• 6-year-old refugee boy dies in blaze in #Thiva accommodation camp

    A 6-year-old boy died on Tuesday night when a fire broke out in a refugee camp on the town on Thiva, some 60 km north of Athens.

    The boy was reportedly leaving with his parents and 4 siblings in a container. Local media reported that the mother reportedly managed to bring another boy and three girls outside but not the boy. The father was not there at the time of the blaze. The family are asylum-seekers from Iran.

    The fire broke out around 9 o’ clock under unknown circumstances. Footage taken at the time of the fire shows a lot of residents to have gathered outside the building on fire.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD28yBy7k8Q&feature=emb_logo

    According to local media radiothiva, and the Fire Service, it was the camp residents who pulled the dead body of the boy from the spot.

    The Fire Service said firefighters had to be accompanied by police to get into the camp after residents initially prevented them from entering.

    The refugees claimed that firefighters arrived with delay, reportedly threw stones and other items at the trucks, smashing the front window in one of them.

    Eight firemen with four fire engines were finally able to extinguish the blaze in a building in the camp.

    The Fire Service was reportedly not able to conduct inspection due to the angry crowd, a small police unit remains in the area.

    https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2021/02/24/refugee-boy-dies-fire-camp-thiva

    #incendie #feu #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #décès #mort #Grèce

    –-

    ajouté à la métaliste des incendies dans les camps de réfugiés, notamment en Grèce :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/851143

    • Grèce : incendie dans un camp au nord d’Athènes, un enfant de 6 ans décède

      Un enfant kurde de 6 ans est mort mardi soir dans l’incendie d’un camp de migrants situé à Thèbes, au nord d’Athènes. Les exilés accusent les autorités d’avoir trop tardé à intervenir, mettant plus d’une heure à rejoindre les lieux.

      Un incendie s’est déclaré dans la soirée de mardi 23 février dans un camp de migrants de Thèbes, au nord d’Athènes, provoquant la mort d’un enfant kurde de 6 ans, ont annoncé les pompiers grecs dans un communiqué. Lorsque ces derniers sont arrivés sur les lieux, l’enfant ne respirait déjà plus. Les causes de l’incendie sont pour l’heure inconnues.

      https://twitter.com/AntonisRepanas/status/1364324710901813251

      Selon des témoins cités par le site d’information kurde Pishti News, l’enfant se trouvait à l’intérieur du camp avec sa mère, son frère et ses trois sœurs quand le feu s’est déclenché. La mère aurait réussi à faire sortir quatre de ses enfants mais n’a pas pu sauver son autre fils. Toujours d’après le même média, le corps de l’enfant a été enlevé du bâtiment par les migrants eux-mêmes une heure après le drame.

      Les exilés accusent les pompiers d’avoir tardé à réagir, mettant plus d’une heure à rejoindre les lieux. Les autorités, elles, donnent une autre version. Elles racontent que la police a dû également intervenir car les migrants bloquaient l’accès à la structure qui avait pris feu, empêchant les pompiers de se rendre sur place.

      Les camps de migrants sont régulièrement touchés par des incendies, la plupart accidentels. Il y a trois jours, deux incendies ont détruit deux tentes sans faire de victime dans deux camps de migrants sur l’île de Lesbos.

      L’hiver, quand il fait froid sous les tentes des camps, de nombreux exilés font des feux de bois pour se réchauffer ou utilisent des poêles à l’intérieur de leur habitation précaire, ce qui provoque souvent des accidents.

      Des ONG de défense des droits de l’Homme ont tiré la sonnette d’alarme ces derniers jours sur la détérioration des conditions avec le froid dans les camps de migrants à travers le pays.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/30459/grece-incendie-dans-un-camp-au-nord-d-athenes-un-enfant-de-6-ans-deced

  • KACHACH, AU-DESSUS DE #ZAATARI

    Dans le camp de réfugiés de Zaatari, l’exil n’en finit plus de durer. Parmi les réfugiés, une communauté s’est reformée : les #Kachach, les éleveurs d’#oiseaux culturellement méprisés, font revivre une tradition millénaire délaissée , dans ce camp planté au milieu du désert et que nul n’est censé quitter. Et leurs oiseaux ramènent une part de #rêve qui éclaire cette longue #attente.

    https://vimeo.com/297919049


    #film #film_documentaire #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés #asile #migrations

  • Office of Displaced Designers

    Office of Displaced Designers (ODD) is a design focused creative integration organisation. We use design to bring diverse people together from the displaced and host community to share skills, undertake research and co-create a more equitable and inclusive society. Our activities focus on the built environment, protection issues and cultural understanding.

    http://www.displaceddesigners.org
    #Lesbos #camps_de_réfugiés #solidarité #humanitarian_design #réfugiés #Grèce #asile #migrations #inclusion #architecture

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Ethiopia announces the shut down of UNHCR run #Hitsats & #Shimelba refugee camps. It cites as pretext, the camps’ proximity to Eritrea causing a safety risk. Satellite imagery revealed the camps, which sheltered ~25k Eritreans, were razed to the ground throughout January.

    https://twitter.com/ZekuZelalem/status/1359117586978508802

    #Ethiopie #réfugiés_érythréens #fermeture #camps #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés #asile #migrations #destruction

    ping @karine4 @isskein

    –—

    Sur le destruction des camps de réfugiés de Hitsas et Shimelba (nouvelle d’il y a 1 mois) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/893937

    Et sur les annonces de fermeture des camps en avril 2020 par cause de covid :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/847443

  • Le #nouveau_camp de #Lesbos, #Grèce, #Kara_Tepe, et la présumée #contamination au #plomb du terrain où il est construit (construction : #septembre_2020)

    #déchets #toxicité #pollution #armée #zone_militaire #plomb #santé #migrations #asile #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #Lesbos #Grèce #îles_grecques #Moria_2.0

    –---

    voir le fil de discussion sur Kara Tepe ici, auquel j’ai ajouté la question du plomb :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/875903

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Refugee camp on toxic land, potentially life threatening for small children!

      The new “temporary” camp in Kara Tepe, Lesvos, is as we all know built partially on an old military firing range. For the government this already restricted area was perfect, it was already fenced in. As all military areas there is a lot of restrictions, the most important ones are the restrictions of movement and the restrictions on taking pictures.
      The camp area has been criticized by many, because it’s just not suited to house people, in flimsy tents when the winter is approaching. It’s at the sea, without any protection from heavy winds that usually pounds this area. The area also floods frequently, the tents are built straight on the ground, there is no drainage system. When it’s really starts to rain, and it will, there will be mud everywhere, outside and inside the tents. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s a high possibility, that the very land the camp is built on is toxic.
      As previously mentioned, it’s an old military firing range, that has been used by the military for decades. We can assume that the military has used a variety of weapons, that over the years, have packed the ground with hazardous materials. The main concern is the possibility of lead contamination. The presence of lead and lead dust is well documented on such sites as are the extreme danger to health if lead is absorbed by children. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.
      As we all know, UNHCR are assisting the Greek authorities in resettling displaced families, many of them children, on this new site. They have a special responsibility, due to their involvement, to assure that the area used is suitable and safe to live on. UNHCR have rehoused displaced families on highly toxic land in the past, and should have learned by their previous mistakes.
      Following the war in Kosovo in 1999, UNHCR rehoused displaced families on highly toxic land. This is also well documented, particularly so on a website that followed the situation over a number of years. www.toxicwastekills.com
      It resulted in childrens’ blood lead levels higher than instruments could measure. There is no level of lead so low that children’s health will not be damaged. Very young children often absorb it through licking lead paint etc as they find it pleasant. This is also well documented. Pregnant women can transfer absorbed lead to foetuses through the placenta. It attacks all organs of the body but also causes irreversible brain damage. Now UNHCR is helping to place men, women and children on an old military firing range near Kara Tepe on Lesvos. This could be yet another deadly mistake in the making.
      Due to the fact that it took only 5 days to put up this camp, after the fire in Moria, it’s highly unlikely that any proper survey has been taken. This new site requires urgent toxicity checking by independent experts to reveal whether lead is present on the new site, which could indicate an evacuation might be necessary to protect the lives of vulnerable children. The concern has already been addressed by email to Astrid Castelein, head of the UNHCR sub office on Lesvos, and the main UNHCR office in Greece, so far without any reply.
      Some areas in the camp has been leveled out by bulldozers, in other areas soil from the leveled areas has been reused as landfill. By doing so, things that has been buried in the ground for decades has resurfaced, possibly making the situation even worse. Residents in the camp have found remains of ammunition casings and grenades around the tents, and military personnel have been observed using metal detectors in the outskirts of the camp. To see small children who have fled war, play with used ammunition in a European refugee camp, should raise some questions.
      If this isn’t enough, a proposal to create a new “reception and identification centre” structure with a capacity of 2,500 people, and a planned 500 employees overall, in the area of the former shooting range of Kamenos Dasos (Camlik) in central Lesvos seems to have been passed, as the majority of Mytilene municipal authority confirmed. These areas would never have been approved to build houses, schools or kindergartens, but seems to be more than good enough for these children..
      https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354717

      https://www.facebook.com/AegeanBoatReport

    • Greece : Migrant Camp Lead Contamination

      Inadequate Government Response; Lack of Transparency Put Health at Risk

      The Greek government should release test results and other vital information about lead contamination in a migrant camp on Lesbos island to protect the health of residents and workers, Human Rights Watch said today.

      After testing soil samples in November, the government confirmed publicly on January 23, 2021 the presence of dangerous levels of lead in the soil in the administrative area of the Lesbos camp. It says that samples from residential areas showed lead levels below relevant standards but did not release the locations where samples were collected or the actual test results. The government has yet to indicate that it will take the necessary steps to adequately assess and mitigate the risk, including comprehensive testing and measures to remove people from areas that could be contaminated.

      “The Greek government knowingly built a migrant camp on a firing range and then turned a blind eye to the potential health risks for residents and workers there,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. “After weeks of prodding, it took soil samples to test for lead contamination while denying that a risk of lead exposure existed. It did not make the results public for over seven weeks, and has yet to allow independent experts to analyze them or vow to take the necessary steps to protect residents and workers and inform them about the potential health risks.”

      Human Rights Watch published a report in December documenting that thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, and United Nations, Greek, and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning in the Lesbos camp. Greek authorities built the new camp, Mavrovouni (also known as new Kara Tepe), on a repurposed military firing range. It now houses 6,500 people. According to a government announcement on January 23, one out of 12 soil samples taken in November came back on December 8 with lead levels that “exceeded the acceptable limit.” The announcement also mentions some steps to mitigate the risk.

      Human Rights Watch has requested the Greek government and the European Commission, which financially supports the camp and with which the government shared the results, to release the testing plan and the test results, which should include such information as the levels of lead for each sample, the sample depths and exact locations, a complete history of the site with location specifity, the expertise of those conducting the testing, the sampling methodology, and information on chain of custody. To date, neither the Greek government nor the European Commission has made this information available.

      This lack of transparency means that it is impossible to assess the adequacy of the testing, evaluate what the results represent, or recommend specific strategies to address the identified risks. As a result, it is impossible to determine whether the measures laid out in the January 23 statement, such as adding new soil, gravel, and a cement base in some areas, are adequate to protect people who live and work in the camp.

      In early September, large fires broke out inside the Moria camp, the Reception and Identification Center on Lesbos, which was housing 12,767 migrants, mostly women and children. Within days, the authorities constructed Mavrovouni and said they would construct a new permanent camp. Young children and women of reproductive age are most at risk for negative effects from lead exposure.

      In a meeting with Human Rights Watch on January 20, Minister for Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi said that he hoped that the residents of Mavrovouni would not spend another winter there, but did not specify when the new camp would be ready. Construction has yet to begin.

      Mavrovouni functioned as a military firing range from 1926 to mid-2020. Firing ranges are well recognized as sites with lead contamination because of bullets, shot, and casings that contain lead and end up in the ground. Lead in the soil from bullet residue can readily become airborne, especially under dry and windy conditions, which are often present on Lesbos. Lead is highly toxic when ingested or inhaled, particularly to children and anyone who is pregnant or lactating. The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that there is no known safe level of blood lead concentration. Lead degrades very slowly, so sites can remain dangerous for decades.

      After multiple representations by Human Rights Watch to various Greek authorities, the European Commission, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the WHO, the Greek government and the EU Commission commissioned the Hellenic Authority of Geology and Mineral Exploration to take 12 soil samples on November 24. According to the government, 11 soil samples showed lead levels “below the acceptable limits for lead in soil,” based on Dutch standards.

      The 12th sample, taken from what authorities described as an “administrative area” on the Mavrovouni hill, “at the end of the firing range,” showed elevated levels of lead above acceptable limits, but authorities did not reveal the concentration of lead in the soil. Mitarachi told Human Rights Watch that the area that showed lead levels above acceptable limits was fenced off, but residents and two aid workers said there were no fences inside the camp in that area or signs warning of a contaminated area. At least five aid organizations have offices in that area. An aid worker said residents, sometimes as many as 200 and including children, line up there for support and information. Younger children risk ingesting lead as they play or sit on contaminated ground.

      Human Rights Watch was unable to determine whether the government shared any information with humanitarian agencies about the testing results, but calls with agencies including UNHCR and the WHO indicated that they were not aware of them prior to the January 23 release. A staff member from one aid organization there said that at least one aid worker in the camp is currently pregnant, and 118 camp residents are pregnant, based on November government data.

      An environmental expert whom Human Rights Watch consulted said that, given the potential size of the affected area and the likelihood that elevated levels are the result of historic activity, the fact that one out of 12 samples in an area came back positive should trigger further testing.

      International law obligates countries to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to the highest attainable standard of health. The UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment’s Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment, which interpret the right to a healthy environment, emphasize the need for “public access to environmental information by collecting and disseminating information and by providing affordable, effective and timely access to information to any person upon request.” The Aarhus Convention, to which Greece is a party, provides a right to receive environmental information held by public authorities.

      Greek authorities should immediately release the results and testing plan to the public, and take measures to mitigate the risk to the health of camp residents and workers, Human Rights Watch said. The authorities should ensure that residents and workers are informed about the results and measures to protect their health in languages they can understand. The authorities should also urgently undertake further testing and allow independent experts to comment on investigative work plans, audit the soil testing process, and collect split samples (a sample that is separated into at least two parts so that testing can be carried out at two or more seperate laboraties in order to confirm results) or carry out independent testing.

      The European Commission, which financially supports Greece to manage the camp and has staff stationed there, EU agencies, Frontex, and the European Asylum Support office, as well as United Nations agencies, UNHCR, UNICEF, the IOM and the WHO, should urge Greek authorities to make the detailed results and testing plan public, and push authorities to find alternative and safe housing solutions for those affected, including the option of moving them to the mainland. The European Commission, which was given the results and testing plan by the Greek government, should also make public the detailed information it received on the results and the methodology of the testing, to allow independent experts to comment on the risk to residents and workers in the camps.

      “Greece and its EU partners have a duty to make sure that people who live and work in the Mavrovouni camp are safe,” Wille said. “That requires transparency about the risks as well as urgent steps to mitigate them.”

      Additional Information

      In its January 23 statement and in its meeting with Human Rights Watch on January 20, the Greek government made several inaccurate claims regarding remediation and protection of residents. In its statement, the government claimed that after soil samples were taken on November 24, “while awaiting the results” it removed the tents directly on the firing range strip. But satellite imagery and residents’ and workers’ statements indicate that no tents were removed until between December 11 and 16, after the test results were received.

      Satellite imagery and aid organization mapping of the camp shows that by January 10, 79 tents remained on the firing range, with 58 more at the base of the hill. The residents in those tents may be at increased risk of coming into contact with contaminated soil, particularly when it rains. In addition, after some tents were removed, three migrants and two aid workers told Human Rights Watch that residents have been using the area for football and other recreation. Authorities have not fenced off the area or notified residents of the health risks.

      Since the site was tested, major construction work and heavy rains in the area mean that potentially contaminated soil from the hill and firing range area may have moved to other parts of the camp, which warrants further testing.

      Human Rights Watch received information from multiple sources that on January 18, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which runs two assistance programs in the camp, suspended its operations at its tent on the hill. In response to a Human Rights Watch query, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Greece confirmed that, “Following the announcements regarding lead detection outside the accommodation areas and while waiting for more information from the authorities, IOM staff has been advised to remain inside the residential area.”

      In an aid briefing on January 19, the sources said it was revealed that the decision was made because of elevated levels of lead found in the “blue zone” of the camp, an area that includes the firing range and the base of the hill where the IOM Helios tent is located, as well as other aid tents including that of Médecins du Monde (MdM), and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). IOM staff have yet to return to the camp, but aid workers still in the camp said there is still no fencing or signage around that area. According to the camp residents and two aid workers, and 24 photos and videos taken from inside Mavrovouni by the DunyaCollective, a media collective, since December, authorities have been moving large quantities of soil, including removing some from the hill behind the IOM Helios tent.

      On January 23, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders or MSF) issued a statement raising its concerns at the lack of appropriate government and EU action in the face of the testing results. On January 26, a group of 20 nongovernmental groups issued a joint statement calling on the Greek authorities to immediately evacuate camp residents and transfer them to appropriate structures on the mainland and elsewhere, such as hotel units.

      Aerial footage from January 14 shows tents still present in the part of the camp built on the former firing range at that date starting at around 02:00.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/01/27/greece-migrant-camp-lead-contamination

    • Greece: Lead Poisoning Concerns in New Migrant Camp

      Thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, United Nations, and Greek and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning in a new migrant camp that Greek authorities have built on a repurposed military firing range on the island of Lesbos, Human Rights Watch said today.

      Firing ranges are commonly contaminated with lead from munitions, nevertheless the authorities did not conduct comprehensive lead testing or soil remediation before moving migrants to the site in September 2020. Evidence collected by migrants moved to the site also indicated that authorities have also failed to clear all unexploded mortar projectiles and live small arms ammunition, which could injure or kill if disturbed or handled.

      “Putting thousands of migrant adults and children, along with aid workers, on top of a former firing range without taking the necessary steps to guarantee they would not be exposed to toxic lead is unconscionable,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Greek authorities should promptly conduct a comprehensive site assessment of soil lead levels and release the results.”

      In November and early December, Human Rights Watch interviewed four people living in the camp, two aid workers, one Greek migration ministry employee working in the camp, and four medical and environmental experts, and reviewed academic research on the risk of soil lead contamination at shooting ranges and medical research on the health risks of lead poisoning. Human Rights Watch did not have access to conduct on-site research, but analyzed photos and videos of the site and satellite imagery to confirm the firing range location.

      The Asylum and Migration Ministry began major construction work at the end of November at the site, called Mavrovouni camp, that could disturb any lead contaminated soil, further exposing residents and workers. The work to improve access to electricity and water and reduce the risk of flooding began despite warnings from Human Rights Watch of the potential of increased risk of lead poisoning.

      In early September, large fires broke out inside the Moria camp, the Reception and Identification Center on Lesbos that was housing 12,767 migrants, mostly women and child migrants. Within days, authorities constructed Mavrovouni (also known as new Kara Tepe) as a temporary camp and told people that they would begin construction of a new permanent camp for use by June 2021. According to the media, Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi, has recently indicated the new camp will only be ready by Autumn 2021. Currently 7,517 people, mostly from Afghanistan and Syria, are staying at Mavrovouni, which started functioning as a military firing range in 1926 and was in use until the camp was constructed in September 2020, Mitarachi said.

      In response to letters from Human Rights Watch, Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi stated in a November 19 letter that the camp had “no lead contamination,” but provided no evidence for the basis of that assertion. He said the government has agreed to conduct soil testing with the European Commission within one month, but has not revealed the nature of the testing, the areas to be tested, or the methodology. A Hellenic army representative called Human Rights Watch on December 1, stating his intention to respond to a letter received on November 4 from Human Rights Watch, raising urgent concerns. But no response has been received. On December 6, General Secretary for Asylum Seekers’ Reception Manos Logothetis, called Human Rights Watch to dispute the risk of lead contamination at the camp. He confirmed that no soil testing for lead had taken place prior to moving people to the camp, but said that authorities are awaiting the results of soil testing conducted recently in collaboration with the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME).

      “No one just shows up without a plan,” Dr. Gordon Binkhorst, vice president of global programs at Pure Earth, told Human Rights Watch. “Sharing of a well-founded work plan beforehand is key to transparency and ensuring confidence in the findings.” Greek authorities should allow independent experts to comment on investigative work plans, audit the soil testing process and collect split samples for independent testing.

      “The authorities should share documentation of work completed and a comprehensive site investigation work plan based on a review of the site history, contaminants of concern, a conceptual site model of how such contaminants are released to and migrated in the environment, and a comprehensive testing plan that evaluates the degree and extent of contamination in the environment, and potential exposure routes,” Dr. Binkhorst said.

      Firing ranges are well-recognized as sites with lead contamination because of bullets, shot, and casings that contain lead and end up in the ground. Lead in the soil from bullet residue can readily become airborne, especially under dry and windy conditions, which often exist on Lesbos. Lead is a heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans when ingested or inhaled, particularly by children and during pregnancy. It degrades very slowly, so sites can remain dangerous for decades.

      The World Health Organization maintains that there is no known safe level of lead exposure. Elevated levels can impair the body’s neurological, biological, and cognitive functions, leading to learning barriers or disabilities; behavioral problems; impaired growth; anemia; brain, liver, kidney, nerve, and stomach damage; coma and convulsions; and even death. Lead also increases the risk of miscarriage and can be transmitted through both the placenta and breast milk.

      Small children and women of reproductive age are at particular risk. According to Greek authorities, on November 19, 2,552 out of 7,517 people in the camp were children, 997 of them under age 5, and 1,668 were women – 118 of whom have said they are five or more months pregnant.Camp residents shared 17 photographs of items they said they had found in the ground around their tents, including an intact 60mm mortar projectile and a tail fin assembly for another 60mm mortar projectile, cartridge casings for rifle bullets, fired 12-gauge shotgun cartridges, and live pistol, rifle, machine gun, and shotgun ammunition. Intact munitions, such as 60mm mortar projectiles and small arms ammunition, pose an immediate explosive hazard and should be removed urgently from the area.

      “We try to stop our children from going to play up the hill because we know there might be bullets and other things the army didn’t clear that could be dangerous,” one camp resident said. Munitions containing lead can be extremely dangerous when swallowed by children or contaminate the soil, a medical expert told Human Rights Watch.

      The authorities should conduct a thorough and transparent assessment of lead levels in the soil and dust, as well as other possible pathways to exposure, and make the results publicly available. Any work that might increase exposure should be paused until after the soil has been tested or until people have been removed from the camp and housed in adequate facilities, Human Rights Watch said. If lead is present in the soil, authorities should provide free blood testing and treatment for camp residents, aid workers, police, and others who might have been exposed, prioritizing young children and women of reproductive age, and immediately move exposed residents to a safe location and remediate the contaminated areas.

      “The Greek government could be putting at risk families with young children, aid workers, and its own employees because it’s determined to hold asylum seekers on the island,” Wille said. “If this is where the government is trying to force asylum seekers to live on Lesbos, then all the more reason to transfer people to the mainland.”

      Tents on a Firing Range

      The Mavrovouni site sits on a large plot of military-owned land, some of which was used as a military firing range since 1926. The Asylum and Migration Ministry said that it covered the site with “new levels of soil” before the camp was opened.

      Human Rights Watch reviewed satellite imagery from before and after construction began on the camp on September 11, 2020. Imagery from before shows a firing range on part of the site next to Mavrovouni Hill. By September 28, more than 200 tents had been set up directly on the former firing range itself, with more tents on adjacent areas.

      Satellite imagery from June, before Moria camp was destroyed by fire, shows some basic clearance of vegetation cover within a rectangular strip that included the firing range, as well as a small section at the base of Mavrovouni Hill. From the imagery, it is impossible to determine the depth of the soil removal and whether the remediation of lead impacted soil was completed in accordance with prevailing standards and guidelines, or if it was just a superficial scraping of topsoil.

      Human Rights Watch was unable to determine what soil removal activities took place between June and September, when the camp opened, or of other activities to decontaminate the ground or where soil removed was disposed of. Given the speed of camp construction, it is very unlikely that authorities could have carried out remediation of lead-impacted soil before setting up the tents. Greek authorities have indicated that new soil was placed prior to construction of the camp, with no location indicated.

      Satellite imagery analysis, combined with a review of photos and videos of the firing range that were posted online in the spring, shows that the military was shooting from the southwest toward targets in the northeast, at the foot of Mavrovouni Hill. This suggests that soil on the hillside might also be contaminated by lead.

      Imagery recorded between September 14 and 16, shows at least 300 tents just south of the hill without any prior signs of soil clearance, with another at least 170 added in the following days. Imagery from late November shows further ground preparation southeast of the hill, and the construction of four large structures.

      Medical and environmental experts interviewed said it was risky to conduct further work in the camp without first conducting soil samples. “Disturbing this area will mobilize the lead in the soil and make it more vulnerable to dispersion from periodic rainfall, flooding, and wind erosion,” said Jack Caravanos, professor of global environmental health at New York University. Dr. Caravanos has visited and assessed dozens of lead-contaminated sites throughout the world and expressed dismay over how this site was chosen without proper environmental investigation.

      A European Commission official who is involved in migration policy with Greece said that the Greek Defense Ministry claimed that “no pieces of lead were observed on the ground” during construction or other work. Because lead dust is usually not visible, this claim raises concerns about the seriousness of the Greek government’s assessment.

      A source close to the police said that the government had considered turning the firing range into a camp site as early as 2015. At the time, authorities rejected the proposal for several reasons, the source said, including because it had been a firing range. It is unclear why the government ignored these concerns in 2020. A migration ministry employee working on the camp who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that in September, before Mavrovouni was selected, the government met with a few larger nongovernmental organizations, and discussed at least two or three alternative locations.

      Lead Contamination

      In his letter to Human Rights Watch, Minister Mitarachi said that the range had only been used for “small arms (straight trajectory), commonly only bullets, and not for other types of ammunition.” This ammunition, he said, “according to the Greek Army, contains no lead.” He added that the army had searched the camp for munitions prior to opening, and again 20 days later, and “reported no findings.”In contrast to these claims, bullets used for rifles, pistols, and machine guns as well as shot used by shotguns usually contain lead, which is used in bullets for its density and penetrating ability. Research at firing ranges has found that the discharge of lead dust from shooting results in soil contamination. Research has shown that elevated blood lead levels are commonly found in users of these sites, even among those who use them for limited amounts of time for recreational purposes.

      The large amount of fired small arms casings and cartridges found at the camp indicates an equally large number of bullets and shot might be buried beneath the ground where they landed. Other areas near the firing range may have been affected, including from relocation of soil associated with the construction of the camp or historic clearing of soils and munitions from the firing range. Thus, it is likely that any soil contamination extends beyond the firing range. Greek authorities provided no documentation for their claim that all the munitions used at the firing range were lead-free. This claim is highly questionable, given that lead-free bullets are expensive and very rare, particularly prior to the 1980s. Some bullets have an external metal-alloy coating that may make them appear to be lead-free, but the coating disintegrates relatively quickly when the bullet enters the soil, and the lead core becomes exposed. In addition, the photographic evidence from camp residents does not appear to support this contention.

      Camp residents shared with Human Rights Watch five photographs, one dated September 20, and two videos of the Hellenic Army’s Land Mine Clearance Squad carrying out clearance activities without any protective equipment and disregarding distancing between them and camp residents needed for safe ammunition clearance activities.

      The migration ministry employee working in the camp who spoke on the condition of anonymity said she remembered clearance operations taking place around that date: “There were soldiers who had this machine to detect metal walking amongst us. They were so close that we had to pick up our feet from the ground so they could check right under us.” A government employee’s union made a formal complaint about general working conditions at the camp, including their concerns around these clearance activities.

      In addition to camp residents, anyone working inside the camp could also face potential lead exposure from spending time in the camp if the soil is contaminated. Residents, aid workers, and the migration ministry employee said that these include staff from the Hellenic police, Hellenic army, municipality, First Reception Service, Asylum Service, National Public Health Organization (EODY), European Commission, European Asylum Support Office (EASO), European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), Europol, IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, World Health Organization, Red Cross, and at least eight other medical and aid groups.

      Risks of Lead Poisoning for At-risk Groups

      Symptoms of lead poisoning are often not diagnosed as such but its adverse health effects can be irreversible. The severity of symptoms increases with prolonged exposure. Globally, lead exposure is estimated to account for up to one million deaths annually, with the highest burden in low- and middle-income countries. Poor and disadvantaged populations are more vulnerable because undernourishment increases the amount of ingested lead the body absorbs.

      Children are especially at risk because they absorb four to five times as much lead as adults, and their brains and bodies are still developing. In addition, small children often put their hands in their mouths or play on the ground, which increases their likelihood of ingesting or inhaling lead in dust and dirt. Exposure during pregnancy can result in stillbirth, miscarriage, and low birth weight, and can negatively affect fetal brain development. At least 118 pregnant women and 2,552 children are at the site, according to government data.

      Mohammed Hafida, a camp resident with three young children whose wife is pregnant, said that when they first moved to the camp it was particularly dusty. “When cars drove past the tents there was dust everywhere,” he said. “That only went away once the rain set in two weeks later. But the camp is on a hill, and so when it rained for several hours, many of the tents collapsed. This isn’t a camp, it’s a hell.”

      People living in the camp said that for the first few weeks, they had been sleeping on blankets and mattresses on the dusty ground, but more recently aid workers had added flooring to the tents. Even as rainfall increased, residents reported that dust would still enter the tents including in the cooking areas. Camp residents said they have to clean dust out of their tents multiple times a day because cars are driving on adjacent gravel roads. Children often play in the dusty area by the roads. A medical expert said that small children at the camp are at very serious risk for as long as they are exposed to dust that could be contaminated.

      Camp authorities did not inform residents that there could be a risk of lead exposure at the site. Medical and environmental experts said that given the known risks of lead exposure at firing ranges, comprehensive soil testing should have been carried out before even considering it as a possible location for the camp. They warned of specific risks of lead poisoning for small children who are most at risk. “Remediation can be very difficult,” said Caravanos, the NYU professor of global environmental health. “I can’t imagine that you could make it safe without removing everyone if lead was found in the soil.”

      On November 17, Human Rights Watch was notified about significant planned construction work, which the Asylum and Migration Ministry confirmed in a letter dated November 19. On November 26, Human Rights Watch sent a letter with detailed findings to the Greek Ministries of Asylum and Migration and Defense, which it also shared with EU officials and representatives from UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, and the World Health Organization, saying that these actions risk further exposing residents and construction workers to any potentially lead-contaminated dust and soil. Despite these warnings, on November 30, residents of the camp informed researchers that large construction was underway, including on top of Mavrovouni hill.

      The authorities should have been aware of the amount of dust construction causes at the site. During the construction of the camp in September, the migration ministry employee said, workers had been moving around lots of soil to make room for the camp structure and “There was a lot of dust everywhere for days. I kept finding dust and even little pebbles in my ears at that time.”

      Unsatisfactory Clearance Operation

      Three people interviewed in November said that the authorities forced them to move to the camp after the fires in Moria camp by threatening that the government would stop their asylum claims if they refused. All three have found and provided Human Rights Watch with photographs of munition remnants since moving to Mavrovouni in September. They all said that after moving to the site, they saw the Greek military conduct clearance operations without protective gear, and they shared videos of those operations with Human Rights Watch.

      In the videos and photographs, the camp tents and migrants are clearly visible, confirming that some clearance activities took place after people were already living there. A Syrian man whose wife is nine-months pregnant with their first child said that, after they had moved into the camp, he saw the military find and remove at least one cartridge casing. Another camp resident said that since arriving, he has found many bullets on the ground but the “authorities haven’t told us what to do if we find them, or other kinds of munitions.”

      Access to Health Care

      Two medical staff from a team providing health care in Mavrovouni camp said on November 10 that, since arriving at the camp in October, they had not heard anything about possible lead exposure. Both said that the camp had “decent” health care services considering that it was a temporary camp, but that the laboratory inside the camp does not have the capacity to perform blood tests for lead levels. Both said that because of the nature of the symptoms of lead poisoning, which are also symptoms of other illnesses, it would be extremely difficult to diagnose potential cases without blood tests.

      Both medical staff and a doctor who had worked previously at the camp said it was very difficult for camp residents to visit the hospital due to movement restrictions related to Covid-19.

      Parallels to Kosovo Incident

      This is not the first time that people living in a camp are put at risk of lead poisoning. For more than a decade following the end of the war in Kosovo in 1999, about 600 Roma, Ashkali, and Balkan Egyptian minority members lived in camps for displaced people operated by the UN. The camps sat on land contaminated by lead from a nearby industrial mine. In 2016, a United Nations human rights advisory panel found that the UN mission in Kosovo (the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK) had violated the affected people’s rights to life and health. Human Rights Watch documented that camp residents experienced lasting health impacts and are still awaiting compensation and health and educational support for themselves and their families, seven years after the last camp was closed in 2013.

      International Legal Obligations

      International law obligates states to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to the highest attainable standard of health. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which monitors governments’ compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in its General Comment 14 on the right to health, has interpreted the covenant to include:

      [T]he requirement to […] the prevention and reduction of the population’s exposure to harmful substances such as radiation and harmful chemicals or other detrimental environmental conditions that directly or indirectly impact upon human health.

      The right to health encompasses the right to healthy natural environments. The right to a healthy environment, which is also enshrined in the Greek constitution, involves the obligation to “prevent threats to health from unsafe and toxic water conditions.”

      The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and the environment’s Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment, which interpret the right to a healthy environment, emphasize the need for “public access to environmental information by collecting and disseminating information and by providing affordable, effective and timely access to information to any person upon request.” The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the treaty body that monitors compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Greece is a party, when describing the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, calls on states to take appropriate measures “to combat disease and malnutrition … taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution.”

      Responsibilities of the Greek Parliament and European Union

      Members of the Greek parliament should pay attention to the concerns that there may be lead contamination at Mavrovouni camp and assess the Greek government’s compliance with its obligations under national, European, and international law to realize the rights to health and healthy environment. They could hold a hearing or establish an inquiry to establish which government employees were involved in approving the site, the extent to which they knew or should have known about the risk of lead contamination, why they decided to move people to the site without first conducting comprehensive soil testing, and why, despite multiple concerns about lead contamination raised after the camp was opened, the authorities greenlighted construction work without first conducting comprehensive soil testing. They should take appropriate action to ensure accountability if merited.

      The European Commission, which financially supports Greece to manage the camp and has staff stationed there, as well as EU agencies, Frontex, and EASO, should urge Greek authorities to comprehensively test for lead and make the testing plan and results public.

      Human Rights Watch and other nongovernmental groups have long warned European leaders about the dire conditions in island camps, also known as hotspots. These have been exacerbated by Greek authorities’ containment policy, which has blocked transfers to the mainland. For years, residents were crammed into overcrowded, inadequate tents, with limited access to food, water, sanitation, and health care, including during the pandemic and despite the risk of Covid-19. The EU and Greece should fundamentally reconsider their hotspot approach on the Greek Islands and end policies that lead to the containment of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers in unsuitable, and in this case potentially hazardous, facilities.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/08/greece-lead-poisoning-concerns-new-migrant-camp

      #pollution #contamination #plomb #Saturnisme #HRW #rapport

    • HRW calls for transparency over lead contamination at Lesvos migrant camp

      Greek authorities should release test results and other vital information about lead contamination at the Kara Tepe migrant camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos to protect the health of residents and workers, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday.

      After testing soil samples in November, authorities earlier this month confirmed dangerous levels of lead in the soil in the administrative area of the facility, also known as Mavrovouni, which was built on a repurposed military firing range. They said that samples from residential areas showed lead levels below relevant standards but did not release the locations where samples were collected or the actual test results, the New York-based organization said.

      HRW said that officials have yet to indicate that they will take the necessary steps to adequately assess and mitigate the risk, including comprehensive testing and measures to remove people from areas that could be contaminated.

      “The Greek government knowingly built a migrant camp on a firing range and then turned a blind eye to the potential health risks for residents and workers there,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at HRW.

      “After weeks of prodding, it took soil samples to test for lead contamination while denying that a risk of lead exposure existed. It did not make the results public for over seven weeks, and has yet to allow independent experts to analyze them or vow to take the necessary steps to protect residents and workers and inform them about the potential health risks,” she said.

      According to a report published by HRW in December, thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, and United Nations, Greek, and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning.

      The Kara Tepe facility currently houses 6,500 people.

      “Greece and its EU partners have a duty to make sure that people who live and work in the Mavrovouni camp are safe,” Wille said.

      “That requires transparency about the risks as well as urgent steps to mitigate them,” she said.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/261695/article/ekathimerini/news/hrw-calls-for-transparency-over-lead-contamination-at-lesvos-migrant-c

  • #Damien_Carême dans « à l’air libre » sur la #politique_migratoire européenne et française
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU1TpPLjRzI&feature=youtu.be

    –—

    Quelques citations :

    Damien Carême :

    « On est reparti [au parlement européen] sur les discussion sur le #pacte asile migration pour voir dans quelles conditions celui qui nous est proposé maintenant est pire que le précédent, parce qu’on nivelle par le bas les exigences. On l’appelait la directive #Dublin il y encore quelque temps, aujourd’hui moi je dis que c’est la #Directive_Budapest parce qu’on s’est aligné sur les désirs de #Orban vis-à-vis de la politique de migration, et c’est pas possible qu’on laisse faire cette politique-là. [Aujourd’hui] C’est laisser les camps en #Grèce, laisser les gens s’accumuler, laisser les pays de première entrée en Europe s’occuper de la demande d’asile et permettre maintenant aux Etats qui sont à l’extérieur (la Suède, la France, l’Allemagne ou ailleurs) organiser le retour, depuis la Grèce, depuis l’Italie, depuis l’Espagne en se lavant les mains. »

    –—

    Sur le manque chronique de #logement pour les exilés en France... et la demande de #réquisition de #logements_vacants de la part des associations...
    Question du journaliste : pourquoi les mairies, et notamment les mairies de gauche et écologistes ne le font pas ?

    Damien Carême :

    « C’est à eux qu’il faut poser la question, moi je ne le comprends pas, moi, je l’ai fait chez moi. Je ne souhaite pas faire des camps, c’est pas l’idée de faire des #camps partout, mais parce que j’avais pas d’école vide, j’avais pas d’ancien hôpital, d’ancienne caserne, de vieux bâtiments pour héberger ces personnes. Donc on peut accueillir ces personnes-là, je ne comprends pas pourquoi ils ne le font pas. Je milite en tant que président de l’association #ANVITA pour l’#accueil_inconditionnel »

    Journaliste : Qu’est-ce que vous diriez à #Anne_Hidalgo ?

    « On travaille ensemble... on ne peut pas laisser ces personnes là... il faut les rendre visibles. Il a raison #Yann_Manzi d’#Utopia_56 dans le reportage. Il ne faut surtout pas jouer la politique du gouvernement qui joue l’#invisibilité. Et le ras-le-bol des #bénévoles... moi je connais des bénévoles à Grande-Synthe, ça fait 20 ans qu’ils sont là pour aider des exilés qui arrivent sur le territoire... ils sont épuisés, et c’est l’#épuisement que joue le gouvernement. Il ne faut pas céder à cela et il faut en arriver de temps en temps à un #rapport_de_force pour faire en sorte qu’on ouvre [des bâtiments vides] pour que ces gens ne soient pas à la rue. »

    Journaliste : un mot pour qualifier la politique migratoire du gouvernement

    « C’est la #politique_du_refus. C’est une politique d’#extrême_droite. D’ailleurs l’extrême droite applaudit des 4 mains ce que fait aujourd’hui le gouvernement. »

    Sur la situation à #Briançon :
    Damien Carême :

    « C’est du #harcèlement organisé par l’Etat pour jouer l’épuisement sur les bénévoles mais aussi chez les exilés qui arrivent. Et on voit bien que ça ne sert à rien. Macron, à grand renfort de pub a annoncé qu’il doublait les forces de l’ordre à la frontière italienne pour éviter les entrées, y a jamais eu autant d’entrée à la #frontière franco-italienne... »

    Journaliste : "Il y a quasiment autant d’exilés que de policiers qui dorment dans les hôtels de la ville..."
    Damien Carême :

    « Mais bien sûr ! Le budget de #Frontex est passé de 50 millions à l’origine à 476 millions aujourd’hui, ça ne change rien. La seule chose que ça change, c’est qu’aujourd’hui, à Calais, pour passer de l’autre côté en Angleterre, il y a des gens qui prennent des #small_boats et il y a des gens qui meurent en traversant le détroit de la Manche. Et c’est ça qui est grave. Et c’est ça que font ces politiques ! Que le #trafic_d'êtres_humains est le troisième trafic international après les armes et la drogue, parce que le coût du passage a énormément augmenté. A Grande-Synthe en 2015, on me disait que c’était 800 euros le passage garanti, aujourd’hui c’est entre 10 et 14’000 euros. C’est toute l’#efficacité de cette politique-là. Donc changeons de politique : dépensons beaucoup moins d’argent à faire de la #répression [utilisons-le] en organisant l’accueil »

    Commentaire à partir de cette photo, prise à Grande-Synthe :


    Journaliste : Pourquoi ça se passe comment ça, sachant que c’est votre ancien adjoint, un socialiste, #Martial_Beyaert, qui est maire maintenant ?
    Damien Carême :

    "Il avait toujours été d’accord avec notre politique d’accueil. A partir du moment dans lequel il a assumé la responsabilité, il s’est réfugié derrière la volonté du préfet. Et aujourd’hui il dit qu’il est prêt à ouvrir le gymnase, « mais il faut que l’Etat soit d’accord pour le faire, et l’Etat n’est pas d’accord ». Mais l’Etat ne sera jamais d’accord, donc c’est du #cynisme de tenir ces propos aujourd’hui".

    Sur l’ANVITA :
    Damien Carême :

    « C’est un réseau de soutien, c’est un réseau de pression, il y a 44 communes, 3 régions et 2 départements. »

    Journaliste : c’est facile d’être solidaire en ce moment ?

    Damien Carême : « Oui c’est facile. En fait, tout repose sur l’#imaginaire, sur les #récits qu’on peut faire. Nous, ce qu’on a fait quand on était à Grande-Synthe, et c’est ce qui se passe dans plein de villes... quand on accueille réellement, quand on met en relation les populations accueillies et les populations accueillantes, tout se passe merveilleusement bien. »

    Carême parle de #Lyon comme prochaine ville qui intégrera le réseau... et il rapporte les mots de #Gérard_Collomb :
    Damien Carême :

    "Lyon c’est quand même symbolique, parce que Gérard Collomb... qui avait été, pour moi, le ministre de l’intérieur le plus cynique, lui aussi, puisqu’il m’avait dit quand je l’avais vu en entretien en septembre 2017, ouvert les guillemets : « On va leur faire passer l’envie de venir chez nous », fermées les guillemets. C’était les propos d’un ministre de l’intérieur sur la politique migratoire qui allait été mise en ville"

    L’ANVITA....

    « c’est mettre en réseau ces collectivités, c’est montrer qu’on peut faire, qu’on peut faire de l’accueil sans soulèvement de population... Et c’est bientôt créer un réseau européen, car il y a des réseaux comme ça en Allemagne, en Belgique, en Italie, et fédérer ces réseaux »

    Damien Carême :

    « Dans la #crise_écologique, dans la #crise_climatique qu’on vit, il y a la crise migratoire, enfin... c’est pas une #crise_migratoire, c’est structurel, c’est pas conjoncturel la migration : c’est depuis toujours et ça durera toujours. C’est quelque chose à intégrer. Et donc intégrons-le dans nos politiques publiques. C’est pas une calamité, c’est une #chance parfois d’avoir cet apport extérieur. Et toute l’histoire de l’humanité nous le raconte parfaitement »

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #interview #Calais #France #Grande-Synthe #camp_humanitaire #camps_de_réfugiés #accueil #rhétorique #appel_d'air #solidarité #mouvements_citoyens #associations #sauvetage #mer #secours_en_mer #Frontex #Fabrice_Leggeri #refus #harcèlement_policier #passeurs #militarisation_des_frontières #efficacité

    signalé par @olaf : https://seenthis.net/messages/898383

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Greece’s new confidentiality law aims to conceal grave violations against asylum seekers

    We strongly condemn Greece’s new law prohibiting NGOs’ first-hand account of abuses inside refugee camps, said the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor in a statement today. The new confidentiality law is in essence an alarming measure to muzzle NGO workers and undermine their crucial role in highlighting the unbearable suffering asylum seekers are subjected to in infamous migrant camps.

    Earlier this week, the Greek government has enacted a law that prevents all workers, including volunteers and government civil servants, from publicly sharing any information related to the operations or residents of refugee camps in the country, also after they have stopped working there. This means that NGO workers won’t be allowed to publicly raise any concerns about potential violations against asylum seekers in those camps or the inhumane conditions they are forced to live through, such as overcrowding, inadequate infrastructure, scarce food and water supply, and appalling sanitary conditions.

    This is not the first attempt of the Greek government to restrict and criminalize solidarity and aid towards migrants. Since its victory at the elections in mid-2019, the right-wing New Democracy party has started pursuing a campaign against NGOs and civil society actors supporting refugees and asylum seekers, with some members also accusing NGOs of smuggling and trafficking people.

    In July 2020, the government declared (https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/25447/ngos-in-greece-told-to-register-or-cease-operations) that all NGOs working in refugee camps would have to register in order to continue to work and many had to cease their operations. On that occasion, 73 organizations released a statement (https://helprefugees.org/news/statement-greek-ngo-registration) to condemn the unnecessary and disproportional barriers imposed on their work, essential to cover the gaps in the provision of basic services, including legal and medical assistance, housing, informal education and human rights’ monitoring.

    It’s still uncertain how the new law will be implemented, but the mere fact of enacting it is already a clear sign of power and repressive control over asylum issues from the conservative government. The New Democracy party aims at showcasing its ability to curb migration flows within the country better than the previous left-wing Syriza government. Yet this control is done at the expense of refugees and asylum seekers’ human rights.

    Both in the Greek islands and on the mainland, the poor and unsanitary conditions in refugee camps have been extensively documented. Euro-Med Monitor has recently collected first-hand material and information from Greek camps, showing the appalling and inhumane conditions that migrants are forced to endure in such sites.

    “NGOs’ reporting from refugee camps offers timely eyewitness accounts of abuses, provides visibility to the struggles asylum seekers and refugees live daily and reminds political leaders both locally and globally that human rights’ violations will not go unnoticed” said Michela Pugliese, legal researcher at Euro-Med Monitor.

    Euro-Med Monitor calls on Greece to urgently retract this new law; to engage in constructive dialogue with humanitarian workers and volunteers operating in refugee camps; and to concretely support, rather than hinder, their essential work to protect and fulfil migrants and asylum seekers’ fundamental rights.

    https://euromedmonitor.org/en/article/4057/Greece%E2%80%99s-new-confidentiality-law-aims-to-conceal-grave-viola
    #censure #camps_de_réfugiés #asile #migrations #réfugiés #loi #Grèce #confidentialité #solidarité #associations #liberté_d'expression

  • IOM run camps in Bosnia: Structural violence is not an incident

    We demand transparency in the work of international organizations and an immediate switch to the practices of care and justice!

    Since 2018, when the first “temporary reception center” run by the IOM and financed by large from the EU, was established in Bosnia and Herzegovina, people placed in camps have been trying to draw the attention of the public. They have been united in saying that living conditions have been below any standards. At the same time, IOM representatives, as well as the EU, have been repeating that the centers have been built in accordance with the “European standards”. However, they have never told us what these standards are.

    At the moment, camp Blažuj near Sarajevo is the biggest concentration camp in BiH with over 3.200 people ‘housed’ inside. The conditions are precarious. No hot water, food is only basic, it is overcrowded, no heating, many people have scabies, every illness is treated with paracetamol and brufen (DRC responsibility). A similar precarious situation is in another camp near Sarajevo, Ušivak.

    People in Sarajevo are receiving everyday pleas for help from the people in the camps. They ask for food, clothes, hygiene supplies, even baby diapers. Tensions are high and occur in daily conflicts. Additionally, the part of the staff in centers is rude, unprofessional, abusive, and often disrespectful towards the people. Local police enter the camps, and the surrounding area, often using methods that should be scrutinized.

    Therefore, we must ask: Do mass, overcrowded camps represent the “European standard” of living? Is the absence of basic living conditions like hot water and heating, the absence of medical care and treatment, the absence of regular diet and widespread hunger, the absence of human care and compassion the “European standard”? Are mass camps soon becoming new mass graves, as a result of the European living standard in question?

    The atmosphere of tension culminated in Blažuj on the evening of January 20th, when a huge fight broke inside the camp. Another one. Each time it is bigger and bigger. IOM cannot negate this as we all saw the fire a few nights ago, which was the result of one such fight. Those who are running camp do not have the knowledge, or willingness, to deal with tensions, meaning to provide more psychological support than security, better conditions, and activities that would make people at least feel human. Instead of that, the IOM and others have decided to limit media access, and to monitor contacts ‘residents’ have with people outside of the camp and the media, often punishing those who are found to communicate with people outside and accused of sending true information about the conditions in the camp (that should be public anyway). Those who do that are often punished with retaliation, expulsion, or even detention inside the special area in the camps, but also in official detention centers in Bosnia, where with no trials or delivered sentences people are kept sometimes for months.

    In the end, the media, IOM, and authorities put the perpetual blame on people on the move, demonizing and criminalizing them in order to justify their own (wrong) doings and (mis)handlings.

    We ask for transparency in the work of international organizations, and an immediate switch to the practices of care and justice. People in Bosnia, but also many other countries in a similar situation, have been asking for this for decades, with little success, while witnessing what could be described as very problematic behaviour of the personnel and leaders of the international organizations (e.g. during the war, especially in so called “safe zones”, or after the war when the UN personnel was involved in human trafficking).

    - unlimited media access to the camps

    – freedom of speech for people inside the camps

    - utter protection from all kinds of violence

    – access to nutritive food, hot and drinking water, hygienic care, medical treatments, mental health support

    – end to the police, military, and security guards’ violence.

    No more structural violence.

    No more mass camps.

    No more (mass) graves.

    Transbalkan Solidarity

    https://transbalkanskasolidarnost.home.blog/iom-run-camps-in-bosnia-structural-violence-is-not-

    #violence_structurelle #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bosnie #OIM #IOM #camps_de_réfugiés #Blažuj #Blazuj #Balkans #route_des_Balkans

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Bosnia: Fight in migrant camp leaves three officials injured

      Two police officers and an IOM employee suffered minor injuries in clashes at the Blazuj migrant reception center near Sarajevo on Wednesday, police said. More than 3,000 migrants are currently housed at the former military barracks.

      Police were called late Wednesday night to intervene in a fight that had broken out between migrants at the center outside Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

      “During the intervention, migrants attacked police officers and damaged several police and International Organization for Migration (IOM) cars, as well as IOM offices,” police spokesperson Mirza Hadziabdic told the news agency AFP.

      Hadziabdic confirmed that two police officers and an IOM employee were slightly injured, and that the property damaged in the clash included computers and other equipment.

      According to a statement by the IOM, “a skirmish between two migrants … quickly escalated into a bigger fight.” It was not immediately clear if anyone was arrested, AP reports.

      In Bosnian media, the incident was described as a major clash. The news platform Klix.ba published images of smashed cars and reported that police brought in members of special units with dogs. According to Klix.ba, around 2,000 migrants clashed with police and threw stones.

      Klix.ba reported on Friday that six persons involved in the scuffles had received deportation orders from the foreigners’ office and local authorities in the Sarajevo Canton. One Iranian national reportedly also received an an entry ban of three years and is due to be deported.
      Tense situation for migrants in Bosnia

      Bosnia is a transit country for migrants, mainly from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, who travel along the Balkan route in hopes of reaching Western Europe. Many however remain stranded in Bosnia and fail to cross into EU member state Croatia — their attempts are thwarted by Croatian border police who are regularly accused of applying force to push migrants back into Bosnia.

      Bosnia has struggled to manage a growing number of migrant arrivals since 2018 and most recently, the EU called upon Bosnia to provide adequate housing for migrants who are stranded in the country and face harsh winter conditions.

      According to estimates from EU and IOM officials, there are currently between 8,000 and 9,000 migrants in Bosnia.

      Around 6,000 migrants are living in five centers run by the IOM.

      Roughly 900 migrants are living in heated tents at Lipa camp, which the Bosnian army set up after weeks of criticism from the international community over the conditions at the camp.

      Roughly 2,000 migrants are camping out in the woods and in abandoned buildings in northwestern Bosnia, and their situation is becoming increasingly dangerous.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/29826/bosnia-fight-in-migrant-camp-leaves-three-officials-injured

    • Twenty Police Cars damaged by Migrants in Blazuj

      In last night’s riots in the migrant center in Blazuj near Sarajevo, 20 vehicles of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Sarajevo Canton and several IOM vehicles were damaged. This information was confirmed for Klix.ba by the Minister of the Interior of Canton Sarajevo, Admir Katica.

      Two injured police officers and one International Organization for Migrations employee is the epilogue of the chaos that happened last night in the migrant camp in Blazuj. This information was confirmed for “Avaz” by Mirza Hadziabdic, spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior of the Sarajevo Canton, and added that 2,000 migrants took part in the riots.

      The situation calmed down last night at 10:50 p.m. The police are still on the spot, an investigation is being carried out, and no one has been detained so far – Hadziabdic added.

      Recall, the workers of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) tried to move to another camp a migrant who disturbed the order and who is the leader of one of the groups in this camp. Migrants tried to release him by force, after which there was a conflict.

      https://www.sarajevotimes.com/around-2000-migrants-participated-in-riots-in-blazuj

  • How the Pandemic Turned Refugees Into ‘Guinea Pigs’ for Surveillance Tech

    An interview with Dr. Petra Molnar, who spent 2020 investigating the use of drones, facial recognition, and lidar on refugees

    The coronavirus pandemic unleashed a new era in surveillance technology, and arguably no group has felt this more acutely than refugees. Even before the pandemic, refugees were subjected to contact tracing, drone and LIDAR tracking, and facial recognition en masse. Since the pandemic, it’s only gotten worse. For a microcosm of how bad the pandemic has been for refugees — both in terms of civil liberties and suffering under the virus — look no further than Greece.

    Greek refugee camps are among the largest in Europe, and they are overpopulated, with scarce access to water, food, and basic necessities, and under constant surveillance. Researchers say that many of the surveillance techniques and technologies — especially experimental, rudimentary, and low-cost ones — used to corral refugees around the world were often tested in these camps first.

    “Certain communities already marginalized, disenfranchised are being used as guinea pigs, but the concern is that all of these technologies will be rolled out against the broader population and normalized,” says Petra Molnar, Associate Director of the Refugee Law Lab, York University.

    Molnar traveled to the Greek refugee camps on Lesbos in 2020 as part of a fact-finding project with the advocacy group European Digital Rights (EDRi). She arrived right after the Moria camp — the largest in Europe at the time — burned down and forced the relocation of thousands of refugees. Since her visit, she has been concerned about the rise of authoritarian technology and how it might be used against the powerless.

    With the pandemic still raging and states more desperate than ever to contain it, it seemed a good time to discuss the uses and implications of surveillance in the refugee camps. Molnar, who is still in Greece and plans to continue visiting the camps once the nation’s second lockdown lifts, spoke to OneZero about the kinds of surveillance technology she saw deployed there, and what the future holds — particularly with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Molnar says, adding “that they’ve been using Greece as a testing ground for all sorts of aerial surveillance technology.”

    This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

    OneZero: What kinds of surveillance practices and technologies did you see in the camps?

    Petra Molnar: I went to Lesbos in September, right after the Moria camp burned down and thousands of people were displaced and sent to a new camp. We were essentially witnessing the birth of the Kara Tepes camp, a new containment center, and talked to the people about surveillance, and also how this particular tragedy was being used as a new excuse to bring more technology, more surveillance. The [Greek] government is… basically weaponizing Covid to use it as an excuse to lock the camps down and make it impossible to do any research.

    When you are in Lesbos, it is very clear that it is a testing ground, in the sense that the use of tech is quite rudimentary — we are not talking about thermal cameras, iris scans, anything like that, but there’s an increase in the appetite of the Greek government to explore the use of it, particularly when they try to control large groups of people and also large groups coming from the Aegean. It’s very early days for a lot of these technologies, but everything points to the fact that Greece is Europe’s testing ground.

    They are talking about bringing biometric control to the camps, but we know for example that the Hellenic Coast Guard has a drone that they have been using for self-promotion, propaganda, and they’ve now been using it to follow specific people as they are leaving and entering the camp. I’m not sure if the use of drones was restricted to following refugees once they left the camps, but with the lockdown, it was impossible to verify. [OneZero had access to a local source who confirmed that drones are also being used inside the camps to monitor refugees during lockdown.]

    Also, people can come and go to buy things at stores, but they have to sign in and out at the gate, and we don’t know how they are going to use such data and for what purposes.

    Surveillance has been used on refugees long before the pandemic — in what ways have refugees been treated as guinea pigs for the policies and technologies we’re seeing deployed more widely now? And what are some of the worst examples of authoritarian technologies being deployed against refugees in Europe?

    The most egregious examples that we’ve been seeing are that ill-fated pilot projects — A.I. lie detectors and risk scorings which were essentially trying to use facial recognition and facial expressions’ micro-targeting to determine whether a person was more likely than others to lie at the border. Luckily, that technology was debunked and also generated a lot of debate around the ethics and human rights implications of using something like that.

    Technologies such as voice printing have been used in Germany to try to track a person’s country of origin or their ethnicity, facial recognition made its way into the new Migration’s Pact, and Greece is thinking about automating the triage of refugees, so there’s an appetite at the EU level and globally to use this tech. I think 2021 will be very interesting as more resources are being diverted to these types of tech.

    We saw, right when the pandemic started, that migration data used for population modeling became kind of co-opted and used to try and model flows of Covid. And this is very problematic because they are assuming that the mobile population, people on the move, and refugees are more likely to be bringing in Covid and diseases — but the numbers don’t bear out. We are also seeing the gathering of vast amounts of data for all these databases that Europe is using or will be using for a variety of border enforcement and policing in general.

    The concern is that fear’s being weaponized around the pandemic and technologies such as mobile tracking and data collection are being used as ways to control people. It is also broader, it deals with a kind of discourse around migration, on limiting people’s rights to move. Our concern is that it’ll open the door to further, broader rollout of this kind of tech against the general population.

    What are some of the most invasive technologies you’ve seen? And are you worried these authoritarian technologies will continue to expand, and not just in refugee camps?

    In Greece, the most invasive technologies being used now would probably be drones and unpiloted surveillance technologies, because it’s a really easy way to dehumanize that kind of area where people are crossing, coming from Turkey, trying to claim asylum. There’s also the appetite to try facial recognition technology.

    It shows just how dangerous these technologies can be both because they facilitate pushbacks, border enforcement, and throwing people away, and it really plays into this kind of idea of instead of humane responses you’d hope to happen when you see a boat in distress in the Aegean or the Mediterranean, now entities are turning towards drones and the whole kind of surveillance apparatus. It highlights how the humanity in this process has been lost.

    And the normalization of it all. Now it is so normal to use drones — everything is about policing Europe’s shore, Greece being a shield, to normalize the use of invasive surveillance tech. A lot of us are worried with talks of expanding the scope of action, mandate, and powers of Frontex [the European Border and Coast Guard Agency] and its utter lack of accountability — it is crystal clear that entities like Frontex are going to do Europe’s dirty work.

    There’s a particular framing applied when governments and companies talk about migrants and refugees, often linking them to ISIS and using careless terms and phrases to discuss serious issues. Our concern is that this kind of use of technology is going to become more advanced and more efficient.

    What is happening with regard to contact tracing apps — have there been cases where the technology was forced on refugees?

    I’ve heard about the possibility of refugees being tracked through their phones, but I couldn’t confirm. I prefer not to interact with the state through my phone, but that’s a privilege I have, a choice I can make. If you’re living in a refugee camp your options are much more constrained. Often people in the camps feel they are compelled to give access to their phones, to give their phone numbers, etc. And then there are concerns that tracking is being done. It’s really hard to track the tracking; it is not clear what’s being done.

    Aside from contact tracing, there’s the concern with the Wi-Fi connection provided in the camps. There’s often just one connection or one specific place where Wi-Fi works and people need to be connected to their families, spouses, friends, or get access to information through their phones, sometimes their only lifeline. It’s a difficult situation because, on the one hand, people are worried about privacy and surveillance, but on the other, you want to call your family, your spouse, and you can only do that through Wi-Fi and people feel they need to be connected. They have to rely on what’s available, but there’s a concern that because it’s provided by the authorities, no one knows exactly what’s being collected and how they are being watched and surveilled.

    How do we fight this surveillance creep?

    That’s the hard question. I think one of the ways that we can fight some of this is knowledge. Knowing what is happening, sharing resources among different communities, having a broader understanding of the systemic way this is playing out, and using such knowledge generated by the community itself to push for regulation and governance when it comes to these particular uses of technologies.

    We call for a moratorium or abolition of all high-risk technology in and around the border because right now we don’t have a governance mechanism in place or integrated regional or international way to regulate these uses of tech.

    Meanwhile, we have in the EU a General Data Protection Law, a very strong tool to protect data and data sharing, but it doesn’t really touch on surveillance, automation, A.I., so the law is really far behind.

    One of the ways to fight A.I. is to make policymakers understand the real harm that these technologies have. We are talking about ways that discrimination and inequality are reinforced by this kind of tech, and how damaging they are to people.

    We are trying to highlight this systemic approach to see it as an interconnected system in which all of these technologies play a part in this increasingly draconian way that migration management is being done.

    https://onezero.medium.com/how-the-pandemic-turned-refugees-into-guinea-pigs-for-surveillance-t

    #réfugiés #cobaye #surveillance #technologie #pandémie #covid-19 #coroanvirus #LIDAR #drones #reconnaissance_faciale #Grèce #camps_de_réfugiés #Lesbos #Moria #European_Digital_Rights (#EDRi) #surveillance_aérienne #complexe_militaro-industriel #Kara_Tepes #weaponization #biométrie #IA #intelligence_artificielle #détecteurs_de_mensonges #empreinte_vocale #tri #catégorisation #donneés #base_de_données #contrôle #technologies_autoritaires #déshumanisation #normalisation #Frontex #wifi #internet #smartphone #frontières

    ping @isskein @karine4

    ping @etraces

  • Janvier 2021 : Incendie dans le camp de réfugiés à Blazuj (Bosnie-Herzégovine)


    https://twitter.com/SeebrueckeFfm/status/1347627466026790912
    #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Herzégovine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #feu #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #Blažuj #Blazuj

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les incendies dans des camps de réfugiés (principalement en Grèce, mais du coup, élargissement à la route des Balkans) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/851143#message892911

  • Refugees Come Under Fire as Old Foes Fight in Concert in Ethiopia

    Forces from neighboring Eritrea have joined the war in northern Ethiopia, and have rampaged through refugee camps committing human rights violations, officials and witnesses say.

    As fighting raged across the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia last month, a group of soldiers arrived one day at #Hitsats, a small hamlet ringed by scrubby hills that was home to a sprawling refugee camp of 25,000 people.

    The refugees had come from Eritrea, whose border lies 30 miles away, part of a vast exodus in recent years led by desperate youth fleeing the tyrannical rule of their leader, one of Africa’s longest-ruling autocrats. In Ethiopia, Eritrea’s longtime adversary, they believed they were safe.

    But the soldiers who burst into the camp on Nov. 19 were also Eritrean, witnesses said. Mayhem quickly followed — days of plunder, punishment and bloodshed that ended with dozens of refugees being singled out and forced back across the border into Eritrea.

    For weeks, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia has denied that soldiers from Eritrea — a country that Ethiopia once fought in an exceptionally brutal war — had entered Tigray, where Mr. Abiy has been fighting since early November to oust rebellious local leaders.

    In fact, according to interviews with two dozen aid workers, refugees, United Nations officials and diplomats — including a senior American official — Eritrean soldiers are fighting in Tigray, apparently in coordination with Mr. Abiy’s forces, and face credible accusations of atrocities against civilians. Among their targets were refugees who had fled Eritrea and its harsh leader, President Isaias Afwerki.

    The deployment of Eritreans to Tigray is the newest element in a melee that has greatly tarnished Mr. Abiy’s once-glowing reputation. Only last year he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for making peace with Mr. Isaias. Now it looks like the much-lauded peace deal between the former enemies in fact laid the groundwork for them to make war against Tigray, their mutual adversary.

    “Abiy has invited a foreign country to fight against his own people,” said Awol Allo, a former Abiy supporter turned outspoken critic who lectures in law at Keele University in Britain. “The implications are huge.”

    Mr. Abiy insists he was forced to move his army quickly in Tigray after the region’s leaders, who had dominated Ethiopia for 27 years until Mr. Abiy took over in 2018, mutinied against his government. But in the early weeks of the fight, Ethiopian forces were aided by artillery fired by Eritrean forces from their side of the border, an American official said.

    Since then, Mr. Abiy’s campaign has been led by a hodgepodge of forces, including federal troops, ethnic militias and, evidently, soldiers from Eritrea.

    At Hitsats, Eritrean soldiers initially clashed with local Tigrayan militiamen in battles that rolled across the camp. Scores of people were killed, including four Ethiopians employed by the International Rescue Committee and the Danish Refugee Council, aid workers said.

    The chaos deepened in the days that followed, when Eritrean soldiers looted aid supplies, stole vehicles and set fire to fields filled with crops and a nearby forested area used by refugees to collect wood, aid workers said. The camp’s main water tank was riddled with gunfire and emptied.

    Their accounts are supported by satellite images, obtained and analyzed by The New York Times, that show large patches of newly scorched earth in and around the Hitsats camp after the Eritrean forces swept through.

    Later, soldiers singled out several refugees — camp leaders, by some accounts — bundled them into vehicles and sent them back across the border to Eritrea.

    “She’s crying, crying,” said Berhan Okbasenbet, an Eritrean now in Sweden whose sister was driven from Hitsats to Keren, the second-largest city in Eritrea, alongside a son who was shot in the fighting. “It’s not safe for them in Eritrea. It’s not a free country.”

    Ms. Berhan asked not to publish their names, fearing reprisals, but provided identifying details that The New York Times verified with an Ethiopian government database of refugees.

    Mr. Abiy’s spokeswoman did not respond to questions for this article. However, a few weeks ago the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, bluntly asked Mr. Abiy if Eritrean troops were fighting in his war. “He guaranteed to me that they have not entered Tigrayan territory,” Mr. Guterres told reporters on Dec. 9.

    Those denials have been met with incredulity from Western and United Nations officials.

    The Trump administration has demanded that all Eritrean troops immediately leave Tigray, a United States official said, citing reports of widespread looting, killings and other potential war crimes.

    It remains unclear how many Eritreans are in Tigray, or precisely where, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss delicate diplomacy. A communications blackout over Tigray since Nov. 4 has effectively shielded the war from outside view.

    But that veil has slowly lifted in recent weeks, as witnesses fleeing Tigray or reaching telephones have begun to give accounts of the fighting, the toll on civilians and pervasive presence of Eritrean soldiers.

    In interviews, some described fighters with Eritrean accents and wearing Ethiopian uniforms. Others said they witnessed televisions and refrigerators being looted from homes and businesses. A European official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential findings, said some of those stolen goods were being openly sold in the Eritrean capital, Asmara.
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    Three sources, including a different Western official, said they had received reports of an Eritrean attack on a church in Dinglet, in eastern Tigray, on Nov. 30. By one account, 35 people whose names were provided were killed.

    The reports of Eritrean soldiers sweeping through Tigray are especially jarring to many Ethiopians.

    Ethiopia and Eritrea were once the best of enemies, fighting a devastating border war in the late 1990s that cost 100,000 lives. Although the two countries are now officially at peace, many Ethiopians are shocked that the old enemy is roaming freely inside their borders.

    “How did we let a state that is hostile to our country come in, cross the border and brutalize our own people?” said Tsedale Lemma, editor in chief of the Addis Standard newspaper. “This is an epic humiliation for Ethiopia’s pride as a sovereign state.”

    Mr. Abiy has already declared victory in Tigray and claimed, implausibly, that no civilians have died. But last week his government offered a $260,000 reward for help in capturing fugitive leaders from the regional governing party, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front — a tacit admission that Mr. Abiy has failed to achieve a major stated goal of his campaign.

    In fact, the biggest winner so far may be his Eritrean ally, Mr. Isaias.

    Since coming to power in 1993, Mr. Isaias has won a reputation as a ruthless and dictatorial figure who rules with steely determination at home and who meddles abroad to exert his influence.

    For a time he supported the Islamist extremists of the Shabab in Somalia, drawing U.N. sanctions on Eritrea, before switching his loyalties to the oil-rich — and Islamist-hating — United Arab Emirates.

    Inside Eritrea, Mr. Isaias enforced a harsh system of endless military service that fueled a tidal wave of migration that has driven over 500,000 Eritreans — perhaps one-tenth of the population — into exile.

    The peace pact signed by the two leaders initially raised hopes for a new era of stability in the region. Ultimately, it amounted to little. By this summer, borders that opened briefly had closed again.

    But Mr. Abiy and Mr. Isaias remained close, bonded by their shared hostility toward the rulers of Tigray.

    They had different reasons to distrust the Tigrayans. For Mr. Abiy the Tigray People’s Liberation Front was a dangerous political rival — a party that had once led Ethiopia and, once he became prime minister, began to flout his authority openly.

    For Mr. Isaias, though, it was a deeply personal feud — a story of grievances, bad blood and ideological disputes that stretched back to the 1970s, when Eritrea was fighting for independence from Ethiopia, and Mr. Isaias joined with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to fight an Ethiopian Marxist dictator.

    Those differences widened after 1991, when Eritrea became independent and the Tigrayans had come to power in Ethiopia, culminating in a devastating border war.

    As tensions rose between Mr. Abiy and the T.P.L.F., Mr. Isaias saw an opportunity to settle old scores and to reassert himself in the region, said Martin Plaut, author of “Understanding Eritrea” and a senior research fellow at the University of London.

    “It’s typical Isaias,” said Mr. Plaut. “He seeks to project power in ways that are completely unimaginable for the leader of such a small country.”

    Aid groups warn that, without immediate access, Tigray will soon face a humanitarian disaster. The war erupted just as villagers were preparing to harvest their crops, in a region already grappling with swarms of locusts and recurring drought.

    Refugees are especially vulnerable. According to the United Nations, 96,000 Eritrean refugees were in Tigray at the start of the fight, although some camps have since emptied. An internal U.N. report from Dec. 12, seen by The Times, described the situation at Hitsats as “extremely dire,” with no food or water.

    Farther north at Shimelba camp, Eritrean soldiers beat refugees, tied their hands and left them under the sun all day, said Efrem, a resident who later fled to Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

    “They poured milk on their bodies so they would be swarmed with flies,” he said.

    Later, Efrem said, the soldiers rounded up 40 refugees and forced them to travel back across the border, to Eritrea.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/world/africa/Ethiopia-Eritrea-Tigray.html
    #réfugiés #Tigré #Ethiopie #Erythrée #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés_érythréens #Hamdayet

    ping @reka @fil

    • Refugee Camps in Ethiopia Appear to Have Been Systematically Destroyed

      Satellite photos show military actors at the camps right after they were razed; the damage is far more extensive than previously reported.

      Two refugee camps in Ethiopia’s Tigray region were deliberately razed to the ground in attacks carried out between November and January, according to researchers who have been analyzing satellite images that highlight extensive destruction caused by the breakout of civil war in Ethiopia last year.

      Previous reports of satellite images obtained by the DX Open Network, a UK-based research and analysis organization, appeared to depict scorched earth attacks at the Hitsats and Shimelba refugee camps, which hosted over 25,000 refugees from neighboring Eritrea prior to the war. But recent analysis of the images indicates that the destruction was systemic, and residential areas, clinics, and schools were targeted in what appears to have been an attempt at preventing future use of the facilities. Further, a significant number of military vehicles and soldiers are visible in and around the camps soon after the time of the destruction, which appears to point to their complicity in the razing. While it is unconfirmed which military was present, signs also indicate it was the Ethiopian military, as the government continues to deny access to the camps. The damage also appears to now be much more extensive than originally reported, with over a thousand structures destroyed.

      “These cumulative damage assessments show a campaign to degrade, destroy both the Hitsats and Shimelba refugee camps from November 24 to January 27,” the DX Open Network said in a statement yesterday. “There are clear and consistent patterns across both camps over a two month period demonstrating that these refugee camps were systematically targeted, despite their protected humanitarian status.”

      The breakout of war between the former Tigray regional government and Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers has left thousands dead and internally displaced over 2.3 million people. Widespread destruction, the result of attacks targeting urban city centers, heritage sites, and refugee camps, has also been documented.

      The Hitsats and Shimelba camps had come under attack soon after the breakout of war, and fighting at the Hitsats camp between allied Ethiopian and Eritrean troops and forces loyal to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was reported in November. Refugees have been reportedly targeted and killed by both Tigrayan and Eritrean forces, while others were abducted and taken back to Eritrea. At least four humanitarian aid workers have been killed at the camps.

      The UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, operated a total of four refugee camps hosting almost 100,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray. Despite this, representatives have been denied access to the two camps despite appealing repeatedly. The camps remain under heavy military guard, with satellite images taken on January 25 appearing to show a heavy concentration of soldiers at a school compound at the Shimelba site.

      “I am very worried for the safety and well-being of Eritrean refugees in those camps,” UNHCR head Filippo Grandi said in a January 14th statement. “The [Ethiopian] government has provided assurances that measures are being taken to minimize the impact of the conflict on civilians.”

      But the recent findings indicate that despite Ethiopia’s reassurances to the UNHCR, the destruction continued even in the days following Grandi’s statement.

      By January 27, the Shimelba camp had a total of 721 structures destroyed, according to satellite imagery obtained on that date, over 300 more than previously thought. As has been reported, fires were set simultaneously across the camp’s residential areas, with clear visible darkening indicating the burning of hundreds of homes between January 13 and January 16. Visible destruction of a compound run by the World Food Program (WFP) and a clinic operated by the Ethiopian government run Administration for Refugee & Returnee Affairs (ARRA), took place in early January.

      Two additional WFP structures were completely obliterated by January 5 as well. The landscape outside of an Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter-Church Aid Commission-run high school was set ablaze, and the aftermath is clearly visible from space.

      “99 percent of [Shimelba’s damaged structures] were assessed as catastrophically or extensively damaged,” the organization said in a statement sent to VICE World News.

      Prior to the war, the Hitsats camp had schools, colleges, youth recreational centers, and even a beauty salon, funded by a consortium of local and international aid organizations. The DX Open Network told VICE World News that a total of 531 destroyed structures were tallied for Hitsats. Previous reporting put the figure around 400. Extensive damage to facilities run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), have also been recorded. The surrounding area was set alight, as was the case at similar structures across both camps. Images of smoke billowing into the air over residential dorms appear to indicate arson attacks on those structures too.

      Another compound also had the earth around it scorched, with at least eight identified cratering sites, consistent with damage caused by direct artillery rounds dating back to late November. The researchers indicated to VICE World News that this was evidence that the camp was shelled.

      “Also present in satellite imagery are groups of military-use vehicles, including a mechanised formation bivouacking in an elementary and secondary school compound within Shimelba Refugee Camp,” the DX Open Network told VICE World News. “The presence of military actors soon after the widespread razing of both camps raises questions as to whether these military actors are the same as the perpetrators of the fire-based attacks and other violence at and around the camps.”

      With the camp cut off from the outside world and out of food, survivors reportedly fled into the wilderness. At least 20,000 Eritrean refugees who had been at the two camps remain unaccounted for.

      Last week, Grandi himself traveled to Ethiopia. During his four day visit, he met with President Sahlework Zewde and got the chance to tour two of the UNHCR’s camps in Tigray. But he was denied the chance to visit Shimelba and Hitsats.

      Perhaps even more worrying, an Ethiopian government representative spoke to state media last week, and seemed to rule out the possibility of the two camps being reopened. According to the unnamed official, the two camps were “substandard,” and “inhospitable,” and had been turned into militia training sites for members of the Eritrean political opposition. No evidence for the claim was included in the report.

      “These events progressed in manner, timing, and consistency so similar to one another that it suggests that the same actor conducted the attacks on both camps with the same intent: to degrade both refugee camps’ ability to function, discourage any refugees from remaining, and ultimately prevent their use as refugee camps,” the DX Open Network told VICE World News. “In totality, these acts may constitute violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

      Last year, the Ethiopian government announced that it intended to close the Hitsats refugee camp citing costs, much to the chagrin of the UNHCR, which has argued the refugees, mostly escapees from unending military conscription in Eritrea, would have nowhere else to go. Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki has long criticized the existence of the camps, claiming that western states were using them to lure away potential recruits for his army. With the camps now rendered inhospitable, he appears to have had the last laugh.
      Tagged:

      https://www.vice.com/en/article/93wmbz/refugee-camps-in-ethiopia-appear-to-have-been-systematically-destroyed

  • Le camp de migrants de #Lipa, en #Bosnie, ravagé par un #incendie

    Le camp de Lipa, dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie, ravagé par les flammes. Un violent incendie s’est déclaré ce mercredi dans ce camp de migrants situé dans la région de #Bihac, près de la frontière avec la Croatie. 1 200 personnes y étaient hébergées. Aucune victime n’est à déplorer. Selon des témoins, le sinistre a démarré dans une installation de stockage de combustibles. Il s’est rapidement propagé.

    Selon la directrice du camp, Natasa Omerovic, ce sont d’anciens résidents qui l’ont déclenché à un moment où le camp était fermé pour être déplacé.

    Selon Peter Van der Auweraert, coordinateur de la mission de l’Organisation internationale pour les Migration (OIM) en Bosnie-Herzégovine, la plupart des infrastructures ont été détruites. L’#OIM, qui gérait ce centre d’accueil, a récemment annoncé son retrait en raison de mauvaises conditions.


    https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1341721207939448833

    Début décembre, ce camp de #tentes avait fait l’objet de vives critiques. Etabli comme une réponse #provisoire pour faire face à la #pandémie de #coronavirus, il n’était pas équipé pour des conditions hivernales. Le camps incendié n’était pas équipé de chauffage et n’avait jamais été branché sur le réseau électrique.

    L’Organisation internationale pour les migrations et la Commission européenne exhortaient les autorités locales à trouver une solution pour héberger ailleurs les résidents du camp de Lipa, ainsi que quelque 2 000 autres migrants dépourvus de logement dans la région de Bihac, près de la frontière de l’Union européenne.

    Les autorités municipales et cantonales de Bihac refusent de permettre à l’OIM de rouvrir l’ancien centre d’accueil à Bihac, dans les halles d’une ancienne usine, malgré une instruction du gouvernement fédéral en ce sens. Il a été fermé peu avant les élections municipales de novembre, pour répondre à une pression croissante des habitants.

    « Les autorités compétentes doivent coopérer et agir dans la plus grande urgence pour répondre aux besoins des réfugiés et des migrants sans abris et sauver les vies », a insisté lundi la Commission européenne dans un communiqué.

    https://fr.euronews.com/2020/12/23/le-camp-de-migrants-de-lipa-en-bosnie-ravage-par-un-incendie

    #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #feu #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les incendies dans des camps de réfugiés (principalement en Grèce, mais du coup, élargissement à la route des Balkans) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/851143#message892911

    • Bosnie : le camp de Lipa ravagé par un incendie, 1 300 migrants à la rue

      Le camp de Lipa, dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie, a été complètement détruit mercredi par un incendie probablement « criminel », ont indiqué les autorités. Environ 1 300 migrants, qui y étaient hébergés, se retrouvent désormais à la rue en pleine hiver avec des températures glaciales.

      « Jour terrible » pour le camp de Lipa. Dans un tweet, Peter Van der Auweraert, le représentant de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) en Bosnie-Herzégovine, ne cache pas son désespoir.

      Le camp de migrants, situé dans le nord-ouest du pays, vient de partir en fumée, ce mercredi 23 décembre. Environ 1 300 migrants y étaient hébergés dans des conditions dramatiques.


      https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1341704305125027840

      « L’incendie s’est déclaré à 11h. Les pompiers ont réussi à l’éteindre, mais les quatre grandes tentes dans lesquelles les migrants dormaient ont brulé », a déclaré à l’AFP un porte-parole de la police, Ale Siljdedic, précisant qu’il n’y avait pas eu de blessés.
      « Un acte criminel »

      « Nous supposons qu’il s’agit d’un acte criminel et que des résidents du camp en sont à l’origine », a-t-il poursuivi. Peter Van der Auweraert évoque lui d’"anciens résidents [qui] ont mis le feu à trois tentes et aux conteneurs après que la plupart des migrants ont quitté le camp".

      https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1341721207939448833

      Les exilés auraient agi en signe de protestation : mis en place en avril dans ce village près de Bihac, le site avait été installé comme une solution temporaire, rien n’étaient prévu pour que ses résidents y passent l’hiver. Le camp incendié n’était pas équipé d’électricité et de chauffage, alors que le pays connaît actuellement une vague de froid.

      « Désastre après désastre », a encore déploré Peter Van der Auweraert de l’OIM.
      Des milliers de personnes à la rue

      L’agence onusienne, qui gérait ce centre d’accueil, avait récemment annoncé son retrait de la structure en raison des mauvaises conditions de vie des exilés. L’OIM et la Commission européenne exhortaient depuis début décembre les autorités locales à trouver une solution pour héberger ailleurs ces 1 300 personnes, ainsi que quelque 2 000 autres migrants dépourvus de logement dans la région de Bihac, près de la frontière de l’Union européenne.

      Avec cet incendie, les résidents se retrouvent à la rue, en plein hiver et alors qu’est prévue une forte baisse de température dans les prochains jours. « Ils vont probablement se diriger vers Bihac (à 30 km au nord-ouest de Lipa, ndlr) et vont occuper des bâtiments abandonnés », a déclaré Ale Siljdedic.

      Les autorités municipales et cantonales de Bihac refusent que l’OIM rouvre l’ancien centre d’accueil à Bihac, dans les halles d’une ancienne usine, malgré une instruction du gouvernement fédéral en ce sens. Il a été fermé peu avant les élections municipales de novembre, pour répondre à une pression croissante des habitants.

      « Les autorités compétentes doivent coopérer et agir dans la plus grande urgence pour répondre aux besoins des réfugiés et des migrants sans abris et sauver des vies », a insisté lundi la Commission européenne dans un communiqué.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/29292/bosnie-le-camp-de-lipa-ravage-par-un-incendie-1-300-migrants-a-la-rue

      #SDF

    • Thousands of refugees without shelter after Bosnia camp burns

      Dozens spend the night at a damaged metal container near the site of the fire, where only a ghostly steel construction remained.

      More than a thousand refugees and migrants from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa were left to sleep in the cold after their camp in northwestern Bosnia burned down amid a dispute among Bosnian politicians over where to house them.

      On Wednesday, a fire destroyed the camp in Lipa housing about 1,200 people. Police and United Nations officials have said the blaze was probably started by people unhappy at the temporary closure of the camp, scheduled for the same day, and uncertainty about where they would be relocated in Bosnia.

      Dozens of men spent the night at a damaged metal container near the site of the fire, where only a ghostly steel construction remained. Smoke was still rising from some burned patches of ground on Thursday morning.

      Others tried to erect nylon tents and slept fully dressed on the frozen ground. Most of them walked through the woods towards the town of Bihac, near the Croatian border, avoiding areas marked with warnings about landmines remaining from the Bosnian war in the 1990s.

      About 10,000 refugees and migrants from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa are stuck in Bosnia, hoping to reach wealthier countries in the European Union.

      “I couldn’t sleep last night, I sat all night,” said Bylal from Pakistan, adding that he would wait to see if the government would provide them with a new shelter.

      The Lipa camp, which was opened last spring as a temporary shelter for the summer months 25 km away from Bihac, was set to be shut on Wednesday for winter refurbishing. But Bosnia’s authorities failed to find alternative accommodation for residents.

      The central government wanted the refugees and migrants to temporarily return to the Bira camp in Bihac, which was shut down in October, but local authorities disagreed, saying that other parts of Bosnia should also share the burden of the migrant crisis.

      “Please open the Bira camp so everybody goes there, it’s very good there,” said Yasin, also from Pakistan. “Here it’s cold, we can’t stay here, we don’t have food, we are hungry.”

      The European Union, which had supported Bosnia with 60 million euros to manage the refugee crisis and pledged 25 million euros more, has repeatedly asked the authorities to find an alternative to the unsuitable Lipa camp, warning of an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

      “We urge … the authorities to rise above political considerations and temporarily reopen the centre Bira in Bihac,” the EU said in a statement on Wednesday

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/24/thousands-of-refugees-without-shelter-after-bosnia-camp-burns

    • Bosnie : après l’incendie du camp de Lipa, des centaines de migrants prisonniers du #froid et de la #neige

      Dans le nord de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, des centaines de migrants sont toujours sans solution d’hébergement depuis l’incendie du camp de Lipa le 23 décembre. La situation est extrêmement inquiétante alors que des chutes de neige et des températures glaciales se sont abattues sur la région ce week-end.

      La situation était déjà compliquée dans le camp de Lipa, elle est devenue catastrophique. Dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie, plusieurs centaines de migrants sont contraints de vivre dans le froid et la neige après l’incendie de ce camp le 23 décembre.

      Ces hommes – originaires d’Afghanistan et du Bangladesh pour la plupart – tentaient samedi de se protéger du froid et du vent en s’enveloppant dans des couvertures et des sacs de couchage, ont observé des journaliste des l’agence Associated Press (AP).

      La Croix-Rouge de Bosnie a distribué des repas aux exilés qui ne survivent que grâce à ces colis alimentaires. La police ne les autorise pas à quitter le site, les empêchant de se rendre dans la ville voisine de Bihac pour acheter quelques denrées alimentaires.

      « Lipa est devenue une prison hivernale », a dénoncé sur Twitter Peter Van der Auweraert, représentant de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations en Bosnie-Herzégovine. « Les migrants ne sont pas autorisés à quitter le site de Lipa et doivent maintenant faire du feu dans les tentes restantes pour se tenir chaud […] C’est une tragédie totalement inutile », ajoute-t-il.


      https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1343267176321585154

      Dans la grande tente qui a survécu à l’incendie et où dorment désormais les migrants, le toit commence à ployer sous le poids de la neige, met par ailleurs en garde Peter Van der Auweraert, pointant un « terrible accident qui n’attend que de se produire ».
      « Nous vivons comme des animaux »

      L’association No Name Kitchen a indiqué, de son côté, « faire de son mieux pour procurer des vêtements chauds et de la nourriture aux personnes ». « La police a bloqué la route et plus de 1000 personnes se trouvent dans la forêt autour du camp de Lipa », précise l’organisation.


      https://twitter.com/NoNameKitchen1/status/1342890272221523969

      « Nous vivons comme des animaux. Même les animaux vivent mieux que nous ! » a déclaré un Pakistanais à AP qui ne s’est identifié que par son prénom, Kasim. « S’ils ne nous aident pas, nous mourrons, alors aidez-nous s’il vous plaît. »


      https://twitter.com/PeterAuweraert/status/1342775470899781638

      « Ce n’est pas ainsi que quiconque devrait vivre », a également pointé Peter Van der Auweraert, appelant la classe politique bosnienne au « courage » et à l’"action" pour débloquer la situation et autoriser l’ouverture d’un nouveau centre d’hébergement.

      La capitaine de navire allemande Carola Rackete a également alerté sur les réseaux sociaux sur l’urgence de la situation dans le nord de la Bosnie et appelé à soutenir les associations qui viennent en aide aux exilés.

      https://twitter.com/CaroRackete/status/1343181760167866368

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/29320/bosnie-apres-l-incendie-du-camp-de-lipa-des-centaines-de-migrants-pris

  • EU policy ‘worsening’ mental health for refugees on Greek islands

    New research says more asylum-seekers stranded in EU’s ‘hotspot’ centres experiencing severe mental health symptoms.

    A prominent humanitarian group has warned of a worsening mental health crisis among asylum-seekers trapped at refugee camps on three Greek islands, saying its research reveals severe symptoms among people of all ages and backgrounds, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and self-harm.

    The International Rescue Committee (IRC), in a new report (https://www.rescue-uk.org/courage-to-continue) on Thursday, said nearly 15,000 people remain stranded at the European-Union funded Reception and Identification Centres, camps known as “hotspots” that were set up on Europe’s borders almost five years ago to swiftly process applications for asylum.

    Citing data collected from 904 asylum-seekers supported by its mental health programmes on the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos, the IRC said one in three of its clients reported suicidal thoughts, while one in five reported having made attempts to take their lives.

    “I even tried to hang myself but my son saw me and called my husband,” Fariba, a 32-year-old Afghan woman, was quoted as saying. The mother of two young children lives in the Vathy camp in the island of Samos.

    “I think about death a lot here: that it would be a good thing for the whole family, that if I could add a medicine in our food and we all died it would be a deliverance. But then I look at my daughter and I think it is not her time yet,” she said.

    The hotspot centres were established up in 2015, when the Aegean islands, especially Lesbos, came under enormous pressure, with nearly a million refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe arriving on the Greek islands.

    In January of this year, the five camps together hosted more than 38,600 asylum-seekers – a number six times higher than the hotspots’ capacity. The number had reduced significantly by November, yet, asylum seekers still live under “inhumane” conditions and “in great distress, with limited access to food, water and sanitation,” read the report.
    ‘Alarming spike’

    On Lesbos, thousands of people live in a temporary camp after a fire burned down their overcrowded facility known as the Moria refugee camp. With winter in full swing, many people now live in tents battered by winds and flooding, the report said, adding an even deeper sense of exhaustion and frustration. On Sunday, the camp of Kara Tepe in Lesbos – where more than 7,000 people live – was flooded for the third time after three days of rain amid stormy weather conditions.

    Mohammad, a 23-year-old Syrian asylum seeker who fled the city of Idlib in 2019, told Al Jazeera how he is affected by depression and sleeping disorders.

    “How could my mental health not be affected? When you wake up and find a rat on your chest, when you are constantly waiting [for your legal status to proceed], when rain is pouring into your tent for days, you have no toilet but just garbage around you?” he said, asking his surname to be withheld as his second attempt to gain residency is under way.

    This is the second winter Mohammad has spent in a self-made wooden hut in what is known as “the jungle” in the island of Samos. The 600-people capacity camp, located on a hill, comprises of tents made out of recycled material and houses more than 3,000 people.

    Mohammad said there were high level of distress and constant fear of possible violent escalations among the residents of the camp. “We need some sort of improvement as it is getting difficult to control the anger,” he said.

    The coronavirus pandemic and the strict restrictions on movement has inflicted further blows.

    The IRC reported an “alarming spike” in the number of people disclosing psychotic symptoms following the pandemic, jumping from one in seven to almost one in four. There was also a sharp rise in people reporting self-harm, which jumped by 66 percent, as well as a surge in those reporting symptoms of PTSD, which climbed from close to half of clients beforehand to almost two in three people.

    These severe symptoms of mental health negatively affect people’s ability to cope with the many challenges they face at the hotspot centres, such as standing in line for hours to get food, or successfully navigate the complex asylum process, the report said.
    ‘Trauma of hotspot centres’

    “Such stressful situation triggers a sort of re-traumatisation,” said Essam Daod, a psychiatric and mental health director of Humanity Crew, an NGO providing first response mental health interventions to refugees in Samos.

    “You left home because you felt hopeless, unsafe and with a massive distrust with the system. You reached Europe and you start to stabilise your mood, but then COVID-19 destroyed all of this triggering the same feeling they had when they were fleeing their own country,” he said.

    IRC found that mental health issues can also cause high levels of stigma and discrimination, while increasing vulnerability to exploitation or violence, including sexual violence.

    Children are also bearing the brunt of the the worsening crisis.

    “When parents break down, it has a major impact on children,” said Thanasis Chirvatidis, a psychologist with Doctors Without Borders who has been working in Lesbos since August.

    Children perceive parents who experience psychological collapse as being unable to protect them, said Chirvatidis. The result is an increasing number of children are developing symptoms such as hopeless, insomnia, night terrors and regression symptoms as they go backwards at an earlier mental state where they had better memories and felt safer.

    All of the people in the hotspot centres – adult and children alike – “even those who had a sense of normalcy in their life before, at this point will need support in the future for sorting what they are going through here, which has now become a trauma itself,” said Chirvatidis.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/17/eus-refugee-policy-on-greek-islands-worsening-mental-health

    #Moria #santé_mentale #asile #migrations #réfugiés #îles #Lesbos #Mer_Egée #Grèce #traumatisme #trauma #hotspots #rapport

    ping @_kg_

    • Thousands of refugees in mental health crisis after years on Greek islands

      One in three on Aegean isles have contemplated suicide amid EU containment policies, report reveals
      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/b1b9c9d90a1caa8f531cc8964d98aa5f334fc711/0_212_3500_2100/master/3500.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=cdabee9ba1451c3fdb469b

      Years of entrapment on Aegean islands has resulted in a mental health crisis for thousands of refugees, with one in three contemplating suicide, a report compiled by psychosocial support experts has revealed.

      Containment policies pursued by the EU have also spurred ever more people to attempt to end their lives, according to the report released by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) on Thursday.

      “Research reveals consistent accounts of severe mental health conditions,” says the report, citing data collated over the past two and a half years on Lesbos, Samos and Chios.

      Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and self-harm “among people of all ages and backgrounds” have emerged as byproducts of the hopelessness and despair on Europe’s eastern borderlands, it says.

      “As many as three out of four of the people the IRC has assisted through its mental health programme on the three islands reported experiencing symptoms such as sleeping problems, depression and anxiety,” its authors wrote.

      “One in three reported suicidal thoughts, while one in five reported having made attempts to take their lives.”

      In a year upended by coronavirus and disastrous fires on Lesbos – about 13,000 asylum seekers were temporarily displaced after the destruction of Moria, the island’s infamous holding centre – psychologists concluded that the humanitarian situation on the outposts had worsened considerably.

      The mental health toll had been aggravated by lockdown measures that had kept men, women and children confined to facilities for much of 2020, they said.

      Previously, residents in Moria, Europe’s biggest refugee camp before its destruction, had participated in football games outside the facility and other group activities.

      Noting that the restrictions were stricter for refugees and migrants than those applied elsewhere in Greece, IRC support teams found a marked deterioration in the mental wellbeing of people in the camps since rolling lockdowns were enforced in March.

      “Research demonstrates how the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated the suffering of already vulnerable asylum seekers and exposed the many flaws in Europe’s asylum and reception system,” the report says.

      Over the year there has been a rise in the proportion of people disclosing psychotic symptoms, from one in seven to one in four. Disclosures of self-harm have increased by 66%.

      The IRC, founded by Albert Einstein in 1933 and now led by the former British foreign secretary David Miliband, said the findings offered more evidence of the persistent political and policy failures at Greek and EU level.

      Five years after authorities scrambled to establish reception and identification centres, or hotspots, on the frontline isles at the start of the refugee crisis, about 15,000 men, women and children remain stranded in the installations.

      Describing conditions in the camps as dangerous and inhumane, the IRC said residents were still denied access to sufficient water, sanitation, shelter and vital services such as healthcare, education and legal assistance to process asylum claims.

      On Lesbos, the island most often targeted by traffickers working along the Turkish coast, government figures this week showed an estimated 7,319 men, women and children registered in a temporary camp erected in response to an emergency that has been blamed on arsonists.

      Three months after the fires, more than 5,000 people have been transferred to the mainland, according to Greek authorities.

      Of that number, more than 800 were relocated to the EU, including 523 children who had made the journey to Europe alone and were also held in Moria.

      Many had hoped the new camp would be a vast improvement on Moria, whose appalling conditions and severe overcrowding earned it global notoriety as a humanitarian disaster.

      But the new facility, located on a former firing range within metres of the sea, has drawn condemnation from locals and NGOs.

      “The winds hit it, the rains hit it and there’s no shade, which is why this place is unsuitable for any camp to be,” the island’s mayor, Stratis Kitilis, said.

      “It’s right next door to all the warehouses, transport companies and supermarkets that keep Lesbos going. No one wants it there.”

      This month the EU announced it was working with Athens’ centre-right administration to replace the installation with a modern structure that will open next September. New reception and identification centres will also be built on Samos, Kos and Lesbos. “They say it’ll be nothing like Moria and will be more of a transfer stop, but late next year is a very long time,” said Kitilis.

      Kiki Michailidou, the psychologist in charge of the IRC’s psychosocial support programmes on Lesbos, agreed that the conditions were far from dignified.

      As winter approached, camp residents were resorting to ever more desperate measures to keep warm, she said, while also being forced to stand in long queues for food and communal toilets.

      With camp managers moving families into giant tents, social distancing remains elusive. “A lot of people fear the unknown again,” Michailidou said.

      “Moria was terrible but it was also a familiar place, somewhere they called their home. After the fires they lost their point of reference and that has had a significant impact on their mental health too.”

      The IRC report calls for European policymakers to learn from past failings. While the EU’s new pact on asylum and migration is a step in the right direction, it says, it still falls short of the bloc managing migration in a humane and effective way.

      Echoing that sentiment, Michailidou said: “After the fires we saw what could happen. There were transfers to the mainland and children were relocated to other parts of Europe. That’s proof that where there’s political will and coordinated action, the lives of people in these camps can be transformed.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/dec/17/thousands-refugees-mental-crisis-years-greek-islands

  • La Grèce bâillonne la parole dans les camps de migrants

    Signe d’un durcissement du discours à l’égard des #ONG qui accueillent les réfugiés, un #décret impose une #clause_de_confidentialité aux humanitaires.

    Un bâton dans les roues, en plein rebond de la vague migratoire. Le gouvernement grec a émis un décret resserrant un peu plus l’étau sur les #humanitaires qui accueillent les migrants. Publié au journal officiel local le 30 novembre, il empêche « toutes les personnes » qui travaillent dans les camps de réfugiés de révéler toute « information, document ou données » sur leurs résidents.

    Le document menace directement les ONG de poursuites légales si elles ne respectent pas cette clause de confidentialité, suffisamment vague pour dépasser le règlement européen sur la protection des données.

    Un moyen de réduire les humanitaires « au silence », selon Manos Moschopoulos, de la fondation Open Society. « Une partie du rôle des ONG est d’assister aux opérations d’accueil des migrants pour remplir les vides laissés par les autorités sur le terrain. Et une autre partie de leur rôle est d’obliger le gouvernement à rendre des comptes en cas de manquements. Cette nouvelle règle les empêche de pouvoir le faire. »

    Une simple file indienne de distribution de nourriture qui prend trop de temps ne pourrait pas être dénoncée. « Ça empêche tout lien entre le camp et l’extérieur, s’inquiète Manos Moschopoulos. Alors que ce sont ces liens avec la population qui permettent de s’insérer, de donner des habits ou de la nourriture. »

    Sur place, à Lesbos, principale porte d’entrée des embarcations en Mer Égée, une volontaire (qui requiert l’anonymat) s’inquiète d’un texte « jamais vu ». « Je ne sais même pas si c’est légal, explique-t-elle, apprenant tout juste la nouvelle. Plus rien ne m’étonne. Ça fait des mois qu’on fait tout pour nous empêcher de faire notre boulot. »

    L’exécutif grec en campagne contre les ONG

    Ce n’est pas la première fois qu’Athènes prend les humanitaires en grippe. Cette nouvelle règle pour les #camps s’inscrit dans un contexte d’efforts constants du gouvernement pour limiter l’implication des civils dans l’accueil des réfugiés. Dernier épisode en date, le ministre grec des migrations Notis Mitarachi a accusé, mardi, des ONG d’acheter des visas turcs pour faciliter le passage de migrants somaliens, nombreux à échouer sur les côtes grecques en novembre.

    « L’agenda politique prime sur la politique migratoire, décrypte Michael Maietta, ancien responsable humanitaire et spécialiste des questions de solidarité. Nous sommes dans une période de l’année où les flux qui passent par la Grèce et les Balkans sont très forts. Le gouvernement veut rassurer son électorat et montrer qu’il maîtrise ses frontières. »

    Cet automne, les autorités grecques ont multiplié les attaques contre les #organisations_humanitaires accusées d’« espionnage » et de complicité avec les passeurs. Plusieurs d’entre elles dénoncent la récurrence des refoulements illégaux de réfugiés vers les côtes turques. Si Athènes a toujours nié l’existence de telles pratiques, l’agence européenne Frontex, qui dispose de 600 agents pour aider les garde-côtes de la péninsule, a ouvert une enquête interne sur ces allégations.

    https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Grece-baillonne-parole-camps-migrants-2020-12-09-1201129173

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #silence #confidentialité #solidarité #criminalisation_de_la_solidarité

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Aftermath of Moria refugee camp fire – photo essay

    The September blaze that ravaged the Moria refugee camp in Greece left thousands of people homeless overnight. Photographers #Vincent_Haiges and #Julian_Busch picked through the wreckage.
    During the night of 8 September, the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos burst into flames. According to a Red Cross report the camp, the biggest of its kind in Europe, was at more than four times capacity. Nearly 11,000 people had to flee. Many left in panic, grabbing their children and leaving behind their few possessions. The Greek prime minister announced a four-month state of emergency on the island.


    Many settled on a one-and-a-half kilometre stretch of coastal road, close to Mytilene, the small capital of Lesbos. People slept on the pavement and used trees and foliage to erect makeshift shelters to protect themselves from the sun. It seemed unthinkable, but life had just become even worse than in Moria.

    Photographer Vincent Haiges recalls the scene: “Walking through the remains of Europe’s biggest refugee camp, home for around 13.000 people in its last days, felt unreal. Though this feeling of estrangement was not caused by the overwhelming presence of destruction but rather the absence of sound. The chattering of voices, the clattering of dishes. All gone. Now you could only hear the birds and the rustling of cats strolling through the remains of the camp.”

    “Between the rubbles we found different objects, still witnesses of a former life. Toys, clothes or dishes. It felt as if those objects wanted to say: yes once there were people living here too. Some objects are witnesses of violence. Diazepam and Ibuprofen, means to bear what is unbearable. A lock used to protect someone’s home and family from mugging. Others are witnesses of resilience. A French copy of the New Testament. Maybe belonging to the Congolese community, who so vividly hold their services between the olive trees? The charred kitchen grater used for cooking. For many cooking was a way of keeping the memories of the place they left behind alive.”

    “The owners of those objects are now inside the new camp. Not much is coming out of there, since access for press is prohibited. It is yet another attempt of the European Union to render the situation on the Aegean islands invisible.”

    “This is why it is so important to keep the situation of the people seeking asylum alive, even though we only see the object they left behind.”

    According to the UNHCR UN high commissioner for refugees, there are approximately 121,100 asylum seekers and migrants in Greece, including 4,200 children who arrived unaccompanied, or were separated from their families on the way.

    Overcrowding is widespread on the Aegean islands and by the end of September about 21,400 people were crammed into spaces with an estimated combined capacity of 6,200.

    The UNHCR has warned for some time of the urgent need to address the situation and conditions for asylum seekers on the Aegean islands, where many must cope with dire living conditions and are exposed to security risks including sexual and gender-based violence.

    Since the fire, large-scale transfers out of Lesbos to the mainland have helped reduce the number of people whose lives have been blighted. By the beginning of November, about 2,800 people had left the island.

    More than 7,000 people remain in the emergency site at Mavrovouni, established to accommodate those rendered homeless by the fire.

    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/dec/02/aftermath-moria-refugee-camp-fire-photo-essay

    #objets #migrations #réfugiés #Moria #ce_qui_reste #feu #incendie #Grèce #camps_de_réfugiés #photographie

  • Enfants et réfugiés : l’horreur de Moria chroniquée par les éducateurs de l’ONU

    En Grèce, dans les cendres du camp de réfugiés rasé par les flammes en septembre, nous avons retrouvé le journal de bord tenu, depuis l’intérieur de la « #zone_mineurs », par les éducateurs de l’OIM, organisation affiliée à l’ONU. Toute la violence dans laquelle ces enfants étaient plongés s’y retrouve consignée. Un document exclusif.

    Il fait froid, ce matin du 18 novembre 2018, sur l’île de Lesbos, en Grèce. Moria, l’immense camp de réfugiés et ses presque 5 000 nouveaux arrivants, se réveille les pieds dans la boue, sous les tentes dégoulinantes de pluie. Fanis*, éducateur de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), une agence affiliée à l’ONU, pénètre dans la « zone sécurisée », l’espace barbelé réservé aux mineurs isolés. Le travailleur social pousse la porte de la réserve et découvre un rat mort dans une caisse à mandarines. Ce n’est pas la première fois que la vermine s’introduit dans les grands conteneurs qui servent de lieux de vie, mais le professionnel persiste à noter la même phrase sur le journal de bord : « Grave problème avec les rats et danger de transmission de maladies aux bénéficiaires ainsi qu’au personnel. »

    Fanis n’est pas au bout de ses peines. Pendant la nuit, les pluies diluviennes ont inondé la salle où se trouvent le frigidaire et le chauffage. L’éducateur reprend donc sa plume pour conseiller à ses collègues de porter de « hautes bottes en plastique » afin d’éviter l’électrocution. Pire : le conteneur numéro 5, où dort une partie des enfants, est aussi détrempé. Les petits courent un danger mortel : « Risque d’électrocution », note encore le travailleur social, avant de refermer l’épais journal cartonné.

    Avant les incendies du 8 septembre 2020 qui l’ont rasé, Moria était considéré par les ONG comme le « pire » camp de réfugiés d’Europe. Au moment des feux, 12 500 personnes s’entassaient dans la crasse et la misère d’un camp bâti pour 3 100. Parmi eux, entre 300 et 600 mineurs isolés, qui vivaient dans la « zone sécurisée », un espace où ils étaient enfermés pendant la nuit pour leur protection.

    C’est l’OIM, organisation affiliée à l’ONU chargée de promouvoir des migrations « ordonnées » mais surtout connue pour organiser des retours vers les pays d’origine, qui avait été choisie pour la coordination de cet endroit sensible. Avec pour mission d’accompagner les jeunes, qui patientaient des mois avant d’être transférés vers la Grèce continentale ou les pays de l’UE.

    L’OIM avait donc embauché éducateurs, psychologues, avocats, infirmières et interprètes, nous écrit-elle, afin de « couvrir tous les besoins des enfants ». À savoir : Fanis et ses collègues, les contributeurs du document que nous avons retrouvé dans les cendres de Moria.

    Nous sommes une semaine après les incendies, le 16 septembre 2020. La mer de tentes multicolores s’est muée en un paysage de suie à perte de vue. Structures de tentes calcinées, jouets cassés, ustensiles de cuisines éparpillés sur une terre devenue pelée et déserte. C’est là, dans un coin appelé « la jungle », à même le sol, entre deux barquettes de riz avec le logo de l’UE, que nous l’avons trouvé. Le manuscrit avait survécu aux flammes et aux pilleurs, qui ne l’avaient pas jugé digne d’intérêt.

    « Zone sécurisée », annonce d’emblée sa couverture. Sur la page de garde, le code wi-fi réservé aux employés de l’OIM. Puis, page après page, dans un grec discipliné, les travailleurs de l’agence ont scrupuleusement noté tous les événements qui ont eu lieu pendant leur tour de garde. Du nombre de croissants aux litres de jus consommés par les « bénéficiaires » en passant par les traitements médicaux avalés. Aussi : les bagarres, les fugues, les dangers courus et les violences subies par les plus vulnérables des résidents de Moria.

    Le document manuscrit de 190 pages couvre une période d’environ six mois, de novembre 2018 à mai 2019. Le jour de la dernière note, le 8 mai, Moria compte déjà 2 000 habitants au-dessus de ses capacités. Mais ce n’est que le début de l’escalade. À la fin de l’année, ce sera l’explosion : le nombre des personnes aura quasiment quadruplé (19 256 en janvier 2020). À la lecture du calepin, on se demande pourtant comment la situation a pu encore empirer.

    Nuit noire

    Page après page, on s’aperçoit que les coupures d’électricité – causées notamment par les pluies – représentent un problème majeur pour la petite communauté. Ces interruptions, qui peuvent durer plusieurs jours, empêchent le personnel de surveiller les entrées et sorties. Une catastrophe pour la sécurité des enfants censés être à l’abri des agressions. Le 24 novembre 2018, après plusieurs jours sans courant, au désespoir, Fanis et ses collègues Giannis* et Maria* rouvrent le carnet de bord :

    « L’inertie des personnes chargées de l’entretien fait qu’une fois encore nous sommes privés d’électricité, au point de n’avoir pas une seule lumière à l’intérieur et l’extérieur de la zone sécurisée. Tous les jours ou presque nous sommes contraints d’apporter des lampes-torches de chez nous pour essayer de voir, dans le noir complet, qui saute par-dessus les barbelés. Pour pénétrer à l’intérieur ou pour en sortir. Ces conditions de vie sont inacceptables ! En dépit des plaintes répétées des travailleurs sociaux, la situation ne semble pas s’améliorer. »

    Une triste note de Noël

    « JOYEUX NOËL !!! » Pour marquer l’événement, l’éducateur de garde a dessiné de jolies lettres au sommet de la page du 25 décembre 2018. Mais rien n’est jamais joyeux à Moria. S., une adolescente, vient de faire passer un morceau de papier à l’assistante sociale : le nom de son agresseur. Les éducateurs copient l’information avec un crayon de bois, entre autres notes au stylo bleu : « Il l’a battue en dehors de la zone sécurisée alors qu’il était ivre », lit-on. « Nous avons appelé la police, l’officier a envoyé une patrouille à pied. Voyons ce qui va se passer. » Le ton résigné employé par Fannis et son collègue semble indiquer qu’ils ne se font pas d’illusions.

    Les travailleurs sociaux reportent qu’un homme est déjà venu se plaindre de S. auparavant. Un peu plus tôt dans la journée, ce dernier s’est présenté à l’entrée. Tonitruant, il avait accusé S. de lui avoir volé de l’argent. Il prétendait lui en avoir déjà donné à plusieurs reprises « en échange de choses qui ne peuvent être décrites ». Les employés de l’OIM lui avaient demandé de partir en lui indiquant que, si quelqu’un lui avait volé de l’argent, il devait s’en plaindre à la police et que la violence n’avait pas sa place ici. « L’homme est parti satisfait… », avait noté le personnel en service.

    Interrogé sur les suites données à cette affaire, l’OIM nous fait cette réponse générale : « Un soutien psychologique était proposé aux enfants, afin de prévenir ou résoudre tous les conflits naissants. » L’exploitation sexuelle n’est que l’un des nombreux dangers auxquels les mineurs sont confrontés de l’autre côté des barbelés. L’abus d’alcool, de drogue et les bagarres sont également le lot des ados de Moria.

    Drogues, alcool, bagarres

    Dans la soirée du 4 avril 2019, N., un mineur de sexe masculin, a « de nouveau inhalé du liquide utilisé pour recharger les briquets ». L’adolescent a brutalement commencé à jeter des pierres, brisant plusieurs fenêtres. « Les policiers sont arrivés rapidement, mais N. a sauté par-dessus les barbelés et s’est enfui. »

    À l’image de N., on peut lire que de nombreux jeunes entrent dans la zone de sécurité ivres ou défoncés, parfois plusieurs jours de suite. Dans certains cas, ils sont à l’origine d’altercations avec les autres « bénéficiaires » ou les travailleurs sociaux. Parfois, les éducateurs de l’OIM semblent dépasser par la situation et demandent l’intervention de la police du camp.

    « Fuck Moria ! »

    «  Nous sommes toujours en vie !!!  », conclut une note rédigée dans la nuit du 6 décembre 2018. « Q., H. et A. sont rentrés probablement ivres (peut-être même défoncés). Ils nous ont insultés en nous disant : “Va te faire foutre ! Fuck la police ! Fuck Moria, etc.” »

    Q., un des ados, a explosé en vol. Tout en clamant : « Comme c’est agréable d’être fou ! », il a brisé treize fenêtres et « certainement 3 ou 4 placards et les poubelles ». La police a fini par arriver mais après avoir tenté de calmer les jeunes pendant quarante minutes, elle embarque les jeunes migrants au poste de police.

    Quand les mineurs ne s’en prennent pas aux travailleurs sociaux, ils se battent entre eux. Des bagarres récurrentes qui apparaissent chaque jour ou presque dans les pages du carnet de bord. Ici, un combat entre trois adolescents qui termine chez le médecin (le 26 novembre 2018), là, deux frères qui s’en prennent à un jeune à coup de bâtons (le 2 décembre 2018).

    Et quand ils ne parviennent plus à l’extérioriser, les enfants dirigent la violence contre eux-mêmes. Un mois et demi avant de glisser le nom de son agresseur sur un morceau de papier, S. s’était tailladé les veines avec un rasoir dans les douches des filles (le 6 novembre 2018). Par son geste, la jeune fille avait-elle voulu alerter ses éducateurs ? Punir ce corps qu’elle prostituait ? « La blessure est profonde, précise la note. Elle a été emmenée chez le médecin. » Les pages tournent et charrient toujours plus de malheurs : le 8 mars 2019, une autre mineure, A., « se tranche aussi les veines avec un rasoir, elle est amenée à l’hôpital local pour être vue par un psychiatre ». A. est conduite à l’hôpital, mais, la plupart du temps, c’est le médecin militaire du camp qui est appelé à la rescousse pour soigner les enfants de Moria.

    Ainsi, dans la nuit du 1er décembre 2018, un bébé qui vivait avec sa mère adolescente dans la section des filles est emmené chez le médecin militaire. « Il nous a dit qu’il n’était pas spécialiste des bébés et que quelqu’un devrait l’ausculter demain », écrit le travailleur de garde, ajoutant que le bébé pourrait possiblement avoir la varicelle. Cette nuit-là, il n’y a pas d’électricité dans les conteneurs, le nourrisson malade doit affronter la nuit glaciale sans traitement ni chaleur.

    « Nous continuerons à travailler dans des conditions inédites et inacceptables »

    Ce mois de décembre semble particulièrement éprouvant pour Fannis et ses collègues. Une semaine après l’épisode du bébé, le 7, l’éducateur prend le temps de rédiger deux longues notes qui sonnent comme des avertissements à l’adresse de sa hiérarchie.

    Il fait référence à de nouvelles altercation entre jeunes qui ont abouti à l’intervention de la police, la veille au soir : « L’inaction dans la gestion et la supervision de la section apparaît désormais évidente et ce en dépit de nos plaintes et signalements constants. Nous continuerons toutefois à informer et à travailler dans ces conditions inédites et inacceptables, mais nous espérons tous qu’il n’y aura pas d’incidents plus graves pour les bénéficiaires et les collègues. »

    Fannis craint de nouvelles bagarres avec l’arrivée de dix mineurs afghans dans la zone sécurisée : « Les “anciens” sentent qu’ils ont besoin de prouver quelque chose et les nouveaux arrivants pensent qu’ils doivent faire leur place dans cette nouvelle société. Les transferts de bénéficiaires doivent se faire progressivement. »

    La direction de l’OIM lit-elle seulement les notes de ses employés ? Peu importe, l’éducateur égrène inlassablement les mêmes avertissements : « Il est pour le moins problématique de voir dans la zone de sécurité des jeunes mamans avec des bébés, des jeunes garçons isolés, côtoyer et vivre au même endroit pendant des mois que des criminels aguerris, des personnes détenant des couteaux ou des armes de fortune. La raison d’être et le rôle de la zone de sécurité doivent être redéfinis et cette discussion doit avoir lieu sans plus attendre. »

    Le carnet de bord ne fait état d’aucune réponse de la hiérarchie. Dans sa réponse écrite, l’OIM assure avoir travaillé en « coordination rapprochée et sous les conseils du Reception and Identification Center », qui dépend des autorités grecques (lesquelles n’ont pas répondu à nos questions).

    Trois mois après la dernière note du carnet, le drame que Fannis redoutait tant finit par se produire : un garçon afghan de 15 ans est poignardé à mort dans la zone de sécurité. Il aura fallu attendre un an et demi pour que la zone sécurisée soit définitivement fermée, rasée par les flammes avec le reste du camp. Les 400 mineurs qui y vivaient ont été répartis dans les dix pays européens qui avaient fini par les accepter. Fin octobre 2020, d’après l’UNHCR, la France avait accueilli 49 mineurs non accompagnés en provenance de Grèce. Seulement deux d’entre eux ne sont pas montés dans l’avion, il s’agit des deux mineurs suspectés d’avoir mis le feu au camp.

    Épilogue

    À l’heure où nous bouclons cet article, l’histoire des enfants de Moria n’a pas fini de s’écrire. Depuis l’incendie, de nouveaux adolescents sont arrivés à Lesbos. Un nouveau camp, Moria 2.0, a été monté dans l’urgence. Les nouveaux « bénéficiaires » ne reçoivent de la nourriture qu’une fois par jour et il n’y a pas de douches. D’après nos informations, les enfants se lavent désormais dans les vagues de la mer Méditerranée. Aujourd’hui, à Lesbos, il n’y a même plus de zone sécurisée.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/301120/enfants-et-refugies-l-horreur-de-moria-chroniquee-par-les-educateurs-de-l-

    #Moria #Lesbos #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #enfants #enfance

  • Au #Niger, contrôler les flux de migrants

    Le Niger, deuxième pays le plus pauvre du monde, est au cœur de la région du Sahel en Afrique. Il accueille aujourd’hui quelque 300 000 réfugiés et personnes déplacées de pays voisins qui fuient les attaques terroristes. Beaucoup tentent de partir d’ici pour rejoindre l’Europe. Pour contrer cette migration, des fonds européens sont destinés à faire de ce pays de transit un lieu de réinstallation temporaire de certains migrants qui se trouvaient en Libye. Si ce programme, qui vise à répartir les migrants, a du mal à décoller, le flux migratoire s’est déjà tari : en 2016, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations comptaient 333 891personnes traversant la frontière du Niger, principalement vers la Libye. En 2017, le nombre a chuté à 17 634.


    https://www.mediapart.fr/studio/portfolios/au-niger-controler-les-flux-de-migrants

    #Agadez #portfolio #photographie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #réinstallation #Libye #externalisation #OIM #IOM #FMP #Flow_monitoring_points #Tillabéri #Ayorou #Tabarey-barey #camps_de_réfugiés #HCR #Niamey #ETM #mécanisme_d'évacuation_d'urgence #passeurs

    ping @rhoumour @_kg_ @karine4 @isskein

  • Au #Tigré_éthiopien, la #guerre « sans pitié » du prix Nobel de la paix

    Le premier ministre éthiopien #Abyi_Ahmed oppose une fin de non-recevoir aux offres de médiation de ses pairs africains, alors que les combats entre l’armée fédérale et les forces de la province du Tigré ne cessent de prendre de l’ampleur.

    Le gouvernement d’Addis Abéba continue de parler d’une simple opération de police contre une province récalcitrante ; mais c’est une véritable guerre, avec blindés, aviation, et des dizaines de milliers de combattants, qui oppose l’armée fédérale éthiopienne aux forces de la province du Tigré, dans le nord du pays.

    Trois semaines de combats ont déjà provoqué l’afflux de 30 000 #réfugiés au #Soudan voisin, et ce nombre pourrait rapidement grimper après l’ultimatum lancé hier soir par le gouvernement aux rebelles : 72 heures pour se rendre. L’#armée demande aussi à la population de la capitale tigréenne, #Makelle, de se « libérer » des dirigeants du #Front_de_libération_du_peuple_du_Tigré, au pouvoir dans la province ; en cas contraire, a-t-elle prévenu, « il n’y aura aucune pitié ».

    Cette escalade rapide et, en effet, sans pitié, s’accompagne d’une position inflexible du premier ministre éthiopien, Abyi Ahmed, vis-à-vis de toute médiation, y compris celle de ses pairs africains. Addis Abéba a opposé une fin de non-recevoir aux tentatives de médiation, celle des voisins de l’Éthiopie, ou celle du Président en exercice de l’Union africaine, le sud-africain Cyril Ramaphosa. Ils seront poliment reçus à Addis Abéba, mais pas question de les laisser aller au Tigré ou de rencontrer les leaders du #TPLF, le front tigréen considéré comme des « bandits ».

    Pourquoi cette position inflexible ? La réponse se trouve à la fois dans l’histoire particulièrement violente de l’Éthiopie depuis des décennies, et dans la personnalité ambivalente d’Abyi Ahmed, le chef du gouvernement et, ne l’oublions pas, prix Nobel de la paix l’an dernier.

    L’histoire nous donne des clés. Le Tigré ne représente que 6% des 100 millions d’habitants de l’Éthiopie, mais il a joué un rôle historique déterminant. C’est du Tigré qu’est partie la résistance à la sanglante dictature de Mengistu Haile Mariam, qui avait renversé l’empire d’Haile Selassie en 1974. Victorieux en 1991, le TPLF a été au pouvoir pendant 17 ans, avec à sa tête un homme fort, Meles Zenawi, réformateur d’une main de fer, qui introduira notamment le fédéralisme en Éthiopie. Sa mort subite en 2012 a marqué le début des problèmes pour les Tigréens, marginalisés après l’élection d’Abyi Ahmed en 2018, et qui l’ont très mal vécu.

    La personnalité d’Abyi Ahmed est aussi au cœur de la crise actuelle. Encensé pour ses mesures libérales, le premier ministre éthiopien est également un ancien militaire inflexible, déterminé à s’opposer aux forces centrifuges qui menacent l’unité de l’ex-empire.

    Ce contexte laisse envisager un #conflit prolongé, car le pouvoir fédéral ne renoncera pas à son offensive jusqu’à ce qu’il ait, au minimum, repris Mekelle, la capitale du Tigré. Or cette ville est à 2500 mètres d’altitude, dans une région montagneuse où les avancées d’une armée régulière sont difficiles.

    Quant au front tigréen, il a vraisemblablement envisagé une position de repli dans la guerrilla, avec des forces aguerries, dans une région qui lui est acquise.

    Reste l’attitude des pays de la région, qui risquent d’être entrainés dans cette #guerre_civile, à commencer par l’Érythrée voisine, déjà touchée par les hostilités.

    C’est une tragédie pour l’Éthiopie, mais aussi pour l’Afrique, car c’est le deuxième pays le plus peuplé du continent, siège de l’Union africaine, l’une des locomotives d’une introuvable renaissance africaine. L’Afrique doit tout faire pour mettre fin à cette guerre fratricide, aux conséquences dévastatrices.

    https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/geopolitique/geopolitique-23-novembre-2020

    #Ethiopie #Tigré #Corne_de_l'Afrique #Tigray

    • Conflict between Tigray and Eritrea – the long standing faultline in Ethiopian politics

      The missile attack by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on Eritrea in mid-November transformed an internal Ethiopian crisis into a transnational one. In the midst of escalating internal conflict between Ethiopia’s northernmost province, Tigray, and the federal government, it was a stark reminder of a historical rivalry that continues to shape and reshape Ethiopia.

      The rivalry between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the movement which has governed Eritrea in all but name for the past 30 years – the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front – goes back several decades.

      The histories of Eritrea and Ethiopia have long been closely intertwined. This is especially true of Tigray and central Eritrea. These territories occupy the central massif of the Horn of Africa. Tigrinya-speakers are the predominant ethnic group in both Tigray and in the adjacent Eritrean highlands.

      The enmity between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front dates to the mid-1970s, when the Tigrayan front was founded in the midst of political turmoil in Ethiopia. The authoritarian Marxist regime – known as the Derg (Amharic for ‘committee’) – inflicted violence upon millions of its own citizens. It was soon confronted with a range of armed insurgencies and socio-political movements. These included Tigray and Eritrea, where the resistance was most ferocious.

      The Tigrayan front was at first close to the Eritrean front, which had been founded in 1970 to fight for independence from Ethiopia. Indeed, the Eritreans helped train some of the first Tigrayan recruits in 1975-6, in their shared struggle against Ethiopian government forces for social revolution and the right to self-determination.

      But in the midst of the war against the Derg regime, the relationship quickly soured over ethnic and national identity. There were also differences over the demarcation of borders, military tactics and ideology. The Tigrayan front eventually recognised the Eritreans’ right to self-determination, if grudgingly, and resolved to fight for the liberation of all Ethiopian peoples from the tyranny of the Derg regime.

      Each achieved seminal victories in the late 1980s. Together the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and the Eritrean front overthrew the Derg in May 1991. The Tigrayan-led front formed government in Addis Ababa while the Eritrean front liberated Eritrea which became an independent state.

      But this was just the start of a new phase of a deep-rooted rivalry. This continued between the governments until the recent entry of prime minister Abiy Ahmed.

      If there’s any lesson to be learnt from years of military and political manoeuvrings, it is that conflict in Tigray is unavoidably a matter of intense interest to the Eritrean leadership. And Abiy would do well to remember that conflict between Eritrea and Tigray has long represented a destabilising fault line for Ethiopia as well as for the wider region.
      Reconciliation and new beginnings

      In the early 1990s, there was much talk of reconciliation and new beginnings between Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea. The two governments signed a range of agreements on economic cooperation, defence and citizenship. It seemed as though the enmity of the liberation war was behind them.

      Meles declared as much at the 1993 Eritrean independence celebrations, at which he was a notable guest.

      But deep-rooted tensions soon resurfaced. In the course of 1997, unresolved border disputes were exacerbated by Eritrea’s introduction of a new currency. This had been anticipated in a 1993 economic agreement. But in the event Tigrayan traders often refused to recognise it, and it caused a collapse in commerce.

      Full-scale war erupted over the contested border hamlet of Badme in May 1998. The fighting swiftly spread to other stretches of the shared, 1,000 km long frontier. Air strikes were launched on both sides.

      It was quickly clear, too, that this was only superficially about borders. It was more substantively about regional power and long standing antagonisms that ran along ethnic lines.

      The Eritrean government’s indignant anti-Tigray front rhetoric had its echo in the popular contempt for so-called Agame, the term Eritreans used for Tigrayan migrant labourers.

      For the Tigray front, the Eritrean front was the clearest expression of perceived Eritrean arrogance.

      As for Isaias himself, regarded as a crazed warlord who had led Eritrea down a path which defied economic and political logic, it was hubris personified.

      Ethiopia deported tens of thousands of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean descent.

      Ethiopia’s decisive final offensive in May 2000 forced the Eritrean army to fall back deep into their own territory. Although the Ethiopians were halted, and a ceasefire put in place after bitter fighting on a number of fronts, Eritrea had been devastated by the conflict.

      The Algiers Agreement of December 2000 was followed by years of standoff, occasional skirmishes, and the periodic exchange of insults.

      During this period Ethiopia consolidated its position as a dominant power in the region. And Meles as one of the continent’s representatives on the global stage.

      For its part Eritrea retreated into a militaristic, authoritarian solipsism. Its domestic policy centred on open-ended national service for the young. Its foreign policy was largely concerned with undermining the Ethiopian government across the region. This was most obvious in Somalia, where its alleged support for al-Shabaab led to the imposition of sanctions on Asmara.

      The ‘no war-no peace’ scenario continued even after Meles’s sudden death in 2012. The situation only began to shift with the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn against a backdrop of mounting protest across Ethiopia, especially among the Oromo and the Amhara, and the rise to power of Abiy.

      What followed was the effective overthrow of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front which had been the dominant force in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition since 1991.

      This provided Isaias with a clear incentive to respond to Abiy’s overtures.
      Tigray’s loss, Eritrea’s gain

      A peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, was signed in July 2018 by Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki. It formally ended their 1998-2000 war. It also sealed the marginalisation of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Many in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front were unenthusiastic about allowing Isaias in from the cold.

      Since the 1998-2000 war, in large part thanks to the astute manoeuvres of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Eritrea had been exactly where the Tigray People’s Liberation Front wanted it: an isolated pariah state with little diplomatic clout. Indeed, it is unlikely that Isaias would have been as receptive to the deal had it not involved the further sidelining of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, something which Abiy presumably understood.

      Isaias had eschewed the possibility of talks with Abiy’s predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn. But Abiy was a different matter. A political reformer, and a member of the largest but long-subjugated ethnic group in Ethiopia, the Oromo, he was determined to end the Tigray People’s Liberation Front’s domination of Ethiopian politics.

      This was effectively achieved in December 2019 when he abolished the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and replaced it with the Prosperity Party.

      The Tigray People’s Liberation Front declined to join with the visible results of the current conflict.

      À lire aussi : Residual anger driven by the politics of power has boiled over into conflict in Ethiopia

      Every effort to engage with the Tigrayan leadership – including the Tigray People’s Liberation Front – in pursuit of a peaceful resolution must also mean keeping Eritrea out of the conflict.

      Unless Isaias is willing to play a constructive role – he does not have a good track record anywhere in the region in this regard – he must be kept at arm’s length, not least to protect the 2018 peace agreement itself.

      https://theconversation.com/conflict-between-tigray-and-eritrea-the-long-standing-faultline-in-

      #Derg #histoire #frontières #démarcation_des_frontières #monnaie #Badme #Agame #travailleurs_étrangers #Oromo #Ethiopian_People’s_Revolutionary_Democratic_Front #Prosperity_Party

      –—

      #Agame , the term Eritreans used for Tigrayan migrant labourers.

      –-> #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots
      ping @sinehebdo

    • Satellite Images Show Ethiopia Carnage as Conflict Continues
      – United Nations facility, school, clinic and homes burned down
      – UN refugee agency has had no access to the two camps

      Satellite images show the destruction of United Nations’ facilities, a health-care unit, a high school and houses at two camps sheltering Eritrean refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, belying government claims that the conflict in the dissident region is largely over.

      The eight Planet Labs Inc images are of Hitsats and the Shimelba camps. The camps hosted about 25,000 and 8,000 refugees respectively before a conflict broke out in the region two months ago, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

      “Recent satellite imagery indicates that structures in both camps are being intentionally targeted,” said Isaac Baker, an analyst at DX Open Network, a U.K. based human security research and analysis non-profit. “The systematic and widespread fires are consistent with an intentional campaign to deny the use of the camp.”

      DX Open Network has been following the conflict and analyzing satellite image data since Nov. 7, three days after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared war against a dissident group in the Tigray region, which dominated Ethiopian politics before Abiy came to power.

      Ethiopia’s government announced victory against the dissidents on Nov. 28 after federal forces captured the regional capital of Mekelle. Abiy spoke of the need to rebuild and return normalcy to Tigray at the time.

      Calls and messages to Redwan Hussein, spokesman for the government’s emergency task force on Tigray and the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Spokeswoman Billene Seyoum were not answered.

      In #Shimelba, images show scorched earth from apparent attacks in January. A World Food Programme storage facility and a secondary school run by the Development and Inter-Aid Church Commission have also been burned down, according to DX Open Network’s analysis. In addition, a health facility run by the Ethiopian Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs situated next to the WFP compound was also attacked between Jan. 5 and Jan. 8.

      In #Hitsats camp, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) away, there were at least 14 actively burning structures and 55 others were damaged or destroyed by Jan. 5. There were new fires by Jan. 8, according to DX Open Network’s analysis.

      The UN refugee agency has not had access to the camps since fighting started in early November, according to Chris Melzer, a communications officer for the agency. UNHCR has been able to reach its two other camps, Mai-Aini and Adi Harush, which are to the south, he said.

      “We also have no reliable, first-hand information about the situation in the camps or the wellbeing of the refugees,” Melzer said in reference to Hitsats and Shimelba.

      Eritrean troops have also been involved in the fighting and are accused of looting businesses and abducting refugees, according to aid workers and diplomats briefed on the situation. The governments of both Ethiopia and Eritrea have denied that Eritrean troops are involved in the conflict.

      The UN says fighting is still going on in several Tigray areas and 2.2 million people have been displaced in the past two months. Access to the region for journalists and independent analysts remains constrained, making it difficult to verify events.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-09/satellite-images-show-destruction-of-refugee-camps-in-ethiopia?srnd=premi

      #images_satellitaires #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés

    • Ethiopia’s government appears to be wielding hunger as a weapon

      A rebel region is being starved into submission

      ETHIOPIA HAS suffered famines in the past. Many foreigners know this; in 1985 about one-third of the world’s population watched a pop concert to raise money for starving Ethiopians. What is less well understood is that poor harvests lead to famine only when malign rulers allow it. It was not the weather that killed perhaps 1m people in 1983-85. It was the policies of a Marxist dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, who forced peasants at gunpoint onto collective farms. Mengistu also tried to crush an insurgency in the northern region of Tigray by burning crops, destroying grain stores and slaughtering livestock. When the head of his own government’s humanitarian agency begged him for cash to feed the starving, he dismissed him with a memorably callous phrase: “Don’t let these petty human problems...consume you.”

      https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/01/23/ethiopias-government-appears-to-be-wielding-hunger-as-a-weapon

      #famine #faim
      #paywall

    • Amnesty International accuses Eritrean troops of killing hundreds of civilians in the holy city of #Axum

      Amnesty International has released a comprehensive, compelling report detailing the killing of hundreds of civilians in the Tigrayan city of Axum.

      This story has been carried several times by Eritrea Hub, most recently on 20th February. On 12 January this year the Axum massacre was raised in the British Parliament, by Lord David Alton.

      Gradually the picture emerging has been clarified and is now unambiguous.

      The Amnesty report makes grim reading: the details are horrifying.

      Human Rights Watch are finalising their own report, which will be published next week. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is also publishing a report on the Axum massacre.

      The Ethiopian government appointed interim administration of Tigray is attempting to distance itself from the actions of Eritrean troops. Alula Habteab, who heads the interim administration’s construction, road and transport department, appeared to openly criticise soldiers from Eritrea, as well as the neighbouring Amhara region, for their actions during the conflict.

      “There were armies from a neighbouring country and a neighbouring region who wanted to take advantage of the war’s objective of law enforcement,” he told state media. “These forces have inflicted more damage than the war itself.”

      The full report can be found here: The Massacre in Axum – AFR 25.3730.2021. Below is the summary (https://eritreahub.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/The-Massacre-in-Axum-AFR-25.3730.2021.pdf)

      https://eritreahub.org/amnesty-international-accuses-eritrean-troops-of-killing-hundreds-of-civ

      #rapport #massacre

    • Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: How a massacre in the sacred city of #Aksum unfolded

      Eritrean troops fighting in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray killed hundreds of people in Aksum mainly over two days in November, witnesses say.

      The mass killings on 28 and 29 November may amount to a crime against humanity, Amnesty International says in a report.

      An eyewitness told the BBC how bodies remained unburied on the streets for days, with many being eaten by hyenas.

      Ethiopia and Eritrea, which both officially deny Eritrean soldiers are in Tigray, have not commented.

      The Ethiopian Human Rights commission says it is investigating the allegations.

      The conflict erupted on 4 November 2020 when Ethiopia’s government launched an offensive to oust the region’s ruling TPLF party after its fighters captured federal military bases in Tigray.

      Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, told parliament on 30 November that “not a single civilian was killed” during the operation.

      But witnesses have recounted how on that day they began burying some of the bodies of unarmed civilians killed by Eritrean soldiers - many of them boys and men shot on the streets or during house-to-house raids.

      Amnesty’s report has high-resolution satellite imagery from 13 December showing disturbed earth consistent with recent graves at two churches in Aksum, an ancient city considered sacred by Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christians.

      A communications blackout and restricted access to Tigray has meant reports of what has gone on in the conflict have been slow to emerge.

      In Aksum, electricity and phone networks reportedly stopped working on the first day of the conflict.
      How was Aksum captured?

      Shelling by Ethiopian and Eritrea forces to the west of Aksum began on Thursday 19 November, according to people in the city.

      “This attack continued for five hours, and was non-stop. People who were at churches, cafes, hotels and their residence died. There was no retaliation from any armed force in the city - it literally targeted civilians,” a civil servant in Aksum told the BBC.
      1px transparent line

      Amnesty has gathered similar and multiple testimonies describing the continuous shelling that evening of civilians.

      Once in control of the city, soldiers, generally identified as Eritrean, searched for TPLF soldiers and militias or “anyone with a gun”, Amnesty said.

      “There were a lot of... house-to-house killings,” one woman told the rights group.

      There is compelling evidence that Ethiopian and Eritrean troops carried out “multiple war crimes in their offensive to take control of Aksum”, Amnesty’s Deprose Muchena says.
      What sparked the killings?

      For the next week, the testimonies say Ethiopia troops were mainly in Aksum - the Eritreans had pushed on east to the town of Adwa.

      A witness told the BBC how the Ethiopian military looted banks in the city in that time.

      he Eritrean forces reportedly returned a week later. The fighting on Sunday 28 November was triggered by an assault of poorly armed pro-TPLF fighters, according to Amnesty’s report.

      Between 50 and 80 men from Aksum targeted an Eritrean position on a hill overlooking the city in the morning.

      A 26-year-old man who participated in the attack told Amnesty: “We wanted to protect our city so we attempted to defend it especially from Eritrean soldiers... They knew how to shoot and they had radios, communications... I didn’t have a gun, just a stick.”
      How did Eritrean troops react?

      It is unclear how long the fighting lasted, but that afternoon Eritrean trucks and tanks drove into Aksum, Amnesty reports.

      Witnesses say Eritrean soldiers went on a rampage, shooting at unarmed civilian men and boys who were out on the streets - continuing until the evening.

      A man in his 20s told Amnesty about the killings on the city’s main street: “I was on the second floor of a building and I watched, through the window, the Eritreans killing the youth on the street.”

      The soldiers, identified as Eritrean not just because of their uniform and vehicle number plates but because of the languages they spoke (Arabic and an Eritrean dialect of Tigrinya), started house-to-house searches.

      “I would say it was in retaliation,” a young man told the BBC. “They killed every man they found. If you opened your door and they found a man they killed him, if you didn’t open, they shoot your gate by force.”

      He was hiding in a nightclub and witnessed a man who was found and killed by Eritrean soldiers begging for his life: “He was telling them: ’I am a civilian, I am a banker.’”

      Another man told Amnesty that he saw six men killed, execution-style, outside his house near the Abnet Hotel the following day on 29 November.

      “They lined them up and shot them in the back from behind. Two of them I knew. They’re from my neighbourhood… They asked: ’Where is your gun’ and they answered: ’We have no guns, we are civilians.’”
      How many people were killed?

      Witnesses say at first the Eritrean soldiers would not let anyone approach the bodies on the streets - and would shoot anyone who did so.

      One woman, whose nephews aged 29 and 14 had been killed, said the roads “were full of dead bodies”.

      Amnesty says after the intervention of elders and Ethiopian soldiers, burials began over several days, with most funerals taking place on 30 November after people brought the bodies to the churches - often 10 at a time loaded on horse- or donkey-drawn carts.

      At Abnet Hotel, the civil servant who spoke to the BBC said some bodies were not removed for four days.

      "The bodies that were lying around Abnet Hotel and Seattle Cinema were eaten by hyenas. We found only bones. We buried bones.

      “I can say around 800 civilians were killed in Aksum.”

      This account is echoed by a church deacon who told the Associated Press that many bodies had been fed on by hyenas.

      He gathered victims’ identity cards and assisted with burials in mass graves and also believes about 800 people were killed that weekend.

      The 41 survivors and witnesses Amnesty interviewed provided the names of more than 200 people they knew who were killed.
      What happened after the burials?

      Witnesses say the Eritrean soldiers participated in looting, which after the massacre and as many people fled the city, became widespread and systematic.

      The university, private houses, hotels, hospitals, grain stores, garages, banks, DIY stores, supermarkets, bakeries and other shops were reportedly targeted.

      One man told Amnesty how Ethiopian soldiers failed to stop Eritreans looting his brother’s house.

      “They took the TV, a jeep, the fridge, six mattresses, all the groceries and cooking oil, butter, teff flour [Ethiopia’s staple food], the kitchen cabinets, clothes, the beers in the fridge, the water pump, and the laptop.”

      The young man who spoke to the BBC said he knew of 15 vehicles that had been stolen belonging to businessmen in the city.

      This has had a devastating impact on those left in Aksum, leaving them with little food and medicine to survive, Amnesty says.

      Witnesses say the theft of water pumps left residents having to drink from the river.
      Why is Aksum sacred?

      It is said to be the birthplace of the biblical Queen of Sheba, who travelled to Jerusalem to visit King Solomon.

      They had a son - Menelik I - who is said to have brought to Aksum the Ark of the Covenant, believed to contain the 10 commandments handed down to Moses by God.

      It is constantly under guard at the city’s Our Lady Mary of Zion Church and no-one is allowed to see it.

      A major religious celebration is usually held at the church on 30 November, drawing pilgrims from across Ethiopia and around the world, but it was cancelled last year amid the conflict.

      The civil servant interviewed by the BBC said that Eritrean troops came to the church on 3 December “terrorising the priests and forcing them to give them the gold and silver cross”.

      But he said the deacons and other young people went to protect the ark.

      “It was a huge riot. Every man and woman fought them. They fired guns and killed some, but we are happy as we did not fail to protect our treasures.”

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56198469

  • CNES Géoimage Nouvelles ressources

    Dans une situation difficile, tendue et régressive, les cours en présentiel sont impossibles, les bibliothèques, universitaires en particulier, et les librairies sont fermées et les risques de décrochages se multiplient. Dans ce contexte, le site Géoimage du CNES (Centre Nat. d’Etudes Spatiales) met à disposition en ligne plus de 300 dossiers réalisés par 165 auteurs sur 86 pays et territoires. Pour votre information, voici les derniers dossiers réalisés ces deux derniers mois. Ils constituent peut être une ressource utile pour vos étudiants. En restant a votre disposition.

    1. Nouveaux dossiers en ligne

    #Frontières : entre #guerres, #tensions et #coopérations

    #Pakistan-#Inde-#Chine. Le massif du #K2 et le #Glacier_Siachen : #conflits_frontaliers et affrontements militaires sur le « toit du monde » (L. Carroué )

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/pakistan-inde-chine-le-massif-du-k2-et-le-glacier-siachen-conflits-fro

    Pakistan-Chine. La #Karakoram_Highway : un axe transfrontalier géostratégique à travers l’#Himalaya (L. Carroué)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/pakistan-chine-la-karakoram-highway-un-axe-transfrontalier-geostrategi

    #Afghanistan/ #Pakistan/ #Tadjikistan - Le corridor de #Wakhan : une zone tampon transfrontalière en plein Himalaya (L. Carroué)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/afghanistan-pakistan-tadjikistan-le-corridor-de-wakhan-une-zone-tampon

    Affrontement aux sommets sur la frontière sino-indienne, autour du #Lac_Pangong_Tso dans l’Himalaya (F. Vergez)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/affrontement-aux-sommets-sur-la-frontiere-sino-indienne-sur-le-lac-pan

    #Brésil - #Argentine#Paraguay. La triple frontière autour d’#Iguazu : un des territoires transfrontaliers les plus actifs au monde (C. Loïzzo)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/bresil-argentine-paraguay-la-triple-frontiere-autour-diguazu-un-des-te

    #Grèce#Turquie. Les îles grecques de #Samos et #Lesbos en #mer_Egée : tensions géopolitiques frontalières et flux migratoires (F. Vergez)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/grece-turquie-les-iles-grecques-de-samos-et-lesbos-en-mer-egee-tension

    #Jordanie/ #Syrie : guerre civile, frontière militarisée et #camps_de_réfugiés de #Zaatari (L. Carroué)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/jordanie-syrie-guerre-civile-frontiere-militarisee-et-camps-de-refugie

    Frontières : France métropolitaine et outre-mer

    #Calais : un port de la façade maritime européenne aux fonctions transfrontalières transmanches (L. Carbonnier et A. Gack)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/hauts-de-france-calais-un-port-de-la-facade-maritime-europeenne-aux-fo

    L’Est-#Maralpin : un territoire transfrontalier franco-italo-monégaste au cœur de l’arc méditerranéen (F. Boizet et L. Clerc)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/lest-maralpin-un-territoire-transfrontalier-franco-italo-monegaste-au-

    La principauté de #Monaco : le défi du territoire, entre limite frontalière, densification et extensions urbaines maritimes (P. Briand)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/la-principaute-de-monaco-le-defi-du-territoire-entre-limite-frontalier

    #Guyane_française/ Brésil. La frontière : d’un territoire longtemps contesté à une difficile coopération régionale transfrontalière (P. Blancodini )

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/guyane-francaise-bresil-la-frontiere-un-territoire-longtemps-conteste-

    (Frontières. Pages concours - Capes, Agrégations)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/les-frontieres

    Enjeux géostratégiques et géopolitiques

    Pakistan. #Gwadar : un port chinois des Nouvelles Routes de la Soie dans un #Baloutchistan désertique et instable (C. Loïzzo)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/pakistan-gwadar-un-port-chinois-des-nouvelles-routes-de-la-soie-dans-u

    #Chine. L’archipel des #Paracels : construire des #îles pour projeter sa puissance et contrôler la #Mer_de_Chine méridionale (L. Carroué)

    Chine - L’archipel des Paracels : construire des îles pour projeter sa puissance et contrôler la Mer de Chine méridionale

    #Kings_Bay : la grande base sous-marine nucléaire stratégique de l’#Atlantique (L. Carroué)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/etats-unis-kings-bay-la-grande-base-sous-marine-nucleaire-strategique-

    #Kitsap - #Bangor : la plus grande #base_sous-marine nucléaire stratégique au monde (L. Carroué)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/etats-unis-kitsap-bangor-la-plus-grande-base-sous-marine-nucleaire-str

    #Djibouti / #Yémen. Le détroit de #Bab_el-Mandeb : un verrou maritime géostratégique entre la #mer_Rouge et l’#océan_Indien (E. Dallier et P. Denmat)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/djiboutiyemen-le-detroit-de-bab-el-mandeb-un-verrou-maritime-geostrate

    #Abu_Dhabi : une ville capitale, entre mer et désert (F. Tétart)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/emirats-arabes-unis-abu-dhabi-une-ville-capitale-entre-mer-et-desert

    France et #DROM : dynamiques et mutations

    Languedoc. #Cap_d’Agde : une station touristique au sein d’un littoral très aménagé en région viticole (Y. Clavé)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/languedoc-cap-dagde-une-station-touristique-au-sein-dun-littoral-tres-

    Le sud-est de la #Grande-Terre : les plages touristiques et les #Grands_Fonds, entre survalorisation, inégalités et développement durable (J. Fieschi et E. Mephara)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/guadeloupe-le-sud-est-de-la-grande-terre-les-plages-touristiques-et-le

    #Normandie. #Lyons-la-Forêt et son environnement : entre #Rouen et Paris, un espace rural sous emprise forestière (T. Puigventos)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/normandie-lyons-la-foret-et-son-environnement-entre-rouen-et-paris-un-

    #PACA. L’agglomération de #Fréjus - #Saint-Raphaël : un #littoral méditerranéen touristique urbanisé (S. Revert)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/paca-lagglomeration-de-frejus-saint-raphael-un-littoral-mediterraneen-

    #Tourisme et #patrimonialisation dans le monde

    #Portugal#Lisbonne : la capitale portugaise aux défis d’une #touristification accélérée et d’une patrimonialisation accrue (J. Picollier)

    Portugal - Lisbonne : la capitale portugaise aux défis d’une touristification accélérée et d’une patrimonialisation accrue

    #Floride : le Sud-Ouest, un nouveau corridor touristique et urbain (J.F. Arnal)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/etats-unis-floride-le-sud-ouest-un-nouveau-corridor-touristique-et-urb

    #Alaska. Le #Mont_Denali : glaciers, #parc_national, #wilderness et changement climatique (A. Poiret)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/alaska-le-mont-denali-glaciers-parc-national-wilderness-et-changement-

    #Ile_Maurice. Le miracle de l’émergence d’une petite île de l’#océan_Indien (M. Lachenal)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/ile-maurice-le-miracle-de-lemergence-dune-petite-ile-de-locean-indien

    Le #Grand-Prismatic du Parc National du #Yellowstone : entre wilderness, protection, patrimonialisation et tourisme de masse (S. Sangarne et N. Vermersch)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/etats-unis-le-grand-prismatic-du-parc-national-du-yellowstone-entre-wi

    #Maroc. Contraintes, défis et potentialités d’un espace désertique marocain en bordure du Sahara : Ouarzazate (M. Lachenal)

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/maroc-contraintes-defis-et-potentialites-dun-espace-desertique-marocai

    2. Nouvelle rubrique : « Images A la Une »

    La rubrique Image A La Une a pour objectif de mettre en ligne une image satellite accompagnée d’un commentaire en lien avec un point d’actualité et qui peut donc être facilement mobilisée en cours (cf. incendies de forêt en Australie en janv./ 2020, impact du Coronavirus en avril 2020).

    Fabien Vergez : Affrontements aux sommets sur la frontière sino-indienne, sur le lac Pangong Tso dans l’Himalaya

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/affrontement-aux-sommets-sur-la-frontiere-sino-indienne-sur-le-lac-pan

    Virginie Estève : Les "#Incendies_zombies" en #Arctique : un phénomène surmédiatisé qui alerte sur le réchauffement climatique.

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/incendies-zombies-en-arctique-un-phenomene-surmediatise-qui-alerte-sur

    3. Ouverture d’une nouvelle rubrique : « La satellithèque »

    Le site Géoimage du CNES se dote d’une nouvelle rubrique afin d’enrichir son offre. A côté des images déjà proposées dans les rubriques "dossiers thématiques" ou "Images A la Une", le site Géoimage du CNES met en ligne comme autres ressources des images brutes non accompagnées d’un commentaire ou d’une analyse.

    L’objectif de cette #Satellithèque est d’offrir au plus grand nombre - enseignants, universitaires, chercheurs, étudiants, grand public... - de nombreuses images de la France et du monde. Ainsi, progressivement, dans les mois qui viennent des centaines d’images nouvelles seront disponibles et téléchargeable directement et gratuitement en ligne afin d’accompagner leurs travaux, recherches ou voyages.

    https://geoimage.cnes.fr/fr/geoimage/satellitheque

    4. Ouverture de comptes Twitter et Instagram

    Suivez et partagez l’actualité du site GeoImage à travers Twitter / Instagram, que ce soit de nouvelles mises en ligne ou des évènements autour de ce projet. La publication de nouveaux dossiers et leurs référencements, tout comme la publication de notules dans images à la une est accompagnée de brèves sur ces réseaux sociaux

    Ci-dessous les identifiants pour s’abonner aux comptes Twitter et Instagram

    Compte twitter : @Geoimage_ed

    Compte Instagram : geoimage_ed

    #images_satellitaires #visualisation

    #ressources_pédagogiques

  • Deal signed for construction of new migrant centers

    Migration Minister #Notis_Mitarakis and the director of the European Commission, #Beate_Gminder, have signed a financing agreement for the construction of new closed structures on the eastern Aegean islands of #Samos, #Kos and #Leros.

    The funding for these projects will be fully covered by the European Commission.

    Also on Friday, the working group for the coordination of the procedures for the final termination of the operations of the reception and identification centers in #Vathi on Samos and on Leros met for the first time.

    The group’s main objective is the coordination of all involved bodies (Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Organization, local authorities, the Hellenic Police, the armed forces, the fire brigade and international bodies) to ensure the smooth shutdown of the existing structures and the operation of the new closed facilities of Samos and Leros.

    https://www.ekathimerini.com/259140/article/ekathimerini/news/deal-signed-for-construction-of-new-migrant-centers

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #centres #camps_de_réfugiés #financement #Mer_Egée #îles #centres_fermés #financement #EU #internal_externalization #externalisation_intérieure #Union_européenne #UE

    –—

    Et voilà que #Moria_2.0 se généralise à toutes les îles grecques...
    Merci le #nouveau_pacte:


    https://seenthis.net/messages/875903
    https://seenthis.net/messages/876752
    #pacte_européen

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Accord entre l’#Union_européenne et la Grèce pour un nouveau camp d’accueil pour migrants à Lesbos en 2021

      Le camp de Moria avait été ravagé par un incendie au mois de septembre 2020. Un campement provisoire, où se trouve 7 300 demandeurs d’asile, a depuis été établi sur l’île.

      Presque trois mois après un incendie ravageur, l’Union européenne (UE) et la Grèce ont signé un accord, jeudi 3 décembre, pour la mise en place d’ici septembre 2021 d’un nouveau camp d’accueil pour migrants sur l’île de Lesbos. Ce nouveau camp doit remplacer celui de Moria détruit en septembre.

      Le soutien de l’Union européenne dans la gestion de ce nouveau « centre d’accueil » sera inédit, et l’accord prévoit une répartition des responsabilités entre la Commission, les autorités grecques et les agences de l’UE.

      Après la destruction du camp insalubre de Moria, le plus grand d’Europe, un campement provisoire a été établi sur l’île. Plus de 7 300 demandeurs d’asile, parmi lesquels des enfants, des personnes handicapées ou malades, s’entassent sous des tentes, sans chauffage ni eau chaude à l’approche de l’hiver.

      Dans le nouveau camp, « nous allons fournir des conditions décentes aux migrants et réfugiés qui arrivent, et aussi soutenir les habitants sur les îles grecques », a déclaré la présidente de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen, dans un communiqué, où elle souligne également la nécessité de « procédures rapides et équitables » pour l’examen des demandes d’asile. Pour les migrants, « les centres doivent n’être qu’un arrêt temporaire avant leur retour (vers leur pays d’origine ou de transit) ou leur intégration », précise Mme von der Leyen.

      « Une étape importante »

      La Commission prévoit de consacrer environ 130 millions d’euros pour les sites de Lesbos et de Chios, dont la très grosse majorité pour Lesbos. En outre, 121 millions d’euros ont été alloués le mois dernier à la construction de trois camps moins importants sur les îles de Samos, Kos et Leros.

      « Cet accord est une étape importante (…) pour s’assurer qu’une situation comme celle de Moria ne puisse plus se reproduire », a ajouté la commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson. Elle a estimé que ce nouveau camp « marquait un changement dans la façon d’appréhender la gestion des migrations, et ouvre la voie à une mise en pratique des principes directeurs du nouveau pacte sur la migration et l’asile ».

      La Commission européenne a présenté fin septembre un projet de réforme de la politique commune de l’asile, un dossier ultrasensible sur lequel la recherche d’un compromis est extrêmement difficile, cinq ans après la crise migratoire de 2015.

      Lesbos, en mer Egée ainsi que d’autres îles grecques proches des côtes occidentales de la Turquie voisine, est l’une des principales portes d’entrée des migrants en Europe. La Grèce a considérablement réduit le nombre d’arrivées en 2020 mais les conditions de vie dans les camps d’accueil restent particulièrement éprouvantes.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/12/03/accord-entre-l-union-europeenne-et-la-grece-pour-un-nouveau-camp-a-lesbos-en

  • Fire burns tents, structures in Greek refugee camp

    A fire has burnt through tents and some structures in a refugee camp on the eastern Greek island of Samos. There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

    The fire department said the blaze, which broke out Wednesday morning, was limited in size and was tackled by 18 firefighters using nine vehicles. There was no immediate information on how many tents were destroyed.

    Many of the tents are packed closely together in the overcrowded camp, and camping gas canisters the residents use for cooking caused small explosions.

    It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire. More than 3,800 people live in and around the Samos camp, a facility originally built to house just under 650.

    In September, a series of fires destroyed Greece’s largest refugee camp, Moria, on the nearby island of Lesvos, leaving more than 10,000 people in need of emergency shelter. Greek authorities had said those blazes had been deliberately set by a small group of the camp’s residents protesting isolation and lockdown orders imposed after a coronavirus outbreak in the camp.

    Greece is one of the main routes into the European Union of people fleeing poverty and conflict in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The vast majority head to eastern Greek islands from the nearby Turkish coast.

    https://www.ekathimerini.com/259036/article/ekathimerini/news/fire-burns-tents-structures-in-greek-refugee-camp

    #feu #incendie #camps_de_réfugiés #Samos #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #novembre_2020

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les incendies de camps de réfugiés en Grèce :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/851143

  • Greece says first migrant dies of COVID-19 since the pandemic

    A male migrant died of COVID-19 on Sunday, the first reported death of an asylum seeker since the pandemic broke out in Greece in late February, a government official told Reuters.

    The 61-year-old Afghan, a father of two children, who lived at the migrant camp of #Malakasa north of Athens, was treated and died at a hospital in Athens, the official said, adding that authorities were tracing his contacts.

    It was not immediately clear how long he had been at the hospital.

    The Malakasa camp, which hosts about 3,000 migrants, has been quarantined since Sept. 7 after positive tests for the new coronavirus.

    Many other migrant facilities in Greece have been sealed off or movement has been restricted to stem the spread of the virus.

    Greece has been the main gateway into the European Union for people fleeing conflict in the Middle East and beyond. More than a million people reached its shores from Turkey in 2015-16.

    At least 110,000 people currently live in migrant facilities - 40,000 of them in overcrowded camps on five islands.

    A fire burnt to the ground a migrant camp on Greece’s biggest, on island of Lesbos this month, leaving about 12,000 people stranded. Most of them have now moved to a temporary tent camp on the island.

    Greece reported 218 COVID-19 cases on Sunday and three deaths, bringing the total number of infections to 17,444 since the first case surfaced late February.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-greece-migrants/greece-says-first-migrant-dies-of-covid-19-since-the-pandemic-idUSKBN26I0YM
    #décès #mort #covid-19 #coronavirus #grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Athènes #camps_de_réfugiés

    –---

    Sur les cas de covid dans les camps de réfugiés :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/874186
    #contaminations #contamination

    ping @veronique_petit @luciebacon @karine4 @isskein

    • Greece: Tensions at migrant camp after first Covid death

      Tensions and protests among migrants at Greece’s Malakasa migrant camp on the outskirts of Athens occurred after officials reported the first death of a migrant in the country due to COVID-19.

      Groups of migrants staying at Greece’s Malakasa migrant camp facility blocked one side of the national highway leading to central Greece on Sunday afternoon after it was reported that a 61-year-old Afghan father of two had died in hospital after contracting COVID-19.

      The camp is in the outskirts of Athens: https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/26627/life-at-a-standstill-in-malakasa-migrant-camp-in-greece

      Despite being on lockdown since September 7, the overcrowded facility has made life difficult for the refugees and migrants staying there to maintain social distancing and follow recommended health protocols.

      The 61-year-old man was being treated at the Evangelismos hospital in central Athens.
      ’Severe overcrowding’

      According to the latest figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Malakasa facility, which has a capacity for 1,589 people, has been operating at 132.4% of that capacity.

      In recent months, another 1,036 undocumented migrants have been added to the 1,068 registered people staying there.

      The new arrivals are mostly made up of people who have come from the North East Aegean islands and with nowhere to stay have ended up sleeping rough on Victoria Square in Athens’ city center, from where they were transferred by police to several facilities in the greater Attica area.
      More camps placed under lockdown

      In related developments, in the wake of an increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths throughout Greece in recent weeks, migrant reception centers in Thiva, central Greece, and Serres in the north have been put under lockdown.

      The latest lockdowns were announced on Saturday in a joint decision by the ministries of Migration, Citizens’ Protection and Health, and are set to remain in place until October 9 when the situation will be re-evaluated.

      Other migrant facilities already under lockdown are: Elaionas, Malakasa, Oinofyta, Ritsona, Schistos, Koutsohero and Fylakio - all of which are on the mainland. Camps on the islands of Samos and Leros are also under lockdown.

      Meanwhile on Lesvos, the new, temporary ’tent city’ camp at Kara Tepe, which was erected after the Moria camp was destroyed by fires earlier this month, is segregating migrants who have tested positive for COVID-19.

      A total of 243 positive COVID-19 cases had been recorded at the new temporary facility by the end of last week.

      The camp was hastily set up following a series of fires which ripped through and completely destroyed the overcrowded Moria camp.

      Over 9,200 people have been transferred to the new facility and the process of examining their asylum applications is underway.
      ’Living conditions getting worse’

      Meanwhile, there has been large-scale criticism of Greece’s initiative in the creation of the new site at Moria, as well as the government’s handling of the refugee issue relating to the spread of COVID-19.

      Humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) have been the most scathing in the criticism. Christina Psarra, director general of MSF, said last week: “The creation of a new camp and a system that will trap people indefinitely exposes the persistence in the same mistakes that led to this catastrophe.”

      She added: “The immediate evacuation of people is the only way to avoid chaos and not be repeated. Living conditions did not meet public health protocols before, so now it’s worse, and they do not allow for the prevention of the transmission of COVID-19. We are clear: there should not be another Moria, and nothing like it should be built on its ashes.”

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/27642/greece-tensions-at-migrant-camp-after-first-covid-death

  • "#Moria. Chroniques des limbes de l’Europe" de #Marie_Doutrepont

    Un témoignage-choc dans un camp de migrants interdit aux journalistes !
    Le camp de Moria se situe sur Lesbos, une île grecque paradisiaque. Environ six mille réfugiés s’y entassent, échoués là après un voyage effroyable, entrepris avec ce qu’il leur restait d’espoir. Mais là-bas, c’est nulle part, c’est l’attente interminable.
    Les enfants jouent parmi les déchets. Les malades ne sont soignés qu’avec du paracétamol. Les familles s’entassent dans des containers ou des tentes de fortune. Le grillage est leur seul horizon. Certains d’entre eux refusent de croire qu’ils sont en Europe.
    Marie Doutrepont, avocate bénévole au sein d’une ONG, s’est rendue à Moria pour apporter une assistance juridique de première ligne aux demandeurs d’asile. De ce quotidien bouleversant, elle en écrira des lettres poignantes à ses proches. Ces échanges seront son paracétamol à elle, son exutoire, son « absolue nécessité ».
    Moria. Chroniques des limbes de l’Europe est un témoignage essentiel pour comprendre la douleur de l’exil et l’absurdité de la politique migratoire européenne, en plongeant dans les coulisses interdites de Moria. Un récit simple, humain, à la fois désespéré et pourtant empli d’espoir, car sur une même île, enfer et paradis se côtoient. Et la vie s’accroche malgré tout.

    https://www.facebook.com/180editions/posts/10157872981034199
    #livre #Lesbos #asile #migrations #réfugiés #droit_d'asile #procédure_d'asile #vulnérabilité #hotspot #hotspots #camps_de_réfugiés

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • #Interview Marie Doutrepont

      Η Marie Doutrepont είναι δικηγόρος, από το Βέλγιο, συγγραφέας του βιβλίου « Μόρια : μετέωροι στο πουθενά της Ευρώπης », που κυκλοφόρησε το 2020 από τις Εκδόσεις Ποταμός. Η συνέντευξη δημοσιεύεται μία μέρα πριν την ανακοίνωση του νέου Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβολαίου (PACT) για τη Μετανάστευση 2020 και στη σκιά της πυρκαγιάς που έλαβε χώρα στην « ντροπή της Ευρώπης », στο Κέντρου Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης / καταυλισμού της Μόρια. Η Doutrepont μιλά με ακρίβεια και καρδιά για την εμπειρία της στη Μόρια, όπου παρείχε εθελοντικά νομική υποστήριξη σε δεκάδες αιτούντες/ούσες άσυλο, που βρέθηκαν παγιδευμένοι/ες μεταξύ των περιοριστικών ευρωπαϊκών νόμων και της αδυναμίας επιστροφής στις χώρες τους.

      Η συνέντευξη είναι συμπαραγωγή του ελληνικού και του βελγικού γραφείου του πρακτορείου ειδήσεων για την ειρήνη, τη μηβία και τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, PRESSENZA.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=52&v=7_1wnHyL6Iw&feature=emb_logo

  • The #Rohingya. A humanitarian emergency decades in the making

    The violent 2017 ouster of more than 700,000 Rohingya from Myanmar into Bangladesh captured the international spotlight, but the humanitarian crisis had been building for decades.

    In August 2017, Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown that pushed out hundreds of thousands of members of the minority Rohingya community from their homes in northern Rakhine State. Today, roughly 900,000 Rohingya live across the border in southern Bangladesh, in cramped refugee camps where basic needs often overwhelm stretched resources.

    The crisis has shifted from a short-term response to a protracted emergency. Conditions in the camps have worsened as humanitarian services are scaled back during the coronavirus pandemic. Government restrictions on refugees and aid groups have grown, along with grievances among local communities on the margins of a massive aid operation.

    The 2017 exodus was the culmination of decades of restrictive policies in Myanmar, which have stripped Rohingya of their rights over generations, denied them an identity, and driven them from their homes.

    Here’s an overview of the current crisis and a timeline of what led to it. A selection of our recent and archival reporting on the Rohingya crisis is available below.
    Who are the Rohingya?

    The Rohingya are a mostly Muslim minority in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Rohingya say they are native to the area, but in Myanmar they are largely viewed as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.

    Myanmar’s government does not consider the Rohingya one of the country’s 135 officially recognised ethnic groups. Over decades, government policies have stripped Rohingya of citizenship and enforced an apartheid-like system where they are isolated and marginalised.
    How did the current crisis unfold?

    In October 2016, a group of Rohingya fighters calling itself the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA, staged attacks on border posts in northern Rakhine State, killing nine border officers and four soldiers. Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown, and 87,000 Rohingya civilians fled to Bangladesh over the next year.

    A month earlier, Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, had set up an advisory commission chaired by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to recommend a path forward in Rakhine and ease tensions between the Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine communities.

    On 24 August 2017, the commission issued its final report, which included recommendations to improve development in the region and tackle questions of citizenship for the Rohingya. Within hours, ARSA fighters again attacked border security posts.

    Myanmar’s military swept through the townships of northern Rakhine, razing villages and driving away civilians. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in the ensuing weeks. They brought with them stories of burnt villages, rape, and killings at the hands of Myanmar’s military and groups of ethnic Rakhine neighbours. The refugee settlements of southern Bangladesh now have a population of roughly 900,000 people, including previous generations of refugees.

    What has the international community said?

    Multiple UN officials, rights investigators, and aid groups working in the refugee camps say there is evidence of brutal levels of violence against the Rohingya and the scorched-earth clearance of their villages in northern Rakhine State.

    A UN-mandated fact-finding mission on Myanmar says abuses and rights violations in Rakhine “undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under international law”; the rights probe is calling for Myanmar’s top generals to be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

    The UN’s top rights official has called the military purge a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing”. Médecins Sans Frontières estimates at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the days after military operations began in August 2017.

    Rights groups say there’s evidence that Myanmar security forces were preparing to strike weeks and months before the August 2017 attacks. The evidence included disarming Rohingya civilians, arming non-Rohingya, and increasing troop levels in the area.
    What has Myanmar said?

    Myanmar has denied almost all allegations of violence against the Rohingya. It says the August 2017 military crackdown was a direct response to the attacks by ARSA militants.

    Myanmar’s security forces admitted to the September 2017 killings of 10 Rohingya men in Inn Din village – a massacre exposed by a media investigation. Two Reuters journalists were arrested while researching the story. In September 2018, the reporters were convicted of breaking a state secrets law and sentenced to seven years in prison. They were released in May 2019, after more than a year behind bars.

    Myanmar continues to block international investigators from probing rights violations on its soil. This includes barring entry to the UN-mandated fact-finding mission and the UN’s special rapporteurs for the country.
    What is the situation in Bangladesh’s refugee camps?

    The swollen refugee camps of southern Bangladesh now have the population of a large city but little of the basic infrastructure.

    The dimensions of the response have changed as the months and years pass: medical operations focused on saving lives in 2017 must now also think of everyday illnesses and healthcare needs; a generation of young Rohingya have spent another year without formal schooling or ways to earn a living; women (and men) reported sexual violence at the hands of Myanmar’s military, but today the violence happens within the cramped confines of the camps.

    The coronavirus has magnified the problems and aid shortfalls in 2020. The government limited all but essential services and restricted aid access to the camps. Humanitarian groups say visits to health centres have dropped by half – driven in part by fear and misunderstandings. Gender-based violence has risen, and already-minimal services for women and girls are now even more rare.

    The majority of Rohingya refugees live in camps with population densities of less than 15 square metres per person – far below the minimum international guidelines for refugee camps (30 to 45 square metres per person). The risk of disease outbreaks is high in such crowded conditions, aid groups say.

    Rohingya refugees live in fragile shelters in the middle of floodplains and on landslide-prone hillsides. Aid groups say seasonal monsoon floods threaten large parts of the camps, which are also poorly prepared for powerful cyclones that typically peak along coastal Bangladesh in May and October.

    The funding request for the Rohingya response – totalling more than $1 billion in 2020 – represents one of the largest humanitarian appeals for a crisis this year. Previous appeals have been underfunded, which aid groups said had a direct impact on the quality of services available.

    What’s happening in Rakhine State?

    The UN estimates that 470,000 non-displaced Rohingya still live in Rakhine State. Aid groups say they continue to have extremely limited access to northern Rakhine State – the flashpoint of 2017’s military purge. There are “alarming” rates of malnutrition among children in northern Rakhine, according to UN agencies.

    Rohingya still living in northern Rakhine face heavy restrictions on working, going to school, and accessing healthcare. The UN says remaining Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine communities continue to live in fear of each other.

    Additionally, some 125,000 Rohingya live in barricaded camps in central Rakhine State. The government created these camps following clashes between Rohingya and Rakhine communities in 2012. Rohingya there face severe restrictions and depend on aid groups for basic services.

    A separate conflict between the military and the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine armed group, has brought new displacement and civilian casualties. Clashes displaced tens of thousands of people in Rakhine and neighbouring Chin State by early 2020, and humanitarian access has again been severely restricted. In February 2020, Myanmar’s government re-imposed mobile internet blackouts in several townships in Rakhine and Chin states, later extending high-speed restrictions until the end of October. Rights groups say the blackout could risk lives and make it even harder for humanitarian aid to reach people trapped by conflict. Amnesty International has warned of a looming food insecurity crisis in Rakhine.

    What’s next?

    Rights groups have called on the UN Security Council to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court to investigate allegations of committing atrocity crimes. The UN body has not done so.

    There are at least three parallel attempts, in three separate courts, to pursue accountability. ICC judges have authorised prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to begin an investigation into one aspect: the alleged deportation of the Rohingya, which is a crime against humanity under international law.

    Separately, the West African nation of The Gambia filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice asking the UN’s highest court to hold Myanmar accountable for “state-sponsored genocide”. In an emergency injunction granted in January 2020, the court ordered Myanmar to “take all measures within its power” to protect the Rohingya.

    And in a third legal challenge, a Rohingya rights group launched a case calling on courts in Argentina to prosecute military and civilian officials – including Aung San Suu Kyi – under the concept of universal jurisdiction, which pushes for domestic courts to investigate international crimes.

    Bangladesh and Myanmar have pledged to begin the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, but three separate deadlines have come and gone with no movement. In June 2018, two UN agencies signed a controversial agreement with Myanmar – billed as a first step to participating in any eventual returns plan. The UN, rights groups, and refugees themselves say Rakhine State is not yet safe for Rohingya to return.

    With no resolution in sight in Myanmar and bleak prospects in Bangladesh, a growing number of Rohingya women and children are using once-dormant smuggling routes to travel to countries like Malaysia.

    A regional crisis erupted in 2020 as multiple countries shut their borders to Rohingya boats, citing the coronavirus, leaving hundreds of people stranded at sea for weeks. Dozens are believed to have died.

    Bangladesh has raised the possibility of transferring 100,000 Rohingya refugees to an uninhabited, flood-prone island – a plan that rights groups say would effectively create an “island detention centre”. Most Rohingya refuse to go, but Bangladeshi authorities detained more than 300 people on the island in 2020 after they were rescued at sea.

    The government has imposed growing restrictions on the Rohingya as the crisis continues. In recent months, authorities have enforced orders barring most Rohingya from leaving the camp areas, banned the sale of SIM cards and cut mobile internet, and tightened restrictions on NGOs. Local community tensions have also risen. Aid groups report a rise in anti-Rohingya hate speech and racism, as well as “rapidly deteriorating security dynamics”.

    Local NGOs and civil society groups are pushing for a greater role in leading the response, warning that international donor funding will dwindle over the long term.

    And rights groups say Rohingya refugees themselves have had little opportunity to participate in decisions that affect their futures – both in Bangladesh’s camps and when it comes to the possibility of returning to Myanmar.

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/in-depth/myanmar-rohingya-refugee-crisis-humanitarian-aid-bangladesh
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Birmanie #Myanmar #chronologie #histoire #génocide #Bangladesh #réfugiés_rohingya #Rakhine #camps_de_réfugiés #timeline #time-line #Arakan_Rohingya_Salvation_Army (#ARSA) #nettoyage_ethnique #justice #Cour_internationale_de_Justice (#CIJ)