester contre le décès de #Hayat_Belkacem.

      La mort de cette étudiante de 22 ans, tuée le 25 septembre par la marine marocaine alors qu’elle tentait de gagner clandestinement les côtes espagnoles en bateau, avait suscité la colère dans le pays. Les autorités marocaines avaient dit avoir visé l’embarcation en raison de ses « manœuvres hostiles ».

      « Venger Hayat »

      Dix-neuf supporters âgés de 14 à 23 ans sont également jugés à Tétouan pour « outrage au drapeau national », « manifestation non autorisée » et « destruction de biens publics et privés », pour avoir manifesté le soir du même match.

      Ces supporters avaient été arrêtés peu après pour avoir brandi des drapeaux espagnols et crié des slogans comme « Viva España » (« Vive l’Espagne ») lors du match. Ils avaient aussi manifesté sur le chemin du stade en appelant à « #venger_Hayat ».

      Ces dernières semaines, des dizaines de vidéos montrant des jeunes Marocains en route vers l’Espagne à bord de bateaux pneumatiques sont devenues virales sur les réseaux sociaux, dans un pays marqué par de grandes inégalités sociales sur fond de chômage élevé chez les jeunes.

      Depuis le début de l’année, l’Espagne est devenue la première porte d’entrée vers l’Europe, avec près de 43 000 arrivées par voie maritime et terrestre, selon l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM).

      https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/10/18/au-maroc-deux-ans-de-prison-pour-avoir-denonce-sur-facebook-la-mort-d-une-mi
      #réseaux_sociaux #délit_de_solidarité #condamnation #résistance #manifestation

    • Avec l’équipage du « Mare Ionio », les anti-Salvini retrouvent de la voix en Italie

      Le Mare Ionio, parti des côtes italiennes le 4 octobre, sillonne la Méditerranée pour une mission de surveillance et de contrôle. Dans un pays gouverné par l’extrême droite, une myriade d’acteurs de la société civile a imaginé cette aventure, humanitaire mais aussi très politique.

      Palerme (Italie), correspondance.- Sur le mur de la cour du centre Santa Chiara, en plein cœur de la Palerme populaire, cinq visages s’affichent, vidéo-projetés dans l’obscurité. Tee-shirts blancs siglés du logo bleu et rouge de la plateforme civile Mediterranea, traits fatigués, les membre de l’équipage du Mare Ionio s’apprêtent à dresser un bilan de leur première semaine en mer.

      « Regardez, on peut dire qu’il y a du monde ce soir, vous les voyez ? » interroge Alessandra Sciurba, face aux mines circonspectes de l’équipage. Au moins 200 personnes sont venues écouter les cinq hommes. « Ça fait plaisir, on se sent parfois très seuls en mer », sourit Luca Casarini, un activiste italien connu pour sa participation au mouvement de désobéissance civile Tute Bianche (« Les Blouses blanches »), particulièrement actif de 1994 à 2001.

      Malgré la connexion parfois hésitante de l’équipage, qui se trouve à 35 miles de Khoms et de la côte libyenne, Erasmo Palazzotto se lance, en direct sur Skype : « Le climat est surréaliste ici. On n’a croisé personne d’autre, la radio est silencieuse. C’est comme si la mer était déserte. » Copropriétaire du bateau Mare Ionio, député palermitain de la Sinistra italiana (« Gauche italienne », à la gauche des sociaux-démocrates), il se réjouit : « On ne sait pas si c’est parce que nous sommes présents en mer mais Malte a effectué un sauvetage de deux embarcations de migrants. Ça faisait près d’un an que ce n’était pas arrivé. »

      La remarque sur le sauvetage de 220 personnes les 6 et 7 octobre au large des eaux maltaises n’est pas anodine. Depuis la formation du nouveau gouvernement italien et la nomination de Matteo Salvini au ministère de l’intérieur en juin, la Méditerranée centrale est devenue le terrain d’une véritable bataille navale. Les ONG évincées, les cartes sont redistribuées entre gardes-côtes italiens, maltais et libyens.

      Battant pavillon italien, composé d’un équipage italien, le Mare Ionio s’est donné pour mission de surveiller, contrôler et témoigner de ce qui se passe en Méditerranée centrale, dans ce tronçon de mer emprunté par les migrants pour rejoindre les côtes italiennes et déserté par les bateaux des ONG depuis quelques semaines. Il ne s’agit donc pas d’un bateau de sauvetage, même si l’équipage est paré à cette éventualité.

      Matteo Salvini a bien compris la portée politique de cette aventure. Quelques heures après l’annonce du départ de l’embarcation, le 4 octobre, il avait offert à ses sympathisants un direct Facebook plus exalté qu’à son habitude. « Prenez un pédalo, faites ce que vous voulez », a-t-il ironisé, mais hors de question d’amener des migrants en Italie, a-t-il poursuivi, ricanant au sujet de ce « bateau des centres sociaux qui erre en Méditerranée ».

      Parmi les protagonistes de la plateforme civile Mediterranea, personne ne s’aventure sur le terrain de la politique partisane. Comme si, d’une certaine manière, le paysage politique italien n’était pas à la hauteur des enjeux. « Attention, on n’est pas là pour reconstruire la gauche italienne », met en garde Fausto Melluso de l’Arci Porco Rosso, un local associatif particulièrement impliqué dans l’aide aux migrants.

      Même le député de Gauche italienne évite les joutes politiques et élude : « Je représente des milliers de personnes indignées par ce qui se passe et qui n’ont peut-être pas voté pour moi mais avaient besoin de savoir qu’une partie des institutions italiennes se trouve ici, au milieu de cette bataille historique entre barbarie et civilisation. » Une indignation qu’ils ont voulu « transformer en action », ajoute-t-il.

      « On discute de politique à terre, pas en mer. En mer, on ne laisse personne mourir, on amène les gens dans un port sûr et ensuite on discute de ce que vous voulez », tranche Giorgia Linardi, porte-parole en Italie de l’ONG allemande Sea Watch, qui est associée au projet Mediterranea.

      « C’est une mission d’obéissance civile et de désobéissance morale. On ne pouvait pas se résoudre à se dire que c’était la seule société possible », résume Alessandra Sciurba, l’une des membres de la plateforme Mediterranea et chercheuse à l’université de Palerme. Tous répètent à l’envi cette formule, énoncée par Marta Pastor, jeune diplômée de 26 ans qui s’est embarquée sur le bateau comme bénévole : « L’important, pour nous, c’est aussi de nous sauver nous-mêmes, de nous sauver des saletés qui se passent tous les jours sous nos yeux. »

      Pour Alessandra Sciurba, ce défi va bien au-delà de l’Italie : « Dans le débat politique, tout un monde n’est plus représenté, entre l’Europe démocratico-progressiste qui a accepté les plans économiques de la Troïka [FMI, BCE et Commission européenne – ndlr] et joué avec les politiques migratoires, et l’Europe de Visegrad [Hongrie, Pologne, Slovaquie, République tchèque – ndlr], souverainiste et nationaliste. Nous sommes convaincus qu’il existe une troisième Europe, et c’est surréaliste qu’il faille aller en mer pour lui redonner de la voix. »

      Ce projet européen doit « partir de la société civile, des citoyens et surtout des villes », défend l’équipage. Ce n’est pas un hasard, expliquent les membres de Mediterranea, si les deux drapeaux hissés sur le mât sont celui de l’Union européenne et celui de la ville de Palerme. Dans son habituel costume noir, entouré par quelques journalistes et par les membres de Mediterranea, Leoluca Orlando, le maire de la ville, a profité de la première escale technique du Mare Ionio sur le quai trapézoïdal de Palerme pour marteler, une fois encore, ce discours si singulier dans le reste de l’Italie : « Le port de Palerme sera toujours ouvert ! »

      Sur le pont du bateau, Claudio Arrestivo a moins l’habitude de ces raouts que son voisin. Il représente le Moltivolti, un espace de restauration et de coworking au cœur de Palerme, qui a rejoint la plateforme Mediterranea dès ses débuts, en juin : « On prend plus de risques à ne pas s’embarquer qu’à faire partie du projet. » Les entrepreneurs rêvent désormais de faire des émules à travers le reste du pays.

      C’est le défi majeur de la plateforme civile : réussir, à terre, à susciter l’adhésion. « Dans tout le pays, nous allons organiser une “via terra”, un parcours sur terre de Mediterranea en organisant des événements culturels qui nous permettront de recueillir des fonds », explique Evelina Santangelo, écrivaine palermitaine à la tête d’un groupement national d’artistes, écrivains et acteurs du monde de la culture qui soutiennent l’initiative.

      La tâche est grande : près de 195 000 euros ont déjà été récoltés grâce à une cagnotte participative soutenue par 1 892 personnes, sur un budget total estimé à 700 000 euros pour deux mois de mission en mer.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/221018/avec-l-equipage-du-mare-ionio-les-anti-salvini-retrouvent-de-la-voix-en-it

    • Migrant campaign ship confronts Italy in the Mediterranean

      A Mediterranean coalition of campaigners against Italy’s hardline migration policies have bought a ship in a crowdfunding appeal to shame authorities into rescuing stranded migrants off the North African coast.

      The group, Mediterranea Saving Humans, raised more than 250,000 euros in three weeks, to buy and launch the Italian-flagged Mare Jonio to raise the alarm about migrant boats in distress in the Mediterranean Sea.

      Its first mission launched on October 4 from the southern Italian island of Sicily and succeeded in pressuring the Italian Coast guard into rescuing 70 people aboard a dinghy eight days later, according to the group.

      “The presence of Mediterranea was fundamental in raising attention to what is really happening in the waters south of Sicily and to prevent our governments from turning their backs to tragedies that call upon human compassion,” the group wrote on its website.

      https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/migrant-campaign-ship-confronts-italy-in-the-mediterranean-1.787355

    • E infine restò solo la Mediterranea a salvare le vite in mare

      Ormai, quelli della Mediterranea sono rimasti i soli a cercare di rendere meno amaro il bilancio delle morti di migranti in mare in questo terrificante 2018. Soltanto nel mese di settembre, il 20 per cento di chi è partito dalla Libia risulta morto o disperso. Si tratta di uno degli anni peggiori di sempre, da questo punto di vista. E poco importa che in Italia siano diminuiti gli sbarchi se ciò coincide con un tasso di mortalità maggiore nelle acque internazionali.

      Dopo le 13 di oggi, la nave è salpata dal porto di Palermo per la seconda missione di monitoraggio e denuncia nelle acque internazionali tra le coste italiane e la Libia. C’era stata, nei mesi scorsi, l’avvio della missione, iniziata lo scorso 4 ottobre e durata 12 giorni, aiutata anche dal parlamentare di Liberi e Uguali Erasmo Palazzotto.
      Mediterranea, il suo ruolo in mare per sorvegliare una frontiera letale

      In questi ultimi giorni, la nave italiana della piattaforma Mediterranea era all’ancora nel porto siciliano per una sosta tecnica e di rifornimento: si tratta dell’unica nave in navigazione nel Mediterraneo centrale con l’essenziale funzione di testimonianza e pronta a intervenire, qualora fosse necessario, in soccorso di imbarcazioni in difficoltà. Un vero e proprio baluardo ultimo per evitare quella che può a buon diritto essere considerata una tragedia del nostro secolo.

      Il fatto che non ci siano più imbarcazioni a monitorare le rotte dei migranti è una diretta conseguenza della campagna di criminalizzazione delle ONG e delle politiche di chiusura dei confini, portata avanti in maniera risoluta dalla Lega e dal ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini. Non dobbiamo dimenticarci, che il Mediterraneo è considerato la frontiera più letale al mondo e che nello scorso mese di settembre ha registrato il numero drammatico di una persona morta o dispersa su cinque, tra coloro che hanno tentato la traversata.
      L’importanza di Mediterranea nei giorni scorsi

      Il 12 ottobre scorso, la nave Mediterranea ha avuto un ruolo determinante nel sollecitare il salvataggio tempestivo di settanta persone in pericolo al largo di Lampedusa, dopo il rimpallo di responsabilità tra Malta e Italia. Non solo: ha tenuto accesa l’attenzione dell’opinione pubblica su quanto realmente accade nelle acque a sud della Sicilia.

      Alla missione iniziata oggi parteciperà anche Riccardo Gatti di Proactiva Open Arms e un team di soccorso in mare della Ong tedesca Sea-Watch partner del progetto.


      https://www.giornalettismo.com/archives/2682517/mediterranea-unica-nave-mare-migranti

    • Trois ONG lancent une opération de sauvetage au large de la Libye

      Plus aucun bateau d’ONG ne menait d’opération de sauvetage dans la zone depuis celle menée fin septembre par l’« Aquarius ».
      Trois ONG ont lancé une mission de sauvetage de migrants au large de la Libye, où il n’y avait plus de bateaux humanitaires depuis fin septembre. Les trois navires engagés dans cette mission, l’#Open-Arms de l’ONG espagnole Proactiva Open Arms, le #Sea-Watch3 de l’ONG allemande Sea-Watch et le Mare-Jonio de l’ONG italienne Mediterranea, naviguent depuis vendredi dans les eaux internationales entre l’Italie et la Libye.

      Le Mare-Jonio était déjà parti début octobre patrouiller dans la zone pour témoigner du drame des migrants. Plus aucun bateau d’ONG ne menait d’opération de sauvetage dans la zone depuis celle menée fin septembre par l’Aquarius. Ce navire, affrété par Médecins sans frontières et SOS Méditerranée, est à quai à Marseille dans l’attente d’un pavillon lui permettant de naviguer, après le retrait de ceux de Gibraltar puis du Panama. La justice italienne a par ailleurs demandé mardi son placement sous séquestre pour une affaire de traitement illégal de déchets.

      La mission n’avait pas été annoncée en amont pour « ne pas se retrouver bloquée par une quelconque ruse, comme cela a été le cas pour l’Aquarius », a dit le fondateur de Proactiva Open Arms, Oscar Camps. Plongée dans le chaos depuis la chute du dictateur Mouammar Kadhafi dans une insurrection soutenue par l’OTAN en 2011, la Libye est l’un des principaux pays de transit pour les migrants subsahariens tentant de rejoindre l’Europe à partir de ses côtes. L’Espagne est devenue cette année la première porte d’entrée des migrants en Europe devant l’Italie mais la route de la Méditerranée centrale reste la plus dangereuse avec 1 277 des 2 075 morts recensés cette année par l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/11/23/trois-ong-lancent-une-operation-de-sauvetage-au-large-de-la-libye_5387774_32

    • What It Means for Migrants When Europe Blocks Sea Rescues

      With no NGO vessels to rescue migrants crossing the central Mediterranean, people are drowning. Dr. David Beversluis, physician onboard one of the last rescue ships in the Mediterranean, looks at what it means when Europe turns its back.

      There is no more tragic place to witness the consequences of populist politics and anti-immigrant fears than the central Mediterranean Sea, where people are dying trying to reach safety in Europe.

      Many flee violence and poverty in forgotten places across Africa and beyond, before being kidnapped by traffickers and horribly abused in Libya. In a final bid for freedom, they board crowded, flimsy rafts that launch from the Libyan shore into Mediterranean waters.

      This year alone, more than 1,200 men, women and children have died trying to make this journey to Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants project. These are just the deaths we know about.

      This summer I served as the physician onboard the Aquarius, a search and rescue ship operated by the aid organizations Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee that has assisted nearly 30,000 people since it launched in 2016. It was one of the ship’s last missions before the Italian government pressured Panama to revoke its registration after months of blocking rescue ships from Italian ports. In its current predicament, the Aquarius is unable to conduct search and rescue operations. Currently, there are no NGO aid vessels to rescue people crossing the central Mediterranean, and because of this people are drowning.

      On missions, we rescue people from boats in distress, we pull drowning people from the water, and we give food, water and lifesaving medical care. After we stabilize our patients, we sit and talk to people and hear their stories.

      I spoke with a young man who told me his brothers were targeted and killed last year during a violent conflict in Cameroon. He decided to leave his wife and young son behind because he was being threatened himself, and he was hopeful that if he made it to Europe he could eventually build a better life for his child. I could feel the pain in his words; he had no choice but to leave his loved ones behind.

      Several Somali boys told me of the months they spent traveling from country to country, first across the sea to Yemen, then to Sudan and eventually through the Sahara to Libya. Each step was a gamble for a better life. Along the way they faced extortion, imprisonment and death.

      An Eritrean boy told me he was kidnapped in Sudan and spent more than a year in captivity in Libya, where countless men and women are imprisoned by human traffickers and subjected to torture, rape and death. Another soberly described how his brother was shot in the head next to him, his body left behind in the desert.

      Each person has horrific stories of their time in Libya. They pause and shake their heads as they remember, deciding how to replay their experiences for somebody who can’t even imagine. One Nigerian man told me, “My mouth can’t form the words to describe what happened to me in Libya.”

      But he slowly opened up about his months spent in captivity. He described extreme sexual violence – rapes and genital mutilation – stories we hear repeatedly from both men and women who are trafficked in Libya.

      A Somali teenager said he was held in Libya for seven months inside a small room with more than 300 people where they had one latrine, were never able to shower or change clothes and were given meager food and water.

      And they were lined up every day, beaten with sticks and shouted at for money they didn’t have. He showed me scars on his back and arms as he mimicked the daily beating motion. The violence he lived through is written permanently in these scars on his body.

      Libya is simply not a safe place for refugees and migrants. But instead of responding humanely through a dedicated search and rescue system in the Mediterranean, or by creating safe and legal ways to apply for asylum, the European Union has poured money into building up the Libyan coast guard, which intercepts thousands of migrants and refugees as they attempt to flee. They are returned to Libya and held in official detention centers in atrocious, inhumane conditions. And as conflict erupts again between warring militias in the capital, Tripoli, many of them are directly in the line of fire.

      The stories we hear on the Aquarius highlight how people are repeatedly stripped of their humanity and dignity. And while they also have flashes of hope for a brighter future, each person understands that their difficult journey is far from over.

      In today’s political climate, Doctors Without Borders and other organizations have had to fight to disembark each rescued person in a safe place where their human rights will be respected. We’ve had to take people as far away as Spain after closer countries such as Italy have repeatedly closed their ports and European governments have refused to find sustainable and humane solutions.

      These difficulties grow as narratives of fear and hate toward migrants and refugees are repeated over and over, from Europe to America and elsewhere around the world. People are being treated as pawns by politicians unwilling to take responsibility for human lives. Borders close, walls are built and people are left to suffer and die.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/11/19/what-it-means-for-migrants-when-europe-blocks-sea-rescues

    • Italy orders seizure of migrant rescue ship over ’HIV-contaminated’ clothes

      Prosecutors allege garments on Aquarius should have been labelled as ‘toxic waste’.

      Italian authorities have ordered the seizure of the migrant rescue ship Aquarius after claiming that discarded clothes worn by the migrants on their voyage from Libya to Italy could have been contaminated by HIV, meningitis and tuberculosis.

      Prosecutors from Catania, eastern Sicily, alleged that the waste was illegally labelled by the ship’s crew as “special waste” rather than “toxic waste”.

      The Aquarius is currently docked in Marseilles, France, where so far it is beyond the reach of the Italian authorities.

      The ship is operated by the charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS Méditerranée. Prosecutors in Catania said: “If Aquarius would disembark to Italy, it will be immediately put under seizure.”

      Nevertheless, the Italian authorities have placed 24 people under investigation for ‘‘trafficking and the illegal management of waste,” including the captain of the Aquarius, Evgenii Talanin, and Michele Trainiti, deputy head of the Italy mission of MSF Belgium. The Sicilian prosecutors also fined MSF a total of €460,000 (£409,000) and froze some of its bank accounts based in Italy.

      A total of 24 tonnes of discarded material – including leftover food and medical materials as well as clothes – was being investigated.

      Aids campaigners criticised the prosecutors’ claims that clothing could have been contaminated with HIV. “Clothing categorically is not, and has never been, an HIV transmission risk,” said Deborah Gold, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust.

      “This would have stood out as ridiculous even amongst the misinformation of the 1980s, never mind in 2018. Migrants and people seeking asylum have historically been attacked using myths about HIV and infectious conditions, and we condemn this both for its stigmatising of people living with HIV and of migrants fleeing hardship.”

      The Aquarius has been stuck in Marseilles since the Panamanian authorities revoked its flag, after “complaints by the Italian authorities”. But the ship seemed to have reached an agreement with a country that would offer the NGO its flag and was ready to leave the French port in few days to reach the waters of Libya.

      Matteo Salvini, Italy’s far-right deputy prime minister, hailed the seizure order for the Aquarius, tweeting: “It seems I did well to close the Italian ports to the NGOs.”

      NGO rescue boats have almost all disappeared from the central Mediterranean since Salvini announced soon after taking office that he was closing Italian ports to non-Italian rescue vessels.

      The chief prosecutor of Catania, Carmelo Zuccaro, who is leading the investigation against the Aquarius and who is known for having launched several investigations against the rescue boats operated by aid groups, has recently dropped the charges for illegal detention and kidnapping against Salvini, after the minister of the interior was placed under investigation for preventing the disembarkation of migrants from the coastguard ship Ubaldo Diciotti, last August.

      In a statement released on Tuesday, MSF described the allegations against the Aquarius crew as “disproportionate and unfounded, purely aimed at further criminalising lifesaving medical-humanitarian action at sea’’.

      “After two years of defamatory and unfounded allegations of collusion with human traffickers against our humanitarian work, we are now accused of organised crime aimed at illicit waste trafficking. This latest attempt by the Italian authorities to stop humanitarian lifesaving search and rescue capacity at any cost is sinister” says Karline Kleijer, MSF’s head of emergencies.

      “This is another strike in the series of attacks criminalising humanitarian aid at sea. The tragic current situation is leading to an absence of humanitarian search and rescue vessels operating in the central Mediterranean, while the mortality rate is on the rise,” said Frédéric Penard, SOS Méditerranée’s head of operations.

      People seeking asylum are still attempting the risky crossing but, without the rescue boats, the number of shipwrecks is likely to rise dramatically.

      The death toll in the Mediterranean has fallen in the past year, but the number of those drowning as a proportion of arrivals in Italy has risen sharply in the past few months, with the possibility of dying during the crossing now three times higher.

      According to the International Organization for Migration, so far in 2018 more than 21,000 people have made the crossing and 2,054 have died.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/20/italy-orders-seizure-aquarius-migrant-rescue-ship-hiv-clothes
      #maladies #contamination

      La réponse de MSF:
      Sequestro nave Aquarius. Inquietante e strumentale attacco per bloccare azione salvavita in mare
      https://www.medicisenzafrontiere.it/news-e-storie/news/sequestro-nave-aquarius-inquietante-e-strumentale-attacco-per-b

      v. aussi:
      https://seenthis.net/messages/740369

    • L’Italie demande la mise sous séquestre de l’« Aquarius » à Marseille

      La justice italienne a demandé le placement sous séquestre de l’Aquarius, actuellement bloqué à Marseille, a annoncé, mardi 20 novembre, l’ONG Médecins sans frontières (MSF). Des comptes bancaires en Italie de MSF ont également été placés sous séquestre.

      Le navire humanitaire affrété par les ONG SOS Méditerranée et MSF pour secourir les migrants au large de la Libye est soupçonné d’avoir fait passer vingt-quatre tonnes de déchets potentiellement toxiques pour des déchets classiques.

      L’enquête, coordonnée par le parquet de Catane (Sicile), porte sur le traitement des déchets à bord – restes alimentaires, vêtements des personnes secourues, déchets issus des activités médicales – dans les ports italiens où l’Aquarius débarque des milliers de migrants secourus en mer.

      « Empêcher les actions médicales et humanitaires »

      « Les opérations portuaires de nos navires de secours en mer ont toujours suivi les normes en vigueur, s’est défendu MSF dans un communiqué. Les autorités compétentes n’ont jamais questionné nos procédures ni identifié un quelconque risque pour la santé publique depuis que MSF a commencé ses opérations de secours. »

      La mise sous séquestre de l’Aquarius est « mise en œuvre dans l’unique but d’empêcher les actions médicales et humanitaires pour sauver des vies en mer en les criminalisant encore davantage », dénonce l’ONG.

      Depuis que le Panama a annoncé sa décision de retirer au bateau humanitaire son pavillon à la fin de septembre pour « non-respect » des « procédures juridiques internationales » concernant le sauvetage des migrants en mer, l’Aquarius est bloqué dans le port de Marseille.

      L’Aquarius est le dernier navire humanitaire à parcourir la Méditerranée pour secourir des migrants qui tentent la traversée clandestine vers l’Europe, fait valoir l’association. Depuis quatre ans, plus de 15 000 personnes sont mortes noyées en Méditerranée en tentant la traversée sur des embarcations de fortune, selon l’ONG. En deux ans et demi, SOS Méditerranée dit avoir secouru 29 523 personnes dont 23 % sont des mineurs.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/11/20/l-italie-demande-la-mise-sous-sequestre-de-l-aquarius-a-marseille_5385916_32

    • Migrants : la justice italienne demande la mise sous séquestre à Marseille de l’Aquarius

      La justice italienne a demandé le placement sous séquestre du navire humanitaire Aquarius à Marseille pour une affaire de traitement illégal de déchets, un nouveau coup dur pour les ONG qui se portent au secours des migrants en mer.

      L’ONG Médecins sans frontières (MSF), qui affrète l’Aquarius avec SOS Méditerranée depuis 2016, a réfuté toute malversation et dénoncé « une mesure disproportionnée et instrumentale, visant à criminaliser pour la énième fois l’action médico-humanitaire en mer ».

      A la demande du parquet de Catane (Sicile), la justice italienne « a ordonné le placement sous séquestre » du navire et de comptes bancaires de MSF, selon un communiqué du parquet. Mais MSF a annoncé son intention de faire appel.

      Interrogé par l’AFP, le procureur de la République de Marseille, Xavier Tarabeux, a déclaré n’avoir reçu « à ce jour » aucune demande des autorités italiennes concernant l’Aquarius.

      La mesure ne change de toute façon pas la donne au large de la Libye, où les ONG ont secouru plus de 120.000 migrants depuis 2014 mais sont désormais quasi-absentes après 18 mois d’incessantes attaques politiques — de gauche comme de droite —, judiciaires et administratives.

      Plusieurs ONG ont suspendu ou déplacé leurs activités, tandis que d’autres voient leur navire bloqué en Italie, à Malte ou en France, comme c’est le cas de l’Aquarius.

      L’Aquarius est amarré à Marseille depuis début octobre dans l’attente d’un pavillon lui permettant de naviguer après le retrait de ceux de Gibraltar puis du Panama.

      « J’ai bien fait de bloquer les navires des ONG », a réagi Matteo Salvini (extrême droite), ministre italien de l’Intérieur depuis juin. « J’ai arrêté non seulement le trafic des immigrés clandestins mais aussi celui des déchets toxiques ».

      Selon le parquet, l’Aquarius et le Vos Prudence, un autre navire affrété par MSF en 2017, sont soupçonnés d’avoir fait passer pour des déchets classiques un total de 24 tonnes de déchets présentant un risque sanitaire, économisant au total 460.000 euros.

      – « Aucune mise en garde » -

      L’enquête porte sur le traitement des vêtements trempés et souillés abandonnés par les migrants à bord, ainsi que des restes alimentaires et déchets sanitaires, que les deux navires ont confiés aux services des ordures des ports où ils débarquaient les migrants secourus en mer.

      Or, les équipes médicales de MSF à bord ont signalé parmi les migrants de nombreux cas de gale, HIV, méningites ou infections respiratoires comme la tuberculose et ne pouvaient ignorer le risque de transmission de virus ou d’agents pathogènes via leurs vieux vêtements, selon le parquet.

      « Nous avons suivi les procédures qui nous étaient indiquées. La preuve en est qu’en trois ans d’activité, dans un contexte très surveillé, nous n’avons reçu aucune mise en garde, aucune amende, aucune forme d’alerte préventive de la part des autorités », a déclaré Marco Bertotto, un responsable de MSF, lors d’une conférence de presse.

      « En ce moment, nos équipes travaillent avec le virus Ebola au Congo, le choléra au Congo également et dans d’autres pays d’Afrique Centrale. Donc le fait d’être accusés de comportement irresponsable (...) est ridicule », a dénoncé Gianfranco de Maio, médecin de MSF.

      En Italie, des voix se sont également élevées pour demander comment avaient été traités les déchets similaires sur les navires de la marine ou des garde-côtes italiens, qui ont secouru plus de 300.000 migrants depuis 2014.

      Pour l’instant, plusieurs comptes bancaires de MSF ont été placés sous séquestre dans le cadre de cette enquête, qui concerne aussi deux agents maritimes qui faisaient l’interface avec les autorités portuaires, les capitaines des navires et plusieurs responsables de MSF à bord.

      Mais pour Gabriele Eminente, directeur général de MSF en Italie, le « seul crime que nous voyons aujourd’hui en Méditerranée est le démantèlement total du système de recherches et de secours ».

      Grâce à des accords controversés conclus en Libye par le précédent gouvernement de centre gauche pour empêcher les migrants de prendre la mer, puis à la politique des ports fermés de M. Salvini, l’Italie a vu le nombre d’arrivées sur ses côtes chuter drastiquement à partir de l’été 2017.

      Cette année, l’Italie a enregistré 22.500 arrivées sur ses côtes, soit une baisse de plus de 80% par rapport aux années précédentes. Mais selon l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), faute de navires de secours, la traversée depuis la Libye a coûté la vie à au moins 1.267 migrants cette année.


      https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Migrants-justice-italienne-demande-mise-sequestre-Marseille-Aquarius-2018-

    • How the Debate Over Flags Sidelined Europe’s Migrant-Rescue Ships

      Europe’s aggressive migration policy has seen Italy dive into the obscure world of national shipping flags to sabotage rescue missions. Researcher Hannah Markay argues that such moves undermine the international legal requirement to save human lives at sea.

      To deter migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea, European authorities have seized upon a seemingly innocuous bit of international maritime law to block NGO-run rescue ships from their lifesaving work: the requirement that every vessel with seaward ambitions – from search-and-rescue vessel to pleasure boat – carry a national flag.

      The debate over whether NGO boats that rescue migrants are lifelines or “taxis of the sea” is old news. Lately, Italy and other European states have pursued a similar tactic to the one used by the United States in 1931 when it caught gangster Al Capone on charges of tax fraud: Unable to find legal issues with actual rescue missions, authorities are trying to sideline NGO vessels by diving into the minutiae of ships’ national registrations. Italian prosecutors got even more creative this week when they ordered the seizure of the rescue ship Aquarius, operated by Doctors Without Borders, over “illegal waste disposal.”

      Thus, debates over bureaucratic details have eclipsed another requirement of international law: the duty to save human lives at sea.

      Another way in which Italy has used bureaucracy to sabotage NGOs’ rescue missions is by asking them to sign a “code of conduct.” The 11-point code – aimed at stopping what Italy viewed as the groups’ facilitation of people-smuggling across the sea – barred them from entering Libyan territorial waters to undertake rescues; banned them from making calls or sending up flares to signal their location to migrant boats in distress; and threatened to bar access to Italian ports if groups did not sign or comply. Several NGO vessels refused to sign. In retaliation, Italy ordered some of them to be seized.

      These disputes have prevented ships with hundreds of just-rescued, vulnerable people aboard from disembarking in Europe. This happened recently with the Aquarius, the Lifeline and even the Diciotti, an Italian coast-guard ship barred from disembarking 177 refugees and migrants in Italy’s port of Catania for several days.

      Humanitarian groups have found ways around Europe’s bureaucratic obstacles. When Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini threatened to close Italian ports to rescue vessels not bearing the country’s flag, a coalition of activists launched the first-ever Italian-flagged rescue ship, Mare Jonio, to conduct missions off Libya earlier this fall.

      But more often bureaucracy wins. Desperate migrants do not have the luxury of waiting for courts to rule on the legality of states’ actions. The bureaucratic games are directly responsible for the rising rate of deaths in the Mediterranean.
      A Game of Migrant ‘Hot Potato’

      Under international maritime law, every state must require any ship flying its flag – whether it’s a civilian, military or humanitarian vessel – to assist persons in distress at sea, without endangering the ship or crew. Coastal states must also render assistance in areas identified as their search-and-rescue (SAR) zones.

      In theory, the duty to assist applies to any ship able to hear a distress signal. Maritime rescue coordination centers around the world coordinate rescue missions in their respective zones and determine the national authority responsible for responding.

      But in reality this resembles a game of hot potato in the central Mediterranean, in which states quickly delegate or refuse responsibility.

      This was evident when Malta recently gave life-vests, petrol and a compass to a migrant boat in its SAR zone, then directed it to the shores of Lampedusa. European ships within reach of the distress signal are starting to preemptively avoid the waters near Libya altogether or are (illegally) turning around before acknowledging a migrant boat’s mayday signals.

      In this political climate, the few still-operational NGO rescue vessels are more important than ever. In their absence, rescues coordinated by European authorities end with migrants being returned to Libya, which may breach international laws around non-refoulement. With its ongoing civil war and record of detaining migrants, Libya is hardly a safe haven.

      This was the fate of 92 rescued refugees and migrants aboard a cargo ship docked in Libya’s port of Misrata who defiantly claimed they would rather die than return to Libya. The 10-day standoff ended when Libyan authorities used rubber bullets and tear gas to force disembarkation.

      Meanwhile, Libya is also playing the bureaucratic game. Under international law, territorial waters consist of the 12 nautical miles (13.8 miles/22.2km) off the coast of any state, but last year Libya declared its own SAR zone of 74 nautical miles. There is no legal basis for this expansion. Libyan authorities warned NGOs to stay out. Three European NGOs stopped sea rescue missions after Libya’s threats of violence.

      Martin Taminiau, a volunteer with the NGO vessel Sea-Watch, which Malta detained for months over its national registration, said NGO ships must weigh bureaucratic roadblocks against the need to help migrants in distress.

      “We have the right to enter these waters to save lives, but we also want to be able to operate long term,” he said.
      Responsibility to Save Lives ‘Lost at Sea’

      The legal and moral responsibility to save lives has been lost at sea, overshadowed by the technical debates over national flags, zones of responsibility, territorial waters and waste-disposal procedures.

      Watchdog and humanitarian groups must maintain pressure on the European Union to respond promptly to distress calls in their SAR zones and to communicate transparently with any boats prepared to make the rescue, in accordance with international law.

      The 1979 Search and Rescue Convention clearly designates areas of responsibility for responding to distress calls. This must translate into true responsibility and life-saving.

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/11/22/how-the-debate-over-flags-sidelined-europes-migrant-rescue-ships

    • Che cosa può una nave?

      Si può fare!

      Era la metà di giugno quando ha cominciato a prendere forma quella che sarebbe poi divenuta la piattaforma “Mediterranea”. Salvini aveva da poco chiuso i porti italiani alla nave Aquarius, di “Medici Senza Frontiere” e “Sos Méditerranée”, definendo una “crociera” la lunga traversata che avrebbe portato in Spagna gli oltre novecento profughi e migranti che si trovavano a bordo. Era il coronamento di una vera e propria guerra alle ONG, avviata nell’aprile del 2017 dal procuratore di Catania Carmelo Zuccaro e poi proseguita dal ministro Minniti – il coronamento e al tempo stesso un’intensificazione senza precedenti: se negli anni scorsi molti di noi avevano analizzato criticamente la svolta governamentale della “ragione umanitaria”, cioè l’incorporazione delle ONG nei dispositivi di governo dei confini e delle migrazioni, era evidente che ci trovavamo davanti a una brutale soluzione di continuità. L’intervento umanitario era ora direttamente criminalizzato, azzerando quelle reti di soccorso volontario che negli anni precedenti, spesso integrate con le operazioni SAR delle diverse guardie costiere e delle forze armate, erano state comunque dispiegate nel Mediterraneo.

      Che fare di fronte a questa svolta, evidentemente sintomatica di un atteggiamento destinato a improntare l’azione del governo per mare e per terra nei mesi successivi? La domanda non poteva essere aggirata, e ha cominciato a risuonare con insistenza nelle conversazioni tra compagni e compagne. La resistenza, certo: la denuncia di quanto stava accadendo, i presìdi di protesta, le iniziative di pressione per la riapertura dei porti. E il tentativo di comprendere il significato più profondo di quanto stava accadendo, di anticipare le mosse successive del governo definendo un quadro interpretativo generale della “fase”. Ma ci sembrava che tutto questo non fosse sufficiente, che si dovesse e si potesse fare di più: che fosse necessario mettere in campo una pratica, capace di determinare spiazzamento e quantomeno di alludere a una mossa “offensiva”, al di là del carattere necessariamente difensivo della resistenza – e per riqualificare il terreno su cui quest’ultima si determina. E allora, perché non agire direttamente nel vivo delle contraddizioni del dispositivo retorico e politico della campagna governativa? Perché non comprare e mettere in mare una nave? Una nave battente bandiera italiana, in modo che nessun governo potesse chiuderle i porti del nostro Paese…

      Nei mesi successivi abbiamo misurato a pieno il carattere quasi donchisciottesco dell’impresa in cui avevamo deciso – letteralmente – di imbarcarci: una scommessa, un azzardo in qualche modo al buio. Qualche compagno, con conoscenza professionale dei mondi che ruotano attorno alle navi, ci ha aiutato a orientarci. Per un po’ abbiamo accantonato la filosofia e la teoria politica, cercando di farci almeno un’idea del diritto della navigazione, dell’ingegneria navale e della scienza logistica applicata. Mentre la ricerca della nave proseguiva, abbiamo trovato molti complici e sodali, a volte inaspettati e spesso proprio in quei mondi dello shipping dove il principio per cui “ogni singola vita a rischio in mare deve essere messa al sicuro” appare profondamente radicato e viene ritenuto intangibile. E abbiamo incontrato la disponibilità di Banca Etica a sostenere il progetto dal punto di vista finanziario, aprendo una linea di credito dedicata.

      Dentro e contro i mondi della logistica e della finanza ha dunque cominciato a prendere corpo “Mediterranea”, mentre un insieme di soggetti collettivi di diversa provenienza e natura si aggregava a prefigurare un’originale piattaforma sociale e politica. Quando infine abbiamo trovato e siamo riusciti ad acquistare la nave (la “Mare Jonio”), abbiamo subito capito che il lavoro più importante – costruire la nostra nave – cominciava allora: si trattava intanto, letteralmente, di adeguarla alle operazioni di “ricerca e salvataggio” (un compito a cui si sono dedicati con entusiasmo decine di compagne e compagni, con l’essenziale collaborazione della ONG tedesca Sea Watch); e poi di preparare gli equipaggi e di tessere le reti di terra che avrebbero sostenuto e reso possibile l’azione in mare della “Mare Jonio”. Questo lavoro di costruzione collettiva è ben lungi dall’essere terminato. E tuttavia, nella notte tra il 3 e il 4 ottobre, la nostra nave è salpata per la sua prima missione. Senza alcuna supponenza abbiamo pensato che un primo obiettivo era stato raggiunto. Avevamo dimostrato che si può fare.

      Per mare …

      Tra il 4 ottobre e il 4 dicembre scorsi la “Mare Jonio” ha percorso in tre distinte missioni più di 4.800 miglia marine, più o meno la distanza che separava i migranti italiani tra la fine dell’Ottocento e l’inizio del Novecento dall’agognato approdo a Ellis Island. Ci siamo mossi all’interno di quello che viene chiamato il Mediterraneo Centrale, entro un mare solcato e striato da tensioni geopolitiche che si traducono in confini elusivi, ma non per questo meno cogenti. Il caleidoscopio composto da acque territoriali, zone contigue, zone economiche esclusive, aree SAR (Search And Rescue) è come tagliato trasversalmente dalle linee di attrito tra Grecia e Turchia (che solcano il Mediterraneo Orientale), tra Marocco e Spagna (il Mediterraneo Occidentale) e tra Italia e Libia (appunto il Mediterraneo Centrale), con altri Paesi costieri a fare ciascuno il proprio gioco (dalla Tunisia a Malta, dall’Algeria all’Egitto).

      Non è affatto casuale che le aree marittime appena menzionate corrispondano anche alle tre principali “rotte” seguite dai flussi migratori verso l’Europa e che la maggiore o minore pressione lungo ciascuno di questi corridoi di transito rinvii, di volta in volta, a cangianti condizioni economiche, sociali e politiche nei Paesi di partenza e di arrivo; alle spinte soggettive che caratterizzano la propensione a migrare di questa o quella composizione; alle differenti e articolate strategie di gestione dei flussi, prima fra tutte la progressiva esternalizzazione dei confini dell’Unione Europea stessa, in un gioco di continui ridislocamenti che sembra ben lungi dall’aver trovato un suo punto di equilibrio. Basti pensare al ruolo che il Marocco si sta oggi preparando (nuovamente) a giocare sul terreno – mercantile! – degli accordi per il contenimento e il respingimento, entro un quadro in cui l’accordo tra UE e Turchia e i patti stretti da diversi governi italiani con tribù e milizie libiche hanno fatto, negli ultimi tre anni, da apripista. O, in quest’ultimo quadrante, ai tentativi di spostare più a sud, alla frontiera tra Niger e Libia, il “lavoro sporco” svolto in questi anni da apparati “formali e informali” in Tripolitania e Cirenaica.

      In questa cornice, di cui abbiamo potuto registrare le continue modificazioni perfino nel corso delle otto settimane delle nostre prime tre missioni, la presenza e l’attività della “Mare Jonio” hanno messo in tensione il regime SAR, costringendo più volte imbarcazioni della Guardia Costiera maltese e italiana a muoversi in soccorso dei migranti, e hanno svolto una rilevante funzione di inchiesta, facendo luce là dove si pretendeva (obiettivo essenziale dell’attacco alle ONG) che non ci fossero più testimoni attenti e consapevoli. L’Operazione Mediterranea ha conteso con successo alle “autorità competenti” il diritto a intervenire in aree di crisi e ha così aperto un campo in cui sono divenute visibili le trasformazioni già intervenute e in atto nel regime SAR, le cui aree di competenza funzionale sono state via via interpretate come veri e propri spazi di esercizio di sovranità nazionali, sostituendo nei fatti la logica del primato della concreta efficacia nel salvataggio in mare con quella mortifera della sclerotizzazione burocratica dei protocolli operativi nella gestione di rigide “frontiere” acquee. Abbiamo così disvelato e misurato nei fatti la ormai costitutiva inadeguatezza dell’attuale regime SAR a esercitare funzioni di soccorso in mare, ma anche una serie di elementi di cruciale importanza: il fatto che dalla Libia, al contrario di quanto affermato dalla propaganda del governo italiano, si continui a partire, seppure con modalità diverse rispetto al passato; le mutate geografie, i nuovi assetti logistici, la composizione variabile degli attraversamenti del Mediterraneo; la dipendenza dell’intervento sui flussi a monte, cioè sul territorio libico, dalla contingenza di complessi e tutt’altro che trasparenti giochi di potere, economico e politico (come si è visto in coincidenza con lo svolgimento a Palermo, nel novembre scorso, della Conferenza Internazionale sulla Libia); la continuità dell’intervento della “Guardia Costiera” libica (le virgolette sono d’obbligo, visto che al suo interno operano, sotto diretta supervisione del Viminale, soggetti che fino a pochi mesi fa sarebbero stati considerati “trafficanti di esseri umani”) nell’agire dentro e fuori le acque territoriali del Paese africano per operare veri e propri respingimenti collettivi; la resistenza, la formidabile determinazione delle donne e degli uomini in fuga dai campi di detenzione libici a non farsi ricondurre in quei luoghi di violenza e di sfruttamento (le due vicende della nave “Nivin” e del peschereccio “Nuestra Madre de Loreto” sono da questo punto di vista esemplari).

      A metà novembre il ministro dell’Interno italiano ha annunciato trionfalmente che il Mediterraneo era stato infine liberato dalla presenza delle navi delle ONG. “Mediterranea”, con la sua azione, ha al contrario determinato le condizioni di possibilità di un’alleanza transnazionale senza precedenti tra diverse ONG: nel corso di quella che è stata per noi la terza missione ci siamo coalizzati con Open Arms e Sea Watch, dando vita a United4Med e mettendo in mare un piccola flotta, sostenuta dal cielo da due velivoli da ricognizione. Indipendentemente dagli esiti di questa missione (caratterizzata dall’intervento a sostegno del peschereccio “Nuestra Madre de Loreto”), sono state poste le condizioni per un coordinamento operativo destinato a durare nel tempo e per ulteriori nuove alleanze nei prossimi mesi. Ma un momento di significativa importanza è stata anche la sosta di diversi giorni nel porto di Zarzis, in Tunisia, dove l’incontro con le associazioni dei pescatori – da sempre impegnati nelle operazioni di soccorso in mare, e per questo criminalizzati in Italia – e con gli attivisti del “Forum Tunisino per i Diritti Economici e Sociali”, ci ha consentito di cominciare a gettare ponti con la terra non solo verso Nord, ma anche verso Sud.

      … e per terra.

      La costruzione di una forte e strutturale connessione tra “terra e mare” è stata per noi fin dall’inizio, del resto, uno degli obiettivi essenziali di “Mediterranea”. Abbiamo spesso affermato che non siamo una ONG, senza per questo mancare di riconoscere l’importanza fondamentale, per il nostro progetto, della collaborazione con Sea Watch e Open Arms, la straordinaria passione che anima molte volontarie e molti volontari delle ONG, e i risultati concreti ottenuti negli anni da queste ultime, in termini di vite umane strappate a morte certa. Quest’affermazione significa piuttosto che non consideriamo il nostro intervento semplicemente limitato ai luoghi in cui si produce l’emergenza “umanitaria”; che ne enfatizziamo il carattere politico e non semplicemente “tecnico” o “neutrale”; che rivendichiamo la possibilità di agire, laddove se ne determinino le condizioni, al di fuori dei quadri giuridici stabiliti, per alludere semmai alla fondazione conflittuale di nuovi diritti.

      È su queste basi che valutiamo l’indubbio successo che “Mediterranea” ha raccolto in terra (tra l’altro per i risultati, inediti per il contesto italiano, del crowdfunding, con quasi quattrocentomila euro raccolti in poco più di due mesi). Tanto nel corso delle iniziative organizzate da un gruppo di donne e uomini di cultura e spettacolo (la “Via di Terra”), quanto nelle decine e decine di assemblee che si sono tenute in tutta Italia (e in qualche città europea) abbiamo fatto esperienza di un entusiasmo e di una passione, di una partecipazione anche emotiva, di una curiosità e di un’adesione che da tempo non ricordavamo. Si badi: queste “tonalità emotive” non corrispondono in alcun modo a un’omogeneità politica. La nostra nave è stata appropriata e in qualche modo reinventata dalle posizioni più diverse, all’interno di centri sociali così come di parrocchie, di università e di scuole, di piccoli circoli di Paese e di assemblee metropolitane; mentre il 24 novembre, ci piace ricordarlo, sulla “Mare Jonio” la bandiera di “Mediterranea” ha sventolato accanto a quella del movimento più forte e radicale dei nostri giorni, “Non Una di Meno”. Ma è proprio questa eccedenza di significati attribuiti a “Mediterranea”, anche al di là delle intenzioni iniziali di questo progetto, a rappresentare per noi il dato più significativo. E a costituire la potenzialità più rilevante per l’immediato futuro.

      La situazione “in terra” è del resto anch’essa cambiata nei due mesi in cui la “Mare Jonio” ha effettuato le sue missioni nel Mediterraneo. Il consolidamento dell’egemonia di Salvini all’interno del governo “giallo-verde” e l’indubbio consenso che circonda la sua azione si sono coniugati con la conversione in legge del cosiddetto “Decreto sicurezza” (mentre un discorso a parte meriterebbe la vicenda della legge di Bilancio e lo “scontro” con la Commissione Europea). Non è questo il luogo per un’analisi nel dettaglio delle disposizioni di legge in esso contenute. Basti dire che il drastico ridimensionamento del sistema SPRAR punta a radicare ulteriormente nel tessuto sociale una logica emergenziale, producendo “illegalità” e rendendo sempre più fragile e insicura la condizione di migliaia di profughi e migranti. Mentre il sostanziale smantellamento della “protezione umanitaria” colpisce tra l’altro duramente, e in modo selettivo, le donne migranti, in particolare quelle in fuga da condizioni di violenza. Al tempo stesso, l’inasprimento delle sanzioni penali per blocchi stradali e occupazioni abitative colpisce in primo luogo ancora i e le migranti, protagonisti in questi anni di straordinarie lotte sul lavoro (si pensi ai blocchi dei magazzini della logistica) e per la casa.

      Siamo di fronte a un tendenziale azzeramento delle mediazioni, che si manifesta prima di tutto sul terreno della migrazione, ma che si indirizza selettivamente contro un insieme più ampio di soggetti. Come agire di fronte a questa rottura? “Mediterranea” non ha certo lezioni da impartire a chi quotidianamente pratica la resistenza. Ha forse però, a partire dalla sua parziale esperienza, almeno due indicazioni da proporre.

      In primo luogo, mostra l’importanza di accompagnare all’azione di resistenza la messa in campo di pratiche capaci di intervenire direttamente sui problemi che si presentano. Si può pensare che oggi queste pratiche possano e debbano dispiegarsi anche sul terreno della costruzione di infrastrutture, materiali e immateriali, una costruzione aperta e in divenire, come aperta e in divenire è stata ed è la costruzione della nostra nave. Proviamo a immaginare un’azione che combini, in modo aperto ed espansivo, la resistenza allo smantellamento del sistema SPRAR e della protezione umanitaria con la costruzione di infrastrutture alternative per l’ “accoglienza”, coinvolgendo il mondo degli operatori e delle operatrici e facendo tesoro dell’esperienza dei centri anti-violenza e delle case rifugio all’interno del movimento femminista. Non ne risulterebbe straordinariamente più forte la stessa resistenza?

      In secondo luogo, “Mediterranea” può offrire l’esperienza di quella che vorremmo chiamare una politica del diritto, ovvero di un tentativo di affermare (ancora una volta: con una pratica) la legittimità e la legalità di qualcosa di tanto elementare quanto il dovere di salvare i naufraghi in mare. In questo tentativo, ha “testato” l’intreccio tra molteplici sistemi giuridici (quelli nazionali, quello europeo, il “diritto internazionale del mare”), tentando di allargare le tensioni all’interno e tra di essi, aprendo varchi e scontrandosi con limiti. È un tentativo che bisogna continuare a fare (per mare così come per terra) con maggiore determinazione. E con la necessaria spregiudicatezza e radicalità, perché siamo convinti che di fronte ai limiti occorra forzare, sia cioè indispensabile praticare, dal nostro punto di vista, la rottura.

      To be continued.

      Che cosa può dunque una nave? Va da sé che c’è un tratto ironico in questa variazione sul tema di una celebre domanda deleuziana. Pur non disdegnando imprese donchisciottesche, cerchiamo di mantenere una qualche sobrietà. Indubbiamente, la nostra nave ha dimostrato di poter intervenire operativamente nel Mediterraneo, svolgendo tra le altre cose un’efficace funzione di inchiesta e denuncia sulle trasformazioni del regime SAR e delle dinamiche di attraversamento e rafforzamento del confine marittimo. Ha messo in collegamento le due sponde del Mediterraneo e ha prodotto straordinari effetti di risonanza in terra, aprendo spazi nuovi attraverso una molteplicità di incontri imprevisti. Ma una nave può essere soltanto uno dei molti dispositivi di cui dobbiamo dotarci nella lotta per costruire un mondo in cui sia possibile, tanto per cominciare, respirare più liberamente.

      In ogni caso, la nostra nave – lo abbiamo detto più volte – è in costruzione, ed è in fondo questo ininterrotto processo di costruzione collettiva che ci sembra prezioso. Che cosa diventerà “Mediterranea” nei prossimi mesi? È una domanda che deve rimanere aperta nelle sue linee generali. Certamente, proseguiremo le operazioni marittime. Questo richiederà un’ulteriore “professionalizzazione” del lavoro, un salto di qualità nella strutturazione dell’ “impresa per fare l’impresa”, una rinnovata cura per gli aspetti logistici e finanziari, la formazione di attivisti e attiviste auspicabilmente nel quadro di una cooperazione rafforzata con diverse ONG. È questo un aspetto fondamentale di “Mediterranea”, nata da un patto tra soggetti diversi che si sono riconosciuti uguali nella condivisione dell’urgenza dell’intervento di soccorso in mare.

      Al tempo stesso, sarà necessario riaffermare e riqualificare il significato della nostra affermazione secondo cui “non siamo una ONG”. Si tratterà cioè di riprendere gli elementi essenziali che abbiamo indicato in precedenza: il carattere politico del progetto, la moltiplicazione di ponti tra il mare e la terra, una “politica del diritto” certo consapevole dei quadri ordinamentali dati (e delle forzate interpretazioni consuetudinarie che i più recenti rapporti di forza politici hanno orientato), ma anche determinata nella capacità di praticare rotture. E occorrerà farlo allargando le relazioni e approfondendo il lavoro tanto sul piano sociale quanto nello spazio europeo, puntando in primo luogo al coinvolgimento delle tante città che si sono costituite, esplicitamente o implicitamente, come “città rifugio” negli ultimi anni.

      Sono questioni attorno a cui è aperto il confronto tra tutti coloro che partecipano al progetto. La nostra proposta è quella di lavorare – da qui alla primavera – alla costruzione di una sorta di “stati generali” di “Mediterranea”: non un evento, ma l’esito di un percorso di inchiesta e di discussione, che riprenda i fili delle molte risposte che “Mediterranea” ha raccolto e che ci permetta di avanzare sul terreno della costruzione collettiva. Ripartire dai territori in cui si sono svolte (e continuano a svolgersi) le iniziative di sostegno al progetto, valorizzare gli “incontri imprevisti” per quel che riguarda tanto eterogenee aree politiche e culturali quanto i diversi “mondi” che abbiamo attraversato in questi mesi (da quelli dello shipping ai medici e agli operatori del diritto con cui abbiamo collaborato, per fare solo qualche esempio particolarmente importante): questo ci sembra possa essere il metodo da seguire, per continuare a essere là dove è necessario essere e agire – per mare e per terra.


      http://www.euronomade.info/?p=11437

  • Après des décennies au Pakistan, des réfugiés afghans se préparent au retour en Afghanistan

    Le Pakistan cherche à rapatrier vers l’Afghanistan des réfugiés afghans parmi 1,6 million au total qui vivent dans le pays. Le HCR a réservé des fonds pour le rapatriement de 60 000 réfugiés.

    Des familles sont installées, silencieuses. De jeunes enfants se promènent entre les chaises. Ils vont rentrer chez eux en Afghanistan, alors que certains d’entre eux vivent au Pakistan depuis plusieurs décennies. Et ils rentreront chez eux à titre définitif.

    Ce sont des réfugiés afghans et la scène se déroule au Centre de rapatriement volontaire de Peshawar, qui est géré par le HCR, l’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés.

    Payenda Bibi Shahnaz est installée dans un fauteuil roulant. Son mari Shamamud dans un autre. Cela fait 33 ans qu’ils ont trouvé refuge au Pakistan, mais ils rentrent également en Afghanistan avec leurs deux fils qui s’occuperont d’eux.

    Le HCR les aidera également une fois qu’ils seront rentrés au pays.

    « Je n’ai simplement pas les moyens de payer le coût de mon traitement médical ici », explique-t-elle. « Nous n’avons pas le choix. »

    Le Haut Commissaire des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés Filippo Grandi a eu l’occasion de faire leur connaissance aujourd’hui pendant sa visite au Centre et il leur a souhaité bonne chance. Le HCR apporte également une aide de 200 dollars aux rapatriés destinée à couvrir leurs dépenses initiales de voyage et de logement.

    Le gouvernement du Pakistan met en oeuvre une politique concertée de rapatriement pour beaucoup parmi presque un million de réfugiés qui vivent dans la région de Peshawar. Le HCR a réservé des fonds pour le rapatriement de 60 000 réfugiés.

    Mais depuis le début de l’année, le nombre de réfugiés qui a passé la frontière de manière définitive dépasse tout juste 6000 personnes.

    Pour nombre d’entre eux, le moment de rendre leur carte de réfugié au Pakistan est chargé d’émotions. Les élèves sont souvent en larmes, car ils se disent qu’ils ne reverront jamais leurs amis.

    La pression économique est ce qui les pousse le plus au retour.

    Qudsia a 40 ans et elle a quatre enfants. Elle était elle-même un enfant quand elle est arrivée au Pakistan. Et aujourd’hui son mari et elle ont décidé de rentrer.

    « Nous avons décidé de rentrer, parce que c’est très cher ici. Nous avons beaucoup de problèmes. Mon mari est diabétique et on ne trouve pas de travail ici. »

    Mais ils sont bien plus nombreux à décider de rester. Au cours de la ‘shura’, la réunion de la communauté, ils ont expliqué à Filippo Grandi qu’ils restent au Pakistan à cause des opportunités que le pays offre sur le plan de l’éducation et de l’économie. Ils ont également évoqué leur crainte de la violence qui règne dans leur pays. Quelque 31 des 34 provinces que compte l’Afghanistan ont été le théâtre de conflits ces derniers mois.

    La carte PoR (Proof of Registration) de Preuve d’enregistrement au Pakistan est également cause de souci majeur. Toutes ces cartes arrivent à échéance le 30 juin. Sans ces cartes, les réfugiés sont passibles d’arrestation, voire même d’expulsion. Filippo Grandi a confirmé qu’il avait instamment demandé au Pakistan de proroger la validité des cartes. La décision sera prise par l’exécutif du Pakistan.

    Filippo Grandi a expliqué aux réfugiés qu’il comprenait leurs craintes et leurs inquiétudes par rapport au fait que 200 dollars ne suffisent pas à se réinstaller dans un pays peu sûr.

    « J’ai entendu les participants de la Shura », a-t-il déclaré. « Nous allons très bientôt augmenter l’indemnité de rapatriement. Nous allons œuvrer pour améliorer les conditions de retour des rapatriés. J’en ai parlé avec les dirigeants du gouvernement afghan. »

    Il a parlé de sa rencontre avec le Président afghan Ashraf Ghani. Le Président lui a confirmé qu’il a demandé un inventaire des terrains disponibles appartenant au gouvernement. Il s’agirait de mettre en place un programme de réinstallation des réfugiés similaire au programme pilote de Hérat en faveur des personnes déplacées à l’intérieur du pays.

    Comme pour les personnes déplacées à Hérat, il s’agirait d’attribuer aux réfugiés des terrains à bâtir. L’eau et l’électricité seraient fournies.

    Filippo Grandi a aussi abordé les préoccupations des réfugiés qui craignent de servir de boucs émissaires après des attaques ou des incidents violents le long de la frontière pakistano-afghane.

    « J’ai bien entendu ce que vous dites. Les réfugiés ne sont pas des terroristes. Je suis tout à fait d’accord. »

    Il a déclaré qu’en s’adressant aux dirigeants du gouvernement du Pakistan, il avait souligné qu’on ne pouvait mettre en cause ou pénaliser toute la population de réfugiés quand de tels événements se produisaient.


    http://www.unhcr.org/fr/news/stories/2016/6/576d401ea/apres-decennies-pakistan-refugies-afghans-preparent-retour-afghanistan.html

    #Pakistan #réfugiés_afghans #Afghanistan #réfugiés #asile #migrations #retour_au_pays

    • Amid Mass Returns, a Teacher’s Hopes for Refugee Girls in Afghanistan

      As hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees return from Pakistan, we speak to Aqeela Asifi, a prize-winning educator of refugee girls in the country’s Punjab province, about how the mass returns will impact girls’ education and thus the future of Afghanistan.

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2017/03/09/amid-mass-returns-a-teachers-hopes-for-refugee-girls-in-afghanistan
      #filles #femmes #éducation

    • Facing problems in Pakistan, Afghans return home in droves

      For years, Afghans have fled the violence in their country, seeking asylum in Europe or elsewhere in the Middle East. But over the past year, about 600,000 Afghans have crossed the border back into Afghanistan, coming from Pakistan, Iran and Europe when they are denied asylum.

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/facing-problems-pakistan-afghans-return-home-droves

    • Afghans Returned from Pakistan Struggle on Kabul Career Ladder

      As hundreds of thousands of Afghans return from neighboring countries, young graduates face discrimination, language barriers and a dearth of connections in a country many had never been to before, Valerie Plesch reports for Al-Fanar Media.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2017/12/11/afghans-returned-from-pakistan-struggle-on-kabul-career-ladder

    • Viaggio tra i rifugiati afghani respinti dal Pakistan

      Fin dagli anni ‘70 gli afghani fuggiti dal proprio paese hanno cercato rifugio in Pakistan. Tuttavia la loro situazione negli ultimi anni è diventata critica. Utilizzati per esercitare pressioni politiche su Kabul, subiscono continue pressione per far ritorno nel loro paese. A queste poi si sono aggiunte minacce e violenze crescenti. Una strategia che ha funzionato, come ci racconta Giuliano Battiston: migliaia sono i rifugiati tornati nel loro paese dove all’assenza di casa e lavoro fa da contraltare la presenza della guerra

      «A Peshawar avevo una mia bottega. Era piccola, ma andava bene. Vendevo zucchero, sale, olio, sapone. Non potevo lamentarmi. Ora eccomi qui, vendo meloni e angurie che compro da altri. Lo faccio da pochi giorni e non so per quanto ancora. Ma non mi basta per mandare avanti la famiglia».

      Rabihullah ha 45 anni e 12 figli. Nato in Afghanistan, fuggito dalla guerra, ha trascorso gran parte della vita in Pakistan, ma pochi mesi fa è stato costretto a tornare. Lo incontriamo all’inizio di una via sterrata che si dipana verso i campi coltivati, all’incrocio con la strada principale che conduce fuori città dal centro di Jalalabad, capoluogo di Nangarhar, provincia orientale al confine con il Pakistan. Seduto sulla paglia, alle spalle decine e decine di meloni profumati, in testa uno zuccotto chiaro, Rabihullah indossa un semplice vestito bianco, rattoppato qua e là. «Sono nato nel distretto di Bati Kut, qui nel Nangarhar. Ci siamo trasferiti in Pakistan quando ero adolescente. Di preciso non saprei quando. Ricordo che il mio primo digiuno per il Ramadan l’ho fatto lì. Non stavamo male a Peshawar. Ma 3 mesi fa siamo dovuti tornare. I poliziotti pachistani prima hanno cominciato a chiederci i documenti, poi a picchiarci. Ci attaccavano perfino di notte. Entravano nelle nostre case all’una, alle due del mattino. Ci dicevano di andar via. Nel nostro quartiere, che era come un villaggio, eravamo tutti afghani. Ci attaccavano per questo».

      La storia di Rabihullah è simile a quella di decine di migliaia di connazionali, costretti a rientrare in Afghanistan a causa delle politiche repressive del governo di Islamabad. Già nel 2015, Human Rights Watch denunciava «minacce ripetute, arresti frequenti, richieste regolari di mazzette, violenze occasionali da parte della polizia pachistana nei mesi successivi all’attacco alla scuola di Peshawar», l’attentato terroristico che il 16 dicembre 2014 ha provocato la morte di 145 persone, tra cui 134 bambini.

      Anche se l’attentato è stato rivendicato dai Talebani pachistani, per le autorità i responsabili andavano cercati all’interno dell’ampia comunità di rifugiati afghani che, sin dalla fine degli anni Settanta, hanno trovato protezione dalla guerra sull’altro lato della Durand Line, in Pakistan. Quei rifugiati erano parte della più ampia diaspora che ha reso l’Afghanistan per molti anni, fino allo scoppio della guerra siriana, il primo Paese al mondo di provenienza per numero di rifugiati. Una diaspora ancora oggi numerosa.

      Secondo i dati dell’ultimo rapporto dell’Alto Commissariato dell’Onu per i rifugiati (Unhcr), Global Trends. Forced Displacement in 2017, nel mondo ci sono 2,6 milioni di rifugiati afghani, il 5% in più rispetto all’anno precedente. L’Afghanistan è il secondo paese di provenienza dei rifugiati dopo la Siria (6,3 milioni). La maggior parte vive in Pakistan (poco meno di 1,4 milioni) e in Iran (poco meno di 1 milione), ma i due Paesi ospitano anche un gran numero di emigrati privi di documenti, non registrati dalle Nazioni Unite (circa 1 milione in Pakistan, 1 milione e mezzo in Iran). «Nel corso degli ultimi 40 anni, dall’inizio della guerra in Afghanistan nel 1978, l’Iran e il Pakistan hanno ospitato il più alto numero di rifugiati afghani», ricorda la ricercatrice Jelena Bjelica, che incontriamo nell’ufficio di Kabul dell’Afghanistan Analysts Network, il più accreditato centro di ricerca del Paese.

      Molti sono tornati. Dal 2001, dal Pakistan sono rientrati ben 3,9 milioni di rifugiati afghani. Quanti non lo hanno fatto sono diventati armi diplomatiche nelle mani del governo di Islamabad, il cui establishment militare è accusato di alimentare il conflitto per ragioni strategiche. «I rifugiati vengono usati per esercitare pressioni politiche su Kabul. La prassi di non estendere la validità dei documenti di registrazione è uno degli strumenti più comuni», nota Jelena Bjelica.

      «Nel 2016 e in parte nel 2017, le autorità pachistane hanno esercitato molte pressioni sugli afghani affinché tornassero indietro» conferma il ricercatore indipendente Wali Mohammad Kandiwal, autore di diverse pubblicazioni sui processi migratori, che incontriamo a Jalalabad. Alle pressioni si sono aggiunte minacce e violenze crescenti, come testimoniato nel 2017 da un altro rapporto di Human Rights Watch. La strategia ha funzionato. Lo certificano i numeri. Tra gennaio 2016 e dicembre 2017, almeno 1,2 milioni di afghani sono rientrati dall’Iran e dal Pakistan. Nel 2017, 460.000 afghani senza documenti sono rientrati o sono stati deportati dall’Iran, 100.000 dal Pakistan e 7.000 da Paesi europei, a cui vanno aggiunti almeno altri 60.000 rifugiati registrati, tornati dal Pakistan. «Il loro è stato un vero dilemma: rimanere o tornare? Entrambe le opzioni erano rischiose. Chi è tornato, spesso non è convinto di aver fatto la scelta giusta», aggiunge Kandiwal.

      Anche Rabihullah non ne è certo. «Il lavoro non c’è, la casa costa troppo, non parliamo della sicurezza: qui si combatte dovunque», spiega sconfortato mentre ci guida lungo i viottoli del quartiere in cui vive, nella periferia di Jalalabad. Dietro un cancello di metallo c’è casa sua. Un atrio di pochi metri quadrati, delimitato da alte mura. Sulla destra, un ripiano di legno con una bombola del gas e qualche stoviglia: «è la cucina». Appena sopra, un filo con dei panni stesi. Una porta blu spicca contro il marrone delle pareti di fango. «Come vedi, la casa è fatta di un’unica stanza». C’è un’unica finestra e, di fronte all’entrata, un letto di corde intrecciate con la base in legno, tipico di queste parti. Una scala in bambù raggiunge il tetto della stanza, dove sono stesi altri panni. «È tutto qui», dice guardandosi intorno e lamentando la scarsa assistenza del governo, inefficiente e corrotto. «Le risorse ci sono, ma vengono dirottate su progetti privati, sottratte, rubate», ci dice un funzionario della sede locale dell’Organizzazione internazionale per le migrazioni (Oim), che chiede l’anonimato.

      Non si tratta soltanto di denaro. La risorsa più importante, qui, è la casa. Meglio ancora, la terra. Secondo il «Policy Framework on IDPs and Returnees» del governo, «l’assegnazione della terra sarà un contributo fondamentale nel successo di soluzione durature» per i rifugiati. Ma la realtà è diversa. «Il piano governativo è molto ambizioso, e i politici non fanno mai mancare promesse elettorali su questo tema. Ma l’assegnazione delle terre è uno dei processi più corrotti che ci siano», nota Jelena Bjelica, che sull’argomento ha scritto un articolo molto informato.

      Lo conferma Wali Mohammad Kandiwal, che ci anticipa i risultati della sua ultima ricerca, promossa dal Feinstein International Center dell’Università statunitense di Tufts. Si intitola «Homeland, but no land for home. A Case Study of Refugees in Towns: Jalalabad» e l’autore la sintetizza così: «la terra è il problema principale soprattutto qui, nella provincia di Nangarhar. Il governo punta a far tornare gli emigrati, ma non riesce a soddisfarne i bisogni e le legittime richieste. La burocrazia e soprattutto la corruzione sull’assegnazione delle terre rendono l’intero sistema dell’accoglienza del tutto fallimentare».

      Alla corruzione e all’inefficienza del governo si sommano altri ostacoli. Il primo è il costo della terra, il bene più ambito. Secondo i dati riportati dallo Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (Sigar), l’organo di controllo che riferisce al Congresso degli Stati Uniti sui soldi pubblici spesi nel Paese centro-asiatico, dal 2001 il costo della terra è aumentato del 1.000%. Un aumento ancora più significativo si registra nella provincia di Nangarhar, a causa delle speculazioni legate al rientro dei profughi dal Pakistan, delle mafie locali, delle dispute sui terreni e del landgrabbing.

      C’è poi il problema strutturale dell’enorme peso demografico, sociale ed economico delle migrazioni forzate. Secondo una recente ricerca coordinata dall’Oim, in 15 delle 34 province afghane con la maggiore mobilità transfrontaliera e interna, tra il 2012 e il 2017 più di 3,5 milioni di persone sono ritornate dall’estero o sono state costrette a lasciare la propria casa, per trasferirsi in altre zone del paese. Tra coloro che sono rientrati in patria, 1 milione e 355 mila provenivano dal Pakistan, 398 mila dall’Iran. Il 25% di tutti i returnees si sono stabiliti proprio nella provincia di Nangarhar, che ha registrato 499,194 nuovi arrivi – ufficiali – tra il 2012 e il 2017.

      Tra questi c’è Hejrat, 33 anni, carnagione scura, occhi celesti e un sorriso rassicurante. «Siamo tornati nel giugno 2017. Era un periodo in cui tante famiglie decidevano di tornare indietro», racconta. «Sono nato in Pakistan, ma la mia famiglia è originaria del distretto di Rodat, non distante da Jalalabad». Hejrat ha vissuto a lungo in Pakistan, a Peshawar, prima di essere costretto a tornare: «per i pachistani, gli afghani sono un fastidio. Abbiamo sopportato a lungo, poi siamo partiti». Per farlo ha dovuto chiedere un prestito: «I miei genitori erano già tornati. Ho chiesto un prestito di 10.000 rupie pachistane (circa 70 euro, ndr), ho fatto i bagagli e sono partito. Eravamo 5 persone, tutta la mia famiglia. Al confine, l’Onu ci ha dato una tenda, 100 chili di farina e 3 coperte. Ora eccoci qui». Hejrat sostiene che l’assistenza ricevuta sia insufficiente. «Abbiamo bisogno di tutto: cibo, lavoro, soldi. Con i soldi potrei cominciare un’attività e restituire quel che devo. Ho ancora debiti da pagare in Pakistan».

      Hejrat è tornato in Afghanistan nel giugno 2017, quando la morsa delle autorità pachistane cominciava ad allentarsi. «In quel periodo le autorità hanno prolungato la validità dei documenti degli afghani e il ministero afghano per i Rifugiati ha trovato un accordo con la controparte a Islamabad», ricorda Kandiwal. Nel 2018, la pressione è ulteriormente diminuita. Eppure, i rientri dal Pakistan continuano, così come gli abusi. Da gennaio a oggi, secondo l’Oim circa 23.000 afghani senza documenti sono tornati in Afghanistan dal Pakistan (mentre sono circa 510.000 quelli rientrati dall’Iran, a causa delle crescenti pressioni delle autorità iraniane e della svalutazione del rial). «Siamo tornati da 5 mesi», racconta Hakim, 25 anni. «Siamo stati costretti ad andarcene. I poliziotti ci picchiavano ogni giorno con i bastoni, ci perseguitavano, continuavano a crearci problemi. Quando hanno esagerato, abbiamo deciso di partire. Molta gente ha preso la nostra stessa decisione».

      Hakim si considera afghano, ma è nato in Pakistan. «Sono nato vicino a Peshawar, nel campo (rifugiati, ndr) di Akora. Poi siamo finiti a vivere su Charsadda road, fuori dai campi, con altre famiglie afghane. La mia famiglia si è trasferita in Pakistan 35 anni fa a causa della guerra». La guerra continua ancora oggi, ma Hakim – pur non essendoci mai vissuto – è tornato nella patria dei genitori. «Non era più possibile vivere a Peshawar: troppi problemi».

      Anche qui non mancano. «In Pakistan facevo il lavoratore a giornata, lo stesso provo a fare qui. Ma è più difficile. Ho provato ad andare a Kabul, ma non ho trovato niente. Vivo con mia madre e mio padre, con mia moglie e i miei 5 figli. In tutto, siamo 8 persone». Hakim ci mostra casa, una tenda di plastica marrone, fornita dal Norwegian Refugee Council. Il tetto è in lamiera, le pareti in plastica e tela. Sopra l’ingresso svetta una bandiera afghana. Sui lati, una stampella di fil di ferro sorregge un vassoio di metallo con qualche utensile. Un intricato giro di fili porta l’elettricità. «Ma va e viene». All’interno, diversi materassi, arrotolati per risparmiare spazio, un peluche spelacchiato e qualche pentola. La tenda si trova in un ampio parcheggio sterrato, per gran parte occupato da ferraglia e calcinacci. Dietro la tenda c’è un palazzo in costruzione, lasciato a metà. Accanto, un’altra tenda, più bassa e più piccola.

      Qualche metro più in là, un orticello di due metri per due. Pomodori, melanzane e poco altro. Hakim vorrebbe tornare nel villaggio dei genitori, nel distretto di Bati Kut, ma non può: «lì c’è la guerra».


      http://openmigration.org/analisi/viaggio-tra-i-rifugiati-afghani-respinti-dal-pakistan

    • Coming home to conflict: Why Afghan returnees say they were better off as refugees

      Life as an Afghan refugee in Pakistan was never easy for Halima Bibi. But living in her own country has been even harder.

      Bibi, 60, is among more than 3.8 million refugee and undocumented Afghans who have returned to Afghanistan – by choice or by force – over the last five years. In 2016, after spending their entire lives as refugees, she and her three children were driven over the border on the back of a truck – one family among hundreds of thousands of Afghans pushed out of Pakistan that year in a refugee crackdown.

      Today, she lives in a small brick house in Bela, a village hosting around 1,500 returnee families outside the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. None of her three children have jobs, and Bibi worries about her health: she hasn’t been able to find a clinic to treat complications from her leprosy.

      “Life’s much more difficult here,” she said, sitting on the steps outside her concrete home, tears rolling down her wrinkled cheeks. “All of our extended family is in Pakistan and we struggle to survive.”

      Bibi’s troubles are common among Afghans coming home to a country at war after decades away, but data showing how returnees are faring has been scarce. Now, new research tracking Afghan returnees is painting a clearer picture of what people like Bibi are going through as authorities and aid groups prepare for more returns.

      A study released in July by the World Bank and the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, found that most returnees are worse off financially than those who had stayed behind in Pakistan. Researchers interviewed thousands of Afghans who returned between 2014 and 2017 – a period that saw both a sharp rise in civilian casualties in Afghanistan, and mounting pressure on Afghan refugees living on the margins in Pakistan.

      The study found returnees face significantly higher unemployment, resorted to more precarious or unstable jobs like day labouring, and earned lower wages than they did back in Pakistan. They were also more likely to be unemployed or racking up debt compared with Afghans who never left the country.

      The research comes at a critical period for the government and aid groups in Afghanistan. UN agencies are forecasting that at least 680,000 refugees and undocumented migrants will return from Pakistan and Iran this year. But there are few jobs available and little help to reintegrate in a country in crisis.

      A record 3,800 people were killed in conflict last year, and hundreds of thousands were displaced by clashes or by disasters. Afghanistan is heading toward presidential elections in late September, yet insurgent attacks and military operations continue to kill civilians.

      The study’s proponents say the new data can be used to better understand returnees’ humanitarian needs, to shape more targeted aid and development responses – and to prepare for the next wave of returns and displacement.
      War and migration in Afghanistan

      With their country at war for the past four decades, millions of Afghans have been pushed out by both insecurity and a struggling economy. The UNHCR says the global Afghan refugee population – which includes some 2.7 million registered refugees and millions more undocumented – is the second-largest in the world.

      For decades, neighbouring Pakistan and Iran have hosted the majority of these refugees. But returns have surged over the last five years, driven by volatile public sentiment against refugees, geopolitical manoeuvring – Pakistan has previously threatened new rounds of deportation after political tussles with Afghanistan’s main backer, the United States – or economic crises.

      Some Afghans choose to come home, taking advantage of voluntary return programmes that supply cash grants to registered refugees. Other undocumented Afghans are fleeing sporadic police crackdowns in Pakistan. The majority of recent returnees are from Iran, where an economic crisis has driven Afghans out in droves.

      But there are few services for returning refugees and migrants. At Afghanistan’s four main border crossings with Pakistan and Iran, returning refugees are registered and the most vulnerable – unaccompanied children and single women – receive short-term assistance like food, clothing, and onward transport. But most of this assistance is short-lived, and migration flows are difficult to track once people have entered the country.

      Hafizullah Safi, 50, returned to Afghanistan four years ago along with his wife and 10 children. His family had never set foot in Afghanistan. His last visit was 35 years ago.

      Originally from the eastern province of Kunar, a lush rural area with one of Afghanistan’s few remaining forests, Safi decided to settle in Kabul instead – further from the war’s front lines, he said, and closer to schools and hospitals.

      But adjusting to his new life has been difficult. He rents a two-room mud home in Kabul’s city centre, but he struggles to pay the monthly rent of 5,000 afghanis, or about $60.

      “In Pakistan, I owned a small shop selling dried fruit, but here in Kabul I can barely keep my job as a taxi driver,” he said.

      Outside his house, a garbage-filled river breeds mosquitoes and smells of faeces. The roads are unpaved and electricity is scarce, if available at all. His son, a university graduate with a business degree, has been looking for a job since finishing his studies.

      Safi said there’s little to no assistance from both the government and aid groups. Four years after leaving, the family survives on money sent from relatives still in Pakistan.

      High expectations

      Rights groups say Afghanistan has failed to implement large-scale land programmes for refugees. Government policy aims to include returnees and displaced communities within the country’s development programmes, but the conflict itself makes progress difficult for all Afghans.

      “Returnees often have high expectations and it doesn’t line up with what we can provide,” said Abdul Basit Ansari, a spokesman at the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, which oversees programmes for returnees and the displaced. “Both security and employment continue to be big challenges – not only for those who return, but for Afghans across the country.”

      The return to Afghanistan has been difficult for Safi and his family, but he said some aspects are better, compared with living an undocumented existence in Pakistan.

      “We were never fully integrated. We always lived in fear of being found out,” he said. “Afghanistan might be dangerous, but in some ways it is safer. This is our home. We are free here.”

      Still, in a crisis marked by precarious returns and long-lasting displacement, many Afghans are looking to leave.

      At Pakistan’s embassies and consulates across Afghanistan, more than 5,000 visa applications are made daily, according to Pakistan’s ambassador, with many people waiting in line for days.

      The Pakistan-Afghanistan border has traditionally been porous, but Safi said regulations have toughened in recent years: “We now need passports and visas to cross the border,” he said. “These are expensive and hard to come by.”

      If it wasn’t for paperwork, he admitted, his family would have returned to Pakistan long ago. Instead, he’s eyeing other migration opportunities for his university-educated but jobless son.

      “Pakistan is becoming less of an option,” he said. “My son is now trying to go to Europe instead.”

      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/08/01/Afghan-conflict-returnees-better-off-refugees

      #Pakistan

    • Coming home to conflict: Why Afghan returnees say they were better off as refugees

      Life as an Afghan refugee in Pakistan was never easy for Halima Bibi. But living in her own country has been even harder.

      Bibi, 60, is among more than 3.8 million refugee and undocumented Afghans who have returned to Afghanistan – by choice or by force – over the last five years. In 2016, after spending their entire lives as refugees, she and her three children were driven over the border on the back of a truck – one family among hundreds of thousands of Afghans pushed out of Pakistan that year in a refugee crackdown.

      Today, she lives in a small brick house in Bela, a village hosting around 1,500 returnee families outside the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. None of her three children have jobs, and Bibi worries about her health: she hasn’t been able to find a clinic to treat complications from her leprosy.

      “Life’s much more difficult here,” she said, sitting on the steps outside her concrete home, tears rolling down her wrinkled cheeks. “All of our extended family is in Pakistan and we struggle to survive.”

      Bibi’s troubles are common among Afghans coming home to a country at war after decades away, but data showing how returnees are faring has been scarce. Now, new research tracking Afghan returnees is painting a clearer picture of what people like Bibi are going through as authorities and aid groups prepare for more returns.

      A study released in July by the World Bank and the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, found that most returnees are worse off financially than those who had stayed behind in Pakistan. Researchers interviewed thousands of Afghans who returned between 2014 and 2017 – a period that saw both a sharp rise in civilian casualties in Afghanistan, and mounting pressure on Afghan refugees living on the margins in Pakistan.

      The study found returnees face significantly higher unemployment, resorted to more precarious or unstable jobs like day labouring, and earned lower wages than they did back in Pakistan. They were also more likely to be unemployed or racking up debt compared with Afghans who never left the country.

      The research comes at a critical period for the government and aid groups in Afghanistan. UN agencies are forecasting that at least 680,000 refugees and undocumented migrants will return from Pakistan and Iran this year. But there are few jobs available and little help to reintegrate in a country in crisis.

      A record 3,800 people were killed in conflict last year, and hundreds of thousands were displaced by clashes or by disasters. Afghanistan is heading toward presidential elections in late September, yet insurgent attacks and military operations continue to kill civilians.

      The study’s proponents say the new data can be used to better understand returnees’ humanitarian needs, to shape more targeted aid and development responses – and to prepare for the next wave of returns and displacement.
      War and migration in Afghanistan

      With their country at war for the past four decades, millions of Afghans have been pushed out by both insecurity and a struggling economy. The UNHCR says the global Afghan refugee population – which includes some 2.7 million registered refugees and millions more undocumented – is the second-largest in the world.

      For decades, neighbouring Pakistan and Iran have hosted the majority of these refugees. But returns have surged over the last five years, driven by volatile public sentiment against refugees, geopolitical manoeuvring – Pakistan has previously threatened new rounds of deportation after political tussles with Afghanistan’s main backer, the United States – or economic crises.

      Some Afghans choose to come home, taking advantage of voluntary return programmes that supply cash grants to registered refugees. Other undocumented Afghans are fleeing sporadic police crackdowns in Pakistan. The majority of recent returnees are from Iran, where an economic crisis has driven Afghans out in droves.

      But there are few services for returning refugees and migrants. At Afghanistan’s four main border crossings with Pakistan and Iran, returning refugees are registered and the most vulnerable – unaccompanied children and single women – receive short-term assistance like food, clothing, and onward transport. But most of this assistance is short-lived, and migration flows are difficult to track once people have entered the country.

      Hafizullah Safi, 50, returned to Afghanistan four years ago along with his wife and 10 children. His family had never set foot in Afghanistan. His last visit was 35 years ago.

      Originally from the eastern province of Kunar, a lush rural area with one of Afghanistan’s few remaining forests, Safi decided to settle in Kabul instead – further from the war’s front lines, he said, and closer to schools and hospitals.

      But adjusting to his new life has been difficult. He rents a two-room mud home in Kabul’s city centre, but he struggles to pay the monthly rent of 5,000 afghanis, or about $60.

      “In Pakistan, I owned a small shop selling dried fruit, but here in Kabul I can barely keep my job as a taxi driver,” he said.

      Outside his house, a garbage-filled river breeds mosquitoes and smells of faeces. The roads are unpaved and electricity is scarce, if available at all. His son, a university graduate with a business degree, has been looking for a job since finishing his studies.

      Safi said there’s little to no assistance from both the government and aid groups. Four years after leaving, the family survives on money sent from relatives still in Pakistan.

      High expectations

      Rights groups say Afghanistan has failed to implement large-scale land programmes for refugees. Government policy aims to include returnees and displaced communities within the country’s development programmes, but the conflict itself makes progress difficult for all Afghans.

      “Returnees often have high expectations and it doesn’t line up with what we can provide,” said Abdul Basit Ansari, a spokesman at the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, which oversees programmes for returnees and the displaced. “Both security and employment continue to be big challenges – not only for those who return, but for Afghans across the country.”

      The return to Afghanistan has been difficult for Safi and his family, but he said some aspects are better, compared with living an undocumented existence in Pakistan.

      “We were never fully integrated. We always lived in fear of being found out,” he said. “Afghanistan might be dangerous, but in some ways it is safer. This is our home. We are free here.”

      Still, in a crisis marked by precarious returns and long-lasting displacement, many Afghans are looking to leave.

      At Pakistan’s embassies and consulates across Afghanistan, more than 5,000 visa applications are made daily, according to Pakistan’s ambassador, with many people waiting in line for days.

      The Pakistan-Afghanistan border has traditionally been porous, but Safi said regulations have toughened in recent years: “We now need passports and visas to cross the border,” he said. “These are expensive and hard to come by.”

      If it wasn’t for paperwork, he admitted, his family would have returned to Pakistan long ago. Instead, he’s eyeing other migration opportunities for his university-educated but jobless son.

      “Pakistan is becoming less of an option,” he said. “My son is now trying to go to Europe instead.”

      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/08/01/Afghan-conflict-returnees-better-off-refugees

  • Lessons from Tanzania’s Historic Bid to Turn Refugees to Citizens

    Tanzania was lauded for offering citizenship to 200,000 Burundians, the largest-ever mass naturalization of refugees. But a political stalemate emerged between humanitarians and the government, leaving refugees stuck in the middle, explains researcher Amelia Kuch.

    During Europe’s so-called migrant crisis of 2015, the Tanzanian government gave over 200,000 Burundian refugees a choice between repatriation – returning to Burundi – and naturalization – obtaining Tanzanian citizenship.

    Given the choice, 79 percent of the refugees – 171,600 people – opted for Tanzanian citizenship. It is understood to be the first time in history any state has naturalized such a large group of refugees under the protection of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) in a single move.

    This group of refugees had fled Burundi following ethnic violence and killings in 1972 and now live in three rural settlements in Tanzania: Katumba, Mishamo and Ulyankulu. Since the 1970s, these settlements had transformed into towns: People made improvements to their homes, electricity poles were laid out and the local markets began to expand.

    Research has shown that access to citizenship is an important means of resolving long-term displacement. Yet in most countries, granting citizenship to refugees is still politically unthinkable.

    Tanzania has long been held up as a safe haven for refugees in the region, giving shelter to some 315,000 mainly Burundian and Congolese refugees. The naturalization of Burundian refugees was hailed as a model for progressive solutions to displacement. Yet it has led to a political stalemate between humanitarian organizations and the government, with the “refugees-turned-citizens” stuck in the middle.

    Last month, the Tanzanian government halted the naturalization of another group of more recently arrived Burundian refugees and has since pulled out of the U.N.’s Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, citing lack of international funding.

    During my research in the former Burundian refugee camps in Western Tanzania since 2014, I have spoken with many former refugees about the naturalization process, as well as NGO employees and government officials.

    The difficulties in Tanzania are important to understanding the challenges of mass naturalization. It is not easy to turn a camp of refugees into a settlement of citizens. They also demonstrate how important it is for refugees to be able to hold both governments and humanitarian organizations accountable when things go wrong.
    A Progressive Solution is Born

    Negotiations around Tanzania’s naturalization policy began in 2007. They resulted in the Tanzania Comprehensive Solution Strategy (TANCOSS), which was adopted that year by the governments of Tanzania and Burundi in partnership with UNHCR. The agreement had three pillars: repatriation to Burundi, granting citizenship to those who opted to pursue naturalization and relocation of naturalized refugees from the settlements to other regions of Tanzania.

    Major investments were promised to facilitate the process. Some $103 million was earmarked for relocation and integration of naturalized refugees in the 2011-15 United Nations Development Assistant Plan (UNDAP).

    Eventually, the resettlement pillar was abandoned because of logistical problems and local resistance to resettling refugees. As a result, the new citizens were permitted to remain in the areas of the settlements in which they had lived for the past four decades. They can now vote in national elections and join political parties.

    “Obtaining citizenship and being allowed to stay here brought peace into my heart. Before I lived in fear,” said one former refugee named Daniel.
    Left in Limbo

    Yet the initial TANCOSS agreement did not include any detailed plans for the refugee settlements after the naturalization of their residents. As a consequence, today the area remains in a governance limbo.

    Every refugee camp had a settlement officer who represented the Ministry of Home Affairs and was responsible for governing the area. Settlement officers remain in power in all three settlements, and they continue to act as the highest authority and arbiters of conflicts.

    “Naturalization certificates are important because they allow us to move, but opening of this space is crucial and still needs to happen,” said one church leader in Ulyankulu, referring to the full integration of the settlements. “As long as we still have a settlement officer and a closed space, the process is not complete.”

    It remains unclear when and how a transition to local governance will take place and what rights to the land the new citizens have. The Tanzania Strategy for Local Integration Program for the New Citizens (TANSPLI), drafted in 2016, stipulates the creation of a master land use plan for the settlements and the surrounding areas, followed by the registration of villages in each settlement and provision of documentation for land rights.

    However, the timeline for implementation is unclear. It “hinges on the availability of funding for the planned development projects,” according to Suleiman Mziray, who is assistant director of refugee services at Ministry of Home Affairs.

    “People here don’t have ownership, you can be taken off your land at any time,” said one elderly man from Kaswa village in Ulyankulu settlement. “It’s like a marriage with no certificate.”
    Lack of Accountability

    Some of these challenges have led to a political stalemate between humanitarian organizations and the government, with each claiming the other has not kept its promises. Meanwhile, residents of the settlements suffer the consequences, as they wait for citizenship documents and investment in infrastructure like access to clean water.

    Due to major delays in the distribution of citizenship certificates by the government, international funding for the promised development projects was redirected to other emergencies. Some of the aid was initially meant for resettlement, so once the refugees were allowed to stay in the former camps, funds were reallocated. Now that they are no longer refugees but citizens, they fall into a responsibility gap. “We have done our part,” a UNHCR official told me on condition of anonymity.

    On the other side is the Tanzanian government: frustrated and disillusioned. They say they were promised that major investments will follow the distribution of citizenship but they never arrived. “We kept our part of the deal and distributed citizenship. But none of the promises materialized,” said an official at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

    The government says it does not intend to invest in the settlements for now, as they are still hoping that international funding might come through eventually.

    Earlier agreements left it ambiguous who would be responsible for implementing the administrative, developmental and social programs that were designed to turn former refugee settlements into properly integrated towns and villages. Without accountability mechanisms, it is hard for former refugees to hold humanitarian organizations or the government to their initial promises.
    Three Lessons from Tanzania

    Clearly, the design and implementation of the naturalization policy was far from perfect. The experience of Tanzania offers a few important lessons.

    First, if similar mass naturalization policies are to be implemented elsewhere, it is key that they are drafted as binding documents, where the parties dedicated to the process (both national governments and international organizations) can be held accountable if they do not deliver on the promises and commitments made within an agreed timeline.

    Second, such policies should be more carefully drafted, incorporating provisions on post-naturalization arrangements regarding local governance and land ownership.

    Finally, despite the pitfalls and unforeseen challenges, my interviews with former refugees shows that naturalization is very important to them. They are acutely aware that citizenship is not a panacea, but firmly maintain that access to legal status provides them with a sense of security and the right to remain in the country, allaying fears of forced repatriation and deportation.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/02/22/lessons-from-tanzanias-historic-bid-to-turn-refugees-to-citizens?platfor
    #naturalisation #citoyenneté #nationalité #modèle_tanzanien #Tanzanie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_burundais

    v. aussi le #modèle_ougandais qui donne un lopin de terre aux réfugiés

  • How Refugees’ Trauma Became ‘Currency’ in Resettlement

    For many, seeking asylum requires repeatedly recounting your story, compounding its impact. Refugees feel pressured not only to prove persecution, but also that they’ve also been damaged by it. Betsy Joles reports from Malaysia.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/08/10/how-refugees-trauma-became-currency-in-resettlement
    #réinstallation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #audition #preuve #persécution #trauma #traumatisme #interview

  • Je copie-colle ici les messages que j’ai publiés par le passé en commentaire à ce message (et je les effaces en passant) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/477258
    et de celui-ci, publié par @odilon :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/455835

    ... pour des raisons d’archivage. C’est un thème que j’ai abordé à plusieurs reprises, et je ne veux pas risquer de perdre le contenu, compte tenu du fait que je n’ai pas moi-même initié le fil de discussion ci-dessus.

    #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés #asile #migrations #disparition #France #réfugiés #disparitions #enfants #enfance
    cc @isskein

    Plus de matériel sur seenthis, avec les mots-clé #disparition #MNA #réfugiés :
    https://seenthis.net/recherche?recherche=%23disparition+%23MNA+%23r%C3%A9fugi%C3%A9s

  • By Stifling Migration, Sudan’s Feared Secret Police Aid Europe

    At Sudan’s eastern border, Lt. Samih Omar led two patrol cars slowly over the rutted desert, past a cow’s carcass, before halting on the unmarked 2,000-mile route that thousands of East Africans follow each year in trying to reach the Mediterranean, and then onward to Europe.

    His patrols along this border with Eritrea are helping Sudan crack down on one of the busiest passages on the European migration trail. Yet Lieutenant Omar is no simple border agent. He works for Sudan’s feared secret police, whose leaders are accused of war crimes — and, more recently, whose officers have been accused of torturing migrants.

    Indirectly, he is also working for the interests of the European Union.

    “Sometimes,” Lieutenant Omar said, “I feel this is Europe’s southern border.”

    Three years ago, when a historic tide of migrants poured into Europe, many leaders there reacted with open arms and high-minded idealism. But with the migration crisis having fueled angry populism and political upheaval across the Continent, the European Union is quietly getting its hands dirty, stanching the human flow, in part, by outsourcing border management to countries with dubious human rights records.

    In practical terms, the approach is working: The number of migrants arriving in Europe has more than halved since 2016. But many migration advocates say the moral cost is high.

    To shut off the sea route to Greece, the European Union is paying billions of euros to a Turkish government that is dismantling its democracy. In Libya, Italy is accused of bribing some of the same militiamen who have long profited from the European smuggling trade — many of whom are also accused of war crimes.

    In Sudan, crossed by migrants trying to reach Libya, the relationship is more opaque but rooted in mutual need: The Europeans want closed borders and the Sudanese want to end years of isolation from the West. Europe continues to enforce an arms embargo against Sudan, and many Sudanese leaders are international pariahs, accused of committing war crimes during a civil war in Darfur, a region in western Sudan.

    But the relationship is unmistakably deepening. A recent dialogue, named the Khartoum Process (in honor of Sudan’s capital) has become a platform for at least 20 international migration conferences between European Union officials and their counterparts from several African countries, including Sudan. The European Union has also agreed that Khartoum will act as a nerve center for countersmuggling collaboration.

    While no European money has been given directly to any Sudanese government body, the bloc has funneled 106 million euros — or about $131 million — into the country through independent charities and aid agencies, mainly for food, health and sanitation programs for migrants, and for training programs for local officials.

    “While we engage on some areas for the sake of the Sudanese people, we still have a sanction regime in place,” said Catherine Ray, a spokeswoman for the European Union, referring to an embargo on arms and related material.

    “We are not encouraging Sudan to curb migration, but to manage migration in a safe and dignified way,” Ms. Ray added.

    Ahmed Salim, the director of one of the nongovernmental groups that receives European funding, said the bloc was motivated by both self-interest and a desire to improve the situation in Sudan.

    “They don’t want migrants to cross the Mediterranean to Europe,” said Mr. Salim, who heads the European and African Center for Research, Training and Development.

    But, he said, the money his organization receives means better services for asylum seekers in Sudan. “You have to admit that the European countries want to do something to protect migrants here,” he said.

    Critics argue the evolving relationship means that European leaders are implicitly reliant on — and complicit in the reputational rehabilitation of — a Sudanese security apparatus whose leaders have been accused by the United Nations of committing war crimes in Darfur.

    “There is no direct money exchanging hands,” said Suliman Baldo, the author of a research paper about Europe’s migration partnership with Sudan. “But the E.U. basically legitimizes an abusive force.”

    On the border near Abu Jamal, Lieutenant Omar and several members of his patrol are from the wing of the Sudanese security forces headed by Salah Abdallah Gosh, one of several Sudanese officials accused of orchestrating attacks on civilians in Darfur.

    Elsewhere, the border is protected by the Rapid Support Forces, a division of the Sudanese military that was formed from the janjaweed militias who led attacks on civilians in the Darfur conflict. The focus of the group, known as R.S.F., is not counter-smuggling — but roughly a quarter of the people-smugglers caught in January and February this year on the Eritrean border were apprehended by the R.S.F., Lieutenant Omar said.

    European officials have direct contact only with the Sudanese immigration police, and not with the R.S.F., or the security forces that Lieutenant Omar works for, known as N.I.S.S. But their operations are not that far removed.

    The planned countertrafficking coordination center in Khartoum — staffed jointly by police officers from Sudan and several European countries, including Britain, France and Italy — will partly rely on information sourced by N.I.S.S., according to the head of the immigration police department, Gen. Awad Elneil Dhia. The regular police also get occasional support from the R.S.F. on countertrafficking operations in border areas, General Dhia said.

    “They have their presence there and they can help,” General Dhia said. “The police is not everywhere, and we cannot cover everywhere.”

    Yet the Sudanese police are operating in one unexpected place: Europe.

    In a bid to deter future migrants, at least three European countries — Belgium, France and Italy — have allowed in Sudanese police officers to hasten the deportation of Sudanese asylum seekers, General Dhia said.

    Nominally, their official role is simply to identify their citizens. But the officers have been allowed to interrogate some deportation candidates without being monitored by European officials with the language skills to understand what was being said.

    More than 50 Sudanese seeking asylum in Europe have been deported in the past 18 months from Belgium, France and Italy; The New York Times interviewed seven of them on a recent visit to Sudan.

    Four said they had been tortured on their return to Sudan — allegations denied by General Dhia. One man was a Darfuri political dissident deported in late 2017 from France to Khartoum, where he said he was detained on arrival by N.I.S.S. agents.

    Over the next 10 days, he said he was given electric shocks, punched and beaten with metal pipes. At one point the dissident, who asked that his name be withheld for his safety, lost consciousness and had to be taken to the hospital. He was later released on a form of parole.

    The dissident said that, before his deportation from France, Sudanese police officers had threatened him as French officers stood nearby. “I said to the French police: ‘They are going to kill us,’” he said. “But they didn’t understand.”

    European officials argue that establishing Khartoum as a base for collaboration on fighting human smuggling can only improve the Sudanese security forces. The Regional Operational Center in Khartoum, set to open this year, will enable delegates from several European and African countries to share intelligence and coordinate operations against smugglers across North Africa.

    But potential pitfalls are evident from past collaborations. In 2016, the British and Italian police, crediting a joint operation with their Sudanese counterparts, announced the arrest of “one of the world’s most wanted people smugglers.” They said he was an Eritrean called Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who had been captured in Sudan and extradited to Italy.

    The case is now privately acknowledged by Western diplomats to have been one of mistaken identity. The prisoner turned out to be Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe, an Eritrean refugee with the same first name as the actual smuggler. Mr. Mered remains at large.

    Even General Dhia now admits that Sudan extradited the wrong man — albeit one who, he says, admitted while in Sudanese custody to involvement in smuggling.

    “There were two people, actually — two people with the same name,” General Dhia said.

    Mr. Berhe nevertheless remains on trial in Italy, accused of being Mr. Mered — and of being a smuggler.

    Beyond that, the Sudanese security services have long been accused of profiting from the smuggling trade. Following European pressure, the Sudanese Parliament adopted a raft of anti-smuggling legislation in 2014, and the rules have since led to the prosecution of some officials over alleged involvement in the smuggling business.

    But according to four smugglers whom I interviewed clandestinely during my trip to Sudan, the security services remain closely involved in the trade, with both N.I.S.S and R.S.F. officials receiving part of the smuggling profits on most trips to southern Libya.

    The head of the R.S.F., Brig. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, has claimed in the past that his forces play a major role in impeding the route to Libya. But each smuggler — interviewed separately — said that the R.S.F. was often the main organizer of the trips, often supplying camouflaged vehicles to ferry migrants through the desert.

    After being handed over to Libyan militias in Kufra and Sabha, in southern Libya, many migrants are then systematically tortured and held for ransom — money that is later shared with the R.S.F., each smuggler said.

    Rights activists have previously accused Sudanese officials of complicity in trafficking. In a 2014 report, Human Rights Watch said that senior Sudanese police officials had colluded in the smuggling of Eritreans.

    A British journalist captured by the R.S.F. in Darfur in 2016 said that he had been told by his captors that they were involved in smuggling people to Libya. “I asked specifically about how it works,” said the journalist, Phil Cox, a freelance filmmaker for Channel 4. “And they said we make sure the routes are open, and we talk with whoever’s commanding the next area.”

    General Dhia said that the problem did not extend beyond a few bad apples. Sudan, he said, remains an effective partner for Europe in the battle against irregular migration.

    “We are not,” he said, “very far from your standards.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/22/world/africa/migration-european-union-sudan.html
    #Soudan #externalisation #asile #migrations #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #réfugiés #police_secrète #Europe #UE #EU #processus_de_Khartoum
    signalé par @isskein

    • Sudan : The E.U.’s Partner in Migration Crime

      The first part of our new investigation finds key individuals in the Khartoum regime complicit in #smuggling and trafficking. Reporting from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and the Netherlands reveals security services involved in a trade they are meant to police.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/01/19/sudan-the-e-u-s-partner-in-migration-crime
      #soudan #migrations #réfugiés #asile #EU #Europe #complicité #UE #trafic_d'êtres_humains #traite #processus_de_khartoum #Shagarab #Omdurman #Rapid_Support_Forces #RSF #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Free_Lions

    • Inside the EU’s deeply flawed $200 million migration deal with Sudan

      The EU has allocated over $200 million to help Sudan stem migration since 2015
      Asylum seekers allege Sudanese officials are complicit in abuse, extortion
      Traffickers said to hold people for weeks, beat and torture them for money
      Arrivals in Italy from Horn of Africa fell to a fraction in 2017, but new routes are opening up
      Crackdown has seen asylum seekers rountinely rounded up, taken to Khartoum to pay fines or be deported
      The EU insists strict conditions govern the use of its money and it is monitoring for abuses

      https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/01/30/inside-eu-s-deeply-flawed-200-million-migration-deal-sudan-0

    • Enquête sur les dérives de l’aide européenne au Soudan

      En l’absence d’une prise en compte des causes profondes des migrations, seuls les officiels corrompus et les trafiquants tirent bénéfice de la criminalisation des migrants. Alors que des millions de dollars de fonds de l’Union européenne affluent au Soudan pour endiguer la migration africaine, les demandeurs d’asile témoignent : ils sont pris au piège, et vivent dans un état perpétuel de peur et d’exploitation dans ce pays de transit.

      https://orientxxi.info/magazine/enquete-sur-les-derives-de-l-aide-europeenne-au-soudan,2298

      Traduction française de cet article :
      https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/01/30/inside-eu-s-flawed-200-million-migration-deal-sudan

    • L’Europe collabore avec un dictateur pour mieux expulser vers le Soudan

      Migreurop demande l’arrêt immédiat de toutes les collaborations initiées par l’Union européenne et ses Etats membres avec la dictature d’Omar El-Béchir et avec tout Etat qui bafoue les droits fondamentaux.

      Lorsqu’il s’agit d’expulser des étrangers jugés indésirables, rien ne semble devoir arrêter l’Union européenne (UE) et ses États membres qui n’hésitent pas à se compromettre avec Omar el-Béchir, le chef d’État du Soudan qui fait l’objet de deux mandats d’arrêt internationaux pour génocide, crimes contre l’Humanité et crimes de guerre.

      Il y a longtemps que l’UE a fait le choix de sous-traiter à des pays tiers, sous couvert d’un partenariat inéquitable et avec des fonds issus du développement, la lutte contre l’immigration irrégulière et même la gestion de la demande d’asile. Ce processus d’externalisation, qui s’accompagne de la délocalisation de la surveillance des frontières européennes très en amont de leur matérialisation physique, a été encore renforcé à la suite de la si mal nommée « crise des réfugiés » [1].

      Ainsi, dans le cadre du Processus de Khartoum, initié par l’UE en 2014 et consolidé suite au Sommet de La Valette de fin 2015, les régimes les plus répressifs, tels que le Soudan et l’Erythrée – que des dizaines de milliers de demandeurs d’asile cherchent à fuir – bénéficient de subsides pour retenir leur population et « sécuriser » leurs frontières… sans que l’UE ne se préoccupe des atteintes dramatiques portées aux droits humains dans ces pays.

      Dans ce domaine, l’UE et les États membres agissent de concert. Ainsi, de nombreux pays européens n’hésitent pas à renvoyer vers Khartoum des ressortissants soudanais - peu importe qu’il puisse s’agir de demandeurs d’asile - et à collaborer avec les autorités locales pour faciliter ces expulsions.

      Dernièrement, c’est dans un parc bruxellois que des émissaires soudanais procédaient à l’identification de leurs nationaux en vue de leur retour forcé, semant la terreur parmi les personnes exilées qui y campaient [2].

      Si l’affaire a suscité de vives réactions, le gouvernement belge s’est retranché, pour se justifier, derrière l’exemple donné par ses voisins et continue de programmer des expulsions de ressortissants soudanais [3].
      En France, une coopération similaire existe ainsi depuis 2014 : des représentants de Khartoum auraient visité plusieurs centres de rétention pour identifier des ressortissants soudanais et faciliter leur renvoi [4]. Selon les chiffres dont disposent les associations qui interviennent dans les CRA français, 9 personnes auraient été renvoyées vers le Soudan depuis 2015 et environ 150 remises à l’Italie et exposées au risque d’un renvoi vers Khartoum depuis le territoire italien.

      Par ailleurs, des retours forcés vers le Soudan ont eu lieu depuis l’Allemagne, l’Italie et la Suède, grâce notamment à des accords de police bilatéraux, souvent publiés uniquement à la suite des pressions exercées par la société civile [5] . L’Italie, à l’avant-garde de la vision sécuritaire en matière de collaboration dans le domaine des migrations, a ainsi conclu en août 2016 un accord de coopération policière avec le Soudan, dans le cadre duquel 48 personnes, originaires du Darfour, ont été refoulées à Khartoum. Celles qui ont pu résister à leur renvoi depuis l’Italie ont demandé et obtenu une protection, tandis que cinq des personnes refoulées ont porté plainte auprès de la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme [6].

      Ces accords et pratiques bafouent en effet toutes les obligations des pays européens en matière de respect des droits humains (droit d’asile, principe de non-refoulement, interdiction des expulsions collectives et des traitements inhumains et dégradants, droit à la vie, etc…) et révèlent le cynisme qui anime l’Union et les États-membres, prêts à tout pour refuser aux exilés l’accès au territoire européen.

      Il faut le dire et le répéter : toute forme de coopération avec les autorités soudanaises bafoue les obligations résultant du droit international et met en danger les personnes livrées par les autorités européennes au dictateur Omar el-Béchir.

      Le réseau Migreurop et ses membres demandent en conséquence l’arrêt immédiat des expulsions vers le Soudan et de toute démarche de coopération avec ce pays.

      http://www.migreurop.org/article2837.html

  • How Photographing Lost Objects Revealed Another Lens on — Refugees Deeply
    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/07/02/how-photographing-lost-objects-revealed-another-lens-on-migration
    https://newsdeeply.imgix.net/20180701110420/118.jpg?w=1200&h=630&fit=crop&crop=entropy&q=60

    For years, Sicilian photographer Mario Badagliacca has been documenting migrants’ journeys – as they land on the shores of Lampedusa or trek across Europe’s borders. His striking series “Frammenti” (Fragments) documents the personal belongings recovered from the so-called Cemetery of Boats on Lampedusa. Another series, “The Game,” explores the harsh environments and survival strategies along the Balkan route through Europe.

    As part of our series “Picturing Refugees,” we talk to Badagliacca about the constraints of the photojournalism industry and his work documenting a broader scope of migrant experiences.