• Le Monde selon #Modi, la nouvelle #puissance indienne

    « Aucune puissance au monde ne peut arrêter un pays de 1,3 milliard d’habitants. Le 21e siècle sera le siècle de l’Inde ».
    #Narendra_Modi, nationaliste de droite, à la tête de l’Inde depuis 2014, est le nouvel homme fort de la planète. 3ème personnalité la plus suivie sur Twitter, au centre de « l’Indopacifique », une nouvelle alliance contre la Chine. C’est l’histoire d’un tournant pour l’Inde et pour le monde.

    http://www.film-documentaire.fr/4DACTION/w_fiche_film/62159_1

    #film #film_documentaire #documentaire
    #Inde #Savarki #culte_de_la_personnalité #nationalisme #cachemire_indien #purge #militarisation #couvre-feu #RSS #patriotisme #religion #propagande_hindoue #colonialisme #impérialisme #BJP #parti_nationaliste_hindou #pogrom #islamophobie #Amit_Shah #Vibrant_Gujarat #hologramme #réseaux_sociaux #journée_internationale_du_yoga #yoga #soft_power #fierté_nationale #Alliance_indo-pacifique #Indo-Pacifique #armée #Routes_de_la_soie #route_de_la_soie #collier_de_perles #Chine #armes #commerce_d'armes #Ladakh #frontières #zones_disputées #disputes_frontalières #différends_frontaliers #litige_frontalier #zones_frontalières #zone-tampon #Israël #revanche_nationaliste #temple_Ajodhya #hindouisme #déchéance_de_nationalité #citizenship_amendment_act #citoyenneté #primauté_des_Hindous #résistance #milices_privées

  • Per sorvegliare i migranti l’Ue fa affari con i #contractor

    - È un’area grigia nel cuore del Mediterraneo, una zona d’ombra dove la parola “sovranità” è soprattutto #business. Produttori di armi e munizioni, mediatori specializzati in sicurezza e fornitura di #contractors, navi cariche di fucili automatici che funzionano come vere e proprie Santa barbara fluttuanti.
    – In questa terra di mezzo dove si incontrano trafficanti e governi, i migranti sono prima di tutto un lucroso affare.
    - Nel progetto #Rapsody di #Esa, che dovrebbe controllare il Mediterraneo con droni, compare #Sovereign_Global_Uk azienda riconducibile all’imprenditore #Fenech, arrestato per aver violato l’embargo sulla vendita di armi ai libici.

    (#paywall)

    https://www.editorialedomani.it/politica/mondo/per-sorvegliare-i-migranti-lue-fa-affari-con-i-contractor-pe98utxb

    #frontières #UE #migrations #réfugiés #armes #armement #commerce_d'armes #complexe_militaro-industriel #Libye #Méditerranée #drones

  • Smoking guns. How European arms exports are forcing millions from their homes

    The #nexus between the arms trade and forced displacement is rarely explored and the role of European arms trade policies that facilitate gross human rights violations in third countries is often absent from displacement and migration studies. This report joins the dots between Europe’s arms trade and forced displacement and migration.

    Key findings

    - Arms and military equipment manufactured and licensed in Europe and sold to third countries provokes forced displacement and migration. This arms trade is motivated by how highly lucrative the industry is and current control and monitoring mechanisms facilitate rather than curtail problematic licensing and exportation.

    – The arms trade is political and is driven by profit but is under-regulated. Although other sectors, such as food and agriculture, do not undermine the fundamental right to life and other human rights in the same way that the arms trade does, they are far more stringently regulated.

    - It is possible to methodically trace arms, military equipment and technology, from the point of origin and export to where these were eventually used, and document their devastating impact on the local population. The report confirms beyond any reasonable doubt that European arms are directly used not to defend populations or to enhance local or regional security as is often claimed, but to destabilise entire countries and regions.

    - The arms industry is involved in clear violations of non-transfer clauses and end user agreements (EUAs) despite a supposedly robust system of controls. The evidence shows that once arms are traded, and although they may be traced, it is virtually impossible to control how they may eventually be used. Furthermore, although importing countries were known to have breached EUAs, EU member states continued to sell them arms and military equipment.

    - Regardless of whether arms were exported to official state security forces or were eventually used by non-state armed actors, or whether EUAs and other control mechanisms were respected, the result was the same – European arms were used in military operations that led to destabilisation and resulting forced displacement and migration. The destabilisation, facilitated by arms supplied by Europe, then contributed to Europe hugely expanding its border security apparatus to respond to the apparent threat posed by refugees attempting to arrive and seek asylum.

    - European countries are among the top exporters of lethal arms equipment worldwide, comprising approximately 26% of global arms exports since 2015. The top five European arms exporters are France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – together accounting for 22% of global arms exports in the 2016–2020 period.

    - Arms exports from Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania have soared in recent years, a large proportion of which is exported to West Asian countries. For example, before 2012, Croatia exported ammunition worth less than €1 million a year, but with the start of the Syrian war this surged every year to reach €82 million in 2016. The European Parliament called on Bulgaria and Romania to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the US (if there was a risk that these arms may be diverted), so far to no avail.

    – In Syria an estimated 13 million people need humanitarian assistance and more than half of the population remains displaced from their homes – including 6.6 million refugees living in neighbouring countries, such as Jordan and Lebanon, who subsequently attempt to flee to Europe in a reverse movement to the arms that displaced them. Another 6.7 million are internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside Syria.

    –-

    Five case studies document that:

    Italian T-129 ATAK helicopter components were exported to Turkey and used in 2018 and 2019 in two attacks in the district of Afrin in Northern Syria as part of Operation Olive Branch and in Operation Peace Spring on the Turkish–Syrian border. According to UN figures, 98,000 people were displaced during the Afrin offensive between January and March 2018, while 180,000, of whom 80,000 were children, were displaced, in October 2019 as a result of Operation Peace Spring.

    Bulgaria exported missile tubes and rockets to Saudi Arabia and the US, which eventually ended up in the hands of IS fighters in Iraq. The equipment was diverted and used in Ramadi and the surrounding region, where the International Organisation for Migration reported that from April 2015, following the outbreak of the Ramadi crisis, over half a million people were displaced from Anbar province, of which Ramadi is the capital city, while 85,470 were displaced specifically from Ramadi City between November 2015 and February 2016. Around 80% of all housing in Ramadi was severely damaged after the offensive. In 2017 another missile tube originating in Bulgaria was found to have been used by IS forces in the town of Bartella, located to the east of Mosul. At least 200,000 people from minority groups were displaced from the greater Mosul area between 2014 and January 2017. By July 2019, over two years after military operations had ended in Mosul, there were still over 300,000 people displaced from the city.

    British, French, and German components and production capacity, including missiles, missile batteries, and a bomb rack, were exported to Turkey, where they were mounted on Turkish-made drones and exported to Azerbaijan. These same drones, loaded with European-manufactured arms components, were used in the 44-day conflict in Naghorno- Karabakh, which provoked the forced displacement of half of the region’s Armenian population – approximately 90,000 people.

    Between 2012 and 2015 Bulgaria exported assault rifles, large-calibre artillery systems, light machine guns, hand-held under-barrel and mounted grenade launchers to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) national police and military. The conflict in DRC is one of the world’s longest, yet Europe continues to supply arms that are used to perpetrate gross human rights violations. In 2017, Serbia exported 920 assault rifles and 114 light machine guns that were originally manufactured in Bulgaria. That same year, 2,166,000 people were forcibly displaced, making it one of the worst since the conflict began. Specifically, Bulgarian weapons were in use in North Kivu in 2017 coinciding with the forced displacement of 523,000 people.

    At least four Italian Bigliani-class patrol boats were donated to Libya and used by its coastguard to forcibly pull back and detain migrants who were fleeing its shores. In 2019, the Libyan coastguard mounted a machine gun on at least one of these boats and used it in the internal conflict against the Libyan National Army. Many of those fleeing Libya had most likely already fled other conflicts in other African and West Asian countries that may have purchased or were in receipt of European arms, so that at each step along their journey from displacement to migration, the European arms trade is making massive profits by firstly displacing them, and then later deterring and pushing them back.

    The arms companies we identified in these case studies include: Airbus (Franco-German), ARSENAL (Bulgaria), BAE Systems (UK), Baykar Makina (Turkey), EDO MBM (UK), Intermarine (Italy), Kintex (Bulgaria), Leonardo (Italy), Roketsan (Turkey), SB Aerospatiale (France), TDW (Germany), Turkish Aerospace Industry (Turkey), and Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi ЕAD (Bulgaria).

    https://www.tni.org/en/publication/smoking-guns
    #rapport #tni
    #armes #commerce_d'armes #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Europe #armée #militaire #industrie_de_l'armement #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux #France #Allemagne #Italie #UK #Angleterre #Espagne #Bulgarie #Croatie #Roumanie #Arabie_Saoudite #Syrie #T-129_ATAK #Turquie #Operation_Olive_Branch #Operation_Peace_Spring #Irak #Ramadi #Bartella #Azerbaïjan #arméniens #Congo #RDC #République_démocratique_du_Congo #Serbie #Kivu #Nord_Kivu #Bigliani #Libye #gardes-côtes_libyiens #complexe_militaro-industriel
    #Airbus #ARSENAL #BAE_Systems #Baykar_Makina #EDO_MBM #Intermarine #Kintex #Leonardo #Roketsan #SB_Aerospatiale #TDW #Turkish_Aerospace_Industry #Vazovski_Mashinostroitelni_Zavodi_ЕAD

  • Data et nouvelles technologies, la face cachée du contrôle des mobilités

    Dans un rapport de juillet 2020, l’#Agence_européenne_pour_la_gestion_opérationnelle_des_systèmes_d’information_à_grande_échelle (#EU-Lisa) présente l’#intelligence_artificielle (#IA) comme l’une des « #technologies prioritaires » à développer. Le rapport souligne les avantages de l’IA en matière migratoire et aux frontières, grâce, entre autres, à la technologie de #reconnaissance_faciale.

    L’intelligence artificielle est de plus en plus privilégiée par les acteurs publics, les institutions de l’UE et les acteurs privés, mais aussi par le #HCR et l’#OIM. Les agences de l’UE, comme #Frontex ou EU-Lisa, ont été particulièrement actives dans l’expérimentation des nouvelles technologies, brouillant parfois la distinction entre essais et mise en oeuvre. En plus des outils traditionnels de #surveillance, une panoplie de technologies est désormais déployée aux frontières de l’Europe et au-delà, qu’il s’agisse de l’ajout de nouvelles #bases_de_données, de technologies financières innovantes, ou plus simplement de la récupération par les #GAFAM des données laissées volontairement ou pas par les migrant·e·s et réfugié∙e∙s durant le parcours migratoire.

    La pandémie #Covid-19 est arrivée à point nommé pour dynamiser les orientations déjà prises, en permettant de tester ou de généraliser des technologies utilisées pour le contrôle des mobilités sans que l’ensemble des droits des exilé·e·s ne soit pris en considération. L’OIM, par exemple, a mis à disposition des Etats sa #Matrice_de_suivi_des_déplacements (#DTM) durant cette période afin de contrôler les « flux migratoires ». De nouvelles technologies au service de vieilles obsessions…

    http://migreurop.org/article3021.html

    Pour télécharger la note :
    migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/note_12_fr.pdf

    #migrations #réfugiés #asile #frontières #mobilité #mobilités #données #technologie #nouvelles_technologies #coronavirus #covid #IOM
    #migreurop

    ping @etraces

    voir aussi :
    Migreurop | Data : la face cachée du contrôle des mobilités
    https://seenthis.net/messages/900232

    • European funds for African IDs: migration regulation tool or privacy risk?

      The first person you meet after you land at Blaise Diagne Airport in Dakar is a border guard with a digital scanner.

      The official will scan your travel document and photograph and take a digital print of your index fingers.

      It’s the most visible sign of the new state-of-the-art digital biometrics system that is being deployed in the airport with the help of EU funding.

      The aim is to combat the increasingly sophisticated fake passports sold by traffickers to refugees.

      But it also helps Senegal’s government learn more about its own citizens.

      And it’s not just here: countries across West Africa are adopting travel documentation that has long been familiar to Europeans.

      Passports, ID cards and visas are all becoming biometric, and a national enrolment scheme is underway.

      In Europe too, there are proposals to create a biometric database of over 400 million foreign nationals, including fingerprints and photographs of their faces.

      The new systems are part of efforts to battle illegal migration from West Africa to the EU.

      ‘Fool-proof’ EU passport online

      Many are still plying the dangerous route across the Sahara and the Mediterranean to reach Europe, but a growing number are turning to the criminal gangs selling forged passports to avoid the treacherous journey over desert and sea.

      There’s a burgeoning market in travel documents advertised as ‘fake but real”.

      Prices vary according to the paperwork: an EU Schengen transit visa costs €5,000, while a longer-stay visa can be twice as high.

      Some forgers have even mastered the ability to incorporate holograms and hack the biometric chips.

      “Morphing” is an image processing technique that merges two people’s photographs into a single new face that appears to contain entirely new biometric data.

      Frontex, the EU’s border guard agency, says 7,000 people were caught trying to enter the Schengen area in 2019 carrying such documents — but it admits the true figure could be much higher.

      Sending migrants back

      Last year, the largest number of travellers with fake documents arrived via Turkish and Moroccan international airports.

      Many were caught in Italy, having arrived via Casablanca from sub-Saharan countries like Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

      A Frontex team responsible for deporting migrants without the correct paperwork was deployed this year at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

      It’s the first sign of a new European Commission regulation expanding the agency’s role, which includes access to biometric data held by member states, according to Jane Kilpatrick, a researcher at the civil liberties think-tank Statewatch.

      “The agency’s growing role in the collection of data, it links overtly to the agency’s role in deporting individuals from the EU,” she said.

      Over 490,000 return decisions were issued by member states last year, but only a third were actually sent back to a country outside the EU.

      There are multiple reasons why: some countries, for example, refuse to accept responsibility for people whose identity documents were lost, destroyed or stolen.

      Legally binding readmission agreements are now in place between the EU and 18 other countries to make that process easier.
      There are no records

      But a bigger problem is the fact that many African countries know very little about their own citizens.

      The World Bank estimates the continent is home to roughly half of the estimated one billion people on the planet who are unable to prove their identities.

      An absence of digitisation means that dusty registers are piling up in storage rooms.

      The same goes for many borders: unlike the scene at Dakar’s airport, many are still without internet access, servers, scanners and cameras.

      That, the Commission says, is why EU aid funds are being used to develop biometric identity systems in West African countries.

      The EU Trust Fund for Africa has allotted €60 million to support governments in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire in modernising their registry systems and creating a national biometric identity database.

      Much of the funding comes through Civipol, a consulting firm attached to France’s interior ministry and part-owned by Milipol, one of the most important arms trade fairs in the world.

      It describes the objective of the programme in Côte d’Ivoire as identifying “people genuinely of Ivorian nationality and organising their return more easily”.
      Data security concerns

      European sources told Euronews that the EU-funded projects in West Africa were not designed to identify potential migrants or deport existing ones.

      A Commission spokesperson insisted no European entity — neither Frontex, nor member states, nor their partners — had access to the databases set up by West African countries.

      But the systems they are funding are intimately connected to anti-migration initiatives.

      One is the Migrant Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS), a migration database that can send automatic queries to Interpol watchlists to detect travel documents and people possibly linked to organised crime, including human trafficking.

      Connections like these, and the role of French arms giants like Thales in the growing biometric market, has led data protection experts to become worried about possible abuses of privacy.
      World’s newest biometric market

      As Africa becomes the coveted market for biometric identification providers, the watchdog Privacy International has warned it risks becoming a mere testing ground for technologies later deployed elsewhere.

      So far 24 countries on the continent out of 53 have adopted laws and regulations to protect personal data.

      A letter by Privacy International, seen by Euronews, says EU must “ensure they are protecting rights before proceeding with allocating resources and technologies which, in absence of proper oversight, will likely result in fundamental rights abuses.”

      It has published internal documents tracking the development of Senegal’s system that suggest no privacy or data protection impact assessments have been carried out.

      Civipol, the French partner, denies this: it told Euronews that the Senegalese Personal Data Commission took part in the programme and Senegalese law was respected at every stage.

      Yet members of Senegal’s independent Commission of Personal Data (CDP), which is responsible for ensuring personal data is processed correctly, admit implementation and enforcement remained a challenge — even though they are proud of their country’s pioneering role in data governance in Africa.

      For the Senegalese cyber activist Cheick Fall, the charge is more serious: “Senegal has sinned by entrusting the processing of these data to foreign companies.”

      https://www.euronews.com/2021/07/30/european-funds-for-african-ids-migration-regulation-tool-or-privacy-risk

      #biométrie #aéroport #Afrique #étrangers #base_de_données_biométrique #empreintes_digitales #passeports #visas #hologramme #Morphing #image #photographie #Frontex #EU_Trust_Fund_for_Africa #Trust_Fund #Civipol #Milipol #armes #commerce_d'armes #Côte_d’Ivoire #Afrique_de_l'Ouest #Migrant_Information_and_Data_Analysis_System (#MIDAS) #Interpol #Thales #Sénégal #Senegalese_Personal_Data_Commission #Commission_of_Personal_Data (#CDP)

  • Révélations : la France signe en secret la vente de Rafale à l’Egypte
    https://disclose.ngo/fr/article/la-france-signe-en-secret-la-vente-de-rafale-a-legypte

    Selon des documents confidentiels obtenus par Disclose, Paris et Le Caire ont signé fin avril un méga-contrat portant sur l’achat de trente avions de chasse. Montant du deal : 3,95 milliards d’euros.

  • En Ethiopie, la France partagée entre business et défense des droits humains

    Pillages, possibles crimes de #guerre, destructions de sites historiques : les témoignages en provenance du #Tigré, province en guerre depuis le 4 novembre, sont très inquiétants. La France reste pourtant discrète, et espère préserver ses chances sur un marché prometteur.

    L’ambassadeur a un échange « constructif » avec le ministre de l’éducation, l’ambassadeur a un échange « productif » avec le conseiller spécial du premier ministre sur les questions économiques, l’ambassadeur est « très honoré » de recevoir le ministre de l’énergie pour évoquer la participation française à plusieurs grands projets… Sur les réseaux sociaux de l’ambassade de France à Addis-Abeba, c’est #business_as_usual.

    Pour qui suit au quotidien le calvaire des habitants du Tigré – région où l’armée éthiopienne et ses alliés sont en guerre depuis le 4 novembre –, les photos de ces rencontres policées dans la capitale, où l’on discute #qaffaires, lovés dans de confortables canapés, semblent prises dans un monde parallèle.

    Loin, très loin, d’un Tigré littéralement à feu et à sang, où plus de deux millions de personnes ont dû fuir leur habitation, où l’on manque d’eau, d’électricité, de nourriture et de médicaments, où il est probable que la famine soit utilisée comme arme de guerre par les belligérants et où les humanitaires peinent toujours à accéder alors que 2,3 millions de personnes auraient besoin d’aide, selon les évaluations des ONG.

    Les affrontements y opposent le Front de libération du peuple du Tigré (TPLF) à l’armée fédérale éthiopienne, soutenue par des milices nationalistes amhara et des troupes érythréennes.

    « Nous recevons des rapports concordants à propos de violences ciblant certains groupes ethniques, d’assassinats, de pillages massifs, de viols, de retours forcés de réfugiés et de possibles crimes de guerre », a indiqué le 15 janvier le haut représentant de l’Union européenne pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité Josep Borrell, qui a annoncé par la même occasion la suspension de 88 millions d’euros d’aide destinée au gouvernement éthiopien.

    Dès le 13 novembre, la haute-commissaire de l’ONU aux droits de l’homme Michelle Bachelet évoquait elle aussi de possibles crimes de guerre et appelait à la mise en place d’une commission d’enquête indépendante pour le vérifier. À la veille de sa prise de fonction, le nouveau secrétaire d’État américain Antony Blinken s’est lui aussi inquiété publiquement de la situation.

    Une voix manque cependant à ce concert d’alertes : celle de la France. Le Quai d’Orsay n’a produit qu’un seul communiqué concernant le Tigré, le 23 novembre 2020. Il tient en quatre phrases convenues sur la dégradation de la situation humanitaire et la condamnation des « violences à caractère ethnique ». Exploit diplomatique, le mot « guerre » n’y apparaît pas ; celui de « crimes de guerre » encore moins. Il ne comporte ni interpellation des belligérants – qui ne sont d’ailleurs même pas cités –, ni appel à une enquête indépendante sur d’éventuelles violations des droits humains. Les mêmes éléments de langage étaient repris trois jours plus tard à l’occasion de la visite en France du ministre des affaires étrangères éthiopien Demeke Mekonnen.

    « Gênant, au minimum »

    Cette étrange pudeur française commence à interroger, voire à agacer certains alliés européens ainsi que nombre de chercheurs spécialisés sur l’Éthiopie – qui s’emploient, depuis deux mois et demi, à récolter les bribes d’informations qui parviennent du Tigré malgré la coupure des communications par les autorités.

    « J’ai des échanges réguliers avec l’#ambassade_de_France à Addis-Abeba depuis novembre. Je les ai questionnés sur leur position vis-à-vis du gouvernement éthiopien, et je les ai sentis très embarrassés », raconte le chercheur indépendant René Lefort, pour qui la #complaisance française vis-à-vis du gouvernement d’Abiy Ahmed Ali est incompréhensible : « Je crois qu’ils ne comprennent pas ce qu’est ce pays et ce qui s’y passe. »

    Au-delà des questions morales posées par le fait d’apporter un soutien tacite à un gouvernement qui a couvert ou laissé faire des violations des droits humains au Tigré, le soutien à #Abiy_Ahmed est une erreur d’analyse politique selon René Lefort : « Les Français parient tout sur lui, alors que son autorité personnelle est faible et que sa ligne politique n’est soutenue que par une minorité d’Éthiopiens. »

    La réserve française est en tout cas interprétée par l’armée fédérale éthiopienne et ses alliés comme un soutien de Paris. Le sociologue Mehdi Labzae était au Tigré, dans la région d’Humera, jusqu’à la mi-décembre : « Dans les zones conquises par les nationalistes amhara, se présenter comme Français facilite les relations avec les combattants, qui considèrent le gouvernement français comme un allié. Les déclarations françaises, ou leur absence, laissent penser que la réciproque est vraie », relève le chercheur, post-doctorant à la Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH). « Avec un ambassadeur à Addis qui fait comme si de rien n’était… Je trouve cela gênant, au minimum. »

    Selon une source diplomatique étrangère, la France ne se contente pas de rester discrète sur la situation au Tigré ; elle freine également les velléités des membres de l’Union européenne qui voudraient dénoncer plus ouvertement l’attitude des autorités éthiopiennes et de leurs alliés érythréens. Une attitude « parfois frustrante », déplore cette source.

    Interrogée par Mediapart sur cette « frustration » de certains alliés européens, l’ambassade de France à Addis-Abeba nous a renvoyé vers le Quai d’Orsay, qui n’a pas répondu sur ce point (voir boîte noire).

    Refus de répondre sur la création d’une commission d’enquête

    À ses partenaires européens, mais aussi aux chercheurs et humanitaires avec qui ils échangent, les services diplomatiques français expliquent que les accusations d’exactions visant l’armée éthiopienne et ses alliés ne « sont pas confirmées ». Il en va de même concernant la présence de troupes érythréennes sur place – cette présence a pourtant été confirmée à la fois par les autorités de transition du Tigré et par un général de l’armée éthiopienne.

    Une position difficilement tenable. D’abord parce que le gouvernement éthiopien empêche, en bloquant les communications avec le Tigré et en limitant l’accès des humanitaires, la récolte de telles preuves. Ensuite parce que, malgré ce blocus, les faisceaux d’indices s’accumulent : « Nous avons des informations qui nous viennent des ONG, d’équipes des Nations unies qui parlent off the record, de citoyens européens qui se trouvent toujours au Tigré ; nous avons aussi des listes de victimes, et de plus en plus de photos et vidéos », autant d’informations auxquelles l’ambassade de France a eu accès, explique un diplomate en poste à Addis-Abeba.

    La position française est difficilement tenable, enfin, parce que si elle tenait tant aux faits, la France ne se contenterait pas de refuser de condamner les crimes tant qu’ils ne sont pas « confirmés » : elle plaiderait pour la création d’une commission d’enquête indépendante qui permettrait, enfin, de les établir et de pointer les responsabilités respectives du TPLF, de l’armée éthiopienne et de ses alliés.

    Paris est dans une position idéale pour le faire, puisque la France vient d’être élue pour siéger au Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations unies durant trois ans. Elle pourrait donc, aux côtés d’autres États membres, demander une session extraordinaire du Conseil sur l’Éthiopie (l’accord d’un tiers des 47 États qui composent le Conseil est nécessaire) qui déciderait de la création d’une commission d’enquête sur le Tigré.

    Or, interrogé par Mediapart sur son soutien à la création d’une telle commission, le Quai d’Orsay n’a pas souhaité répondre (voir boîte noire). Il assure avoir « appelé à plusieurs reprises les autorités éthiopiennes à faire la lumière sur les allégations de crimes et autres violations des droits de l’homme », sans toutefois préciser par quel canal.

    Hypothétique médiation

    Lors d’entrevues en privé, des diplomates de l’ambassade et du Quai d’Orsay assurent que cette absence de #dénonciation publique est volontaire et stratégique. Elle viserait à ne pas froisser le gouvernement éthiopien publiquement afin de « maintenir un canal de communication » pour mieux le convaincre en privé et, éventuellement, jouer un rôle de médiateur pour trouver une issue au conflit.

    « Des diplomates français m’ont dit, en résumé : “On reste discrets parce que si un jour il y a une #médiation à faire, le gouvernement pourrait se tourner vers nous” », indique René Lefort. Une analyse « totalement erronée », selon le chercheur : « Non seulement [le premier ministre] Abiy Ahmed Ali ne veut absolument pas d’une médiation, mais surtout, même s’il en acceptait le principe, je ne vois pas pourquoi il irait chercher la France plutôt que les États-Unis, l’Union européenne ou encore l’ONU. » Accessoirement, même si le gouvernement éthiopien souhaitait que la France soit médiatrice, il n’est pas dit que son principal adversaire, le TPLF, accepte le principe d’une médiation par un État qui a passé les derniers mois à multiplier les signes d’amitié envers Addis-Abeba et pourrait donc difficilement prétendre à la neutralité.

    Un (quasi-) #silence public pour mieux faire avancer les dossiers en privé : l’hypothèse est également avancée par l’ancien ambassadeur français en Éthiopie Stéphane Gompertz. « Il est possible que nous privilégions l’action en coulisses, qui peut être parfois plus efficace que de grandes déclarations. C’est d’ailleurs généralement l’option privilégiée par la #diplomatie française. » À l’appui de cette idée, l’ancien ambassadeur – qui fut aussi directeur Afrique au Quai d’Orsay – évoque des tractations discrètes mais couronnées de succès menées en 2005 afin de faire libérer des figures d’opposition.

    Si telle est la stratégie française actuellement, ses résultats sont pour l’instant peu concrets. Le quasi-silence français semble en réalité avoir d’autres explications : ne pas gâcher l’#amitié entre Emmanuel Macron et le premier ministre éthiopien Abiy Ahmed Ali et, surtout, ne pas compromettre les #intérêts_commerciaux français dans un pays vu comme économiquement prometteur et politiquement stratégique.

    Lune de miel

    Lors de sa nomination en 2018, le premier ministre éthiopien Abiy Ahmed Ali fait figure d’homme de paix et de chantre de la démocratie. Ses efforts de réconciliation avec l’Érythrée voisine lui valent le prix Nobel de la paix ; ses réformes sur la liberté de la presse ou la libération de prisonniers politiques lui attirent l’estime de nombreux chefs d’État étrangers.

    Est-ce une affaire de style ? Le fait qu’ils soient tous les deux jeunes, étiquetés comme libéraux, revendiquant une certaine manière de casser les codes ? Emmanuel Macron et Abiy Ahmed semblent en tout cas particulièrement s’apprécier. L’anecdote veut que lors d’une visite de #Macron à Addis-Abeba en 2019, Abiy Ahmed ait tenu à conduire lui-même la voiture amenant le président français à un dîner officiel.

    Lorsque le premier ministre éthiopien a pris ses fonctions, « les Allemands, les Français, l’UE, tout le monde a mis le paquet sur les aides, tout le monde s’est aligné sur lui. Sauf que, le temps passant, le malaise a grandi et la lune de miel a tourné au vinaigre, analyse une source dans les milieux économiques à Addis-Abeba. Les autres États ont rapidement déchanté. Pas les Français, pour qui la lune de miel a continué. »

    De fait, la transformation du Prix Nobel en chef de guerre ne semble pas avoir altéré sa belle entente avec le président français. Deux semaines après le début des hostilités au Tigré, et alors qu’Abiy Ahmed s’apprêtait à lancer un assaut « sans pitié » sur la ville de Mekele et ses 400 000 habitants, #Emmanuel_Macron qualifiait le premier ministre éthiopien de « role model ». Quelques semaines plus tard, toujours engagé dans ce conflit, Abiy Ahmed Ali trouvait le temps de souhaiter un prompt rétablissement à son « bon ami » Macron, atteint du Covid.

    Pour cette source, le facteur économique et commercial est essentiel : « Les Français sont restés très positifs parce qu’ils se positionnent clairement sur le secteur économique en Éthiopie : ils n’ont pas d’intérêt politique fort, ça n’est pas leur zone d’influence. Mais les #intérêts_économiques, eux, sont importants et sont grandissants. C’est potentiellement un #marché énorme. »

    Marché jugé prometteur

    Pour le conquérir, Paris a employé les grands moyens. En mars 2019, Emmanuel Macron s’est rendu en Éthiopie avec le ministère des affaires étrangères #Jean-Yves_le_Drian et sept patrons français pour y signer une flopée d’#accords visant à « promouvoir l’#attractivité de l’Éthiopie auprès des #investisseurs_français ».

    Les entreprises françaises intéressées par ce marché en voie de #libéralisation ne sont pas des moindres : #Orange (qui compte bien profiter de la privatisation de la compagnie nationale #Ethio_Telecom), le groupe #Castel (qui à travers sa filiale #BGI détient déjà 55 % des parts du marché de la #bière), #Bollore_Logistics ou encore #Canal+, qui compte développer une offre de #télévision locale.

    Les #intérêts_commerciaux français sont nombreux et variés. La #modernisation du #réseau_électrique éthiopien ? #Alstom (36 millions d’euros en 2011). La fabrication des #turbines de l’immense #barrage_hydroélectrique de la Renaissance ? Alstom encore (250 millions d’euros en 2013), qui désormais lorgne sur des projets ferroviaires. Le #bus « à haut niveau de service » qui desservira la capitale éthiopienne ? Les Français de #Razel-Bec (la filiale travaux publics du groupe #Fayat), qui ont remporté le marché en 2020.

    Peu après sa prise de poste, en octobre, l’ambassadeur français #Rémi_Maréchaux se félicitait : « Le nombre d’#entreprises_françaises en Éthiopie a doublé en cinq ans. Nous sommes prêts à travailler ensemble pour davantage d’investissements français. »

    #Contrats_militaires

    Dernier domaine stratégique pour les Français : la #coopération_militaire et les ventes d’#armes. Le dossier était en haut de la pile lors de la visite d’Emmanuel Macron en 2019. La ministre #Florence_Parly, qui était également du voyage, a signé un #accord_de_défense avec son homologue éthiopienne ainsi qu’une lettre d’intention « pour la mise en place d’une composante navale éthiopienne avec l’accompagnement de la France ».

    Une aubaine pour les fabricants d’armes et d’#équipements_militaires français, qui n’ont pas tardé, selon la presse spécialisée, à se manifester pour décrocher des contrats. Parmi eux, #Airbus, qui aimerait vendre des #hélicoptères de combat à l’Éthiopie. Le groupe a pu compter pour défendre ses intérêts sur l’attaché de défense de l’ambassade française à Addis-Abeba (jusque septembre 2020) #Stéphane_Richou, lui-même ancien commandant d’un régiment d’hélicoptères de combat.

    L’#armée de l’air éthiopienne a validé l’offre d’Airbus pour l’acquisition de 18 #hélicoptères_militaires et deux avions-cargos en octobre 2020, mais cherchait toujours des financements. Le déclenchement de la guerre au Tigré – où ces hélicoptères pourraient être utilisés – a-t-il conduit Airbus ainsi que le ministère des armées à reporter, voire annuler cette vente ?

    Ni Airbus ni le ministère n’ont souhaité nous répondre à ce sujet.

    Les affaires se poursuivent en tout cas entre la filiale civile d’Airbus et le gouvernement éthiopien : le 9 novembre, #Ethiopian_Airlines réceptionnait deux Airbus A350-900 pour sa flotte. Le 20 novembre encore, l’ambassadeur français à Addis-Abeba se félicitait d’une rencontre avec le PDG de la compagnie aérienne éthiopienne et ajoutait « Airbus » en hashtag.

    https://twitter.com/RemiMarechaux/status/1329829800031252481

    Quant à la coopération militaire France-Éthiopie, elle semble se poursuivre normalement si l’on en juge cette offre d’emploi de professeur de français à destination de militaires et policiers éthiopiens émise en décembre par la Direction de la coopération de sécurité et de défense du Quai d’Orsay (un contrat d’un an à pourvoir au 1er octobre 2021).

    Interrogé le 19 janvier sur le projet de création d’une #marine_éthiopienne, sur d’éventuelles livraisons d’armes récentes à l’Éthiopie et, plus généralement, sur la coopération militaire avec l’Éthiopie et le fait de savoir si l’évolution de la situation au Tigré était susceptible de la remettre en question, le ministère des armées a fait savoir 48 heures plus tard qu’il ne pourrait pas répondre « étant donné [les] délais ». Mediapart a proposé au ministère de lui accorder un délai supplémentaire pour fournir ses réponses. Le ministère n’a plus donné suite.

    Trop tard ?

    Le ministère des affaires étrangères, lui, n’a répondu à aucune des cinq questions précises que lui avait soumises Mediapart sur la présence de troupes érythréennes, les possibles crimes de guerres commis au Tigré et la coopération militaire avec l’Éthiopie notamment (voir boîte noire).

    Sa réponse condamne toutefois en des termes plus précis que par le passé les exactions commises au Tigré. La France est « profondément préoccupée » par la situation humanitaire sur place, « ainsi que par les allégations de violations des droits de l’homme », indique le Quai d’Orsay, avant d’appeler à la cessation des hostilités et au respect du droit international humanitaire par « toutes les parties au conflit ». Mais est-ce suffisant, et surtout n’est-ce pas trop tard ?

    Les dernières informations en provenance du Tigré évoquent des massacres qui auraient fait plusieurs centaines de morts. Plusieurs vidéos portent sur de possibles tueries dans la ville et l’église d’Aksoum, de la fin novembre à début décembre. Selon l’organisation belge Europe External Programme with Africa (EEPA) ainsi qu’un témoin interrogé par Le Monde, les troupes érythréennes y auraient tué plus de 750 personnes. Dans une interview mise en ligne le 17 janvier, une femme qui se dit témoin direct de ces tueries explique en amharique que « la ville entière, du dépôt de bus au parc, était recouverte de corps ».

    Les attaques et destructions concernent également des sites historiques inestimables ou jugés sacrés. La mosquée de Negash (site d’établissement des premiers musulmans éthiopiens, du temps du prophète Mahomet), datant du VIIe siècle, a été partiellement détruite et pillée. Le plus vieux monastère d’Éthiopie, le monastère orthodoxe de Debre Damo (VIe siècle), a également été attaqué.

    Enfin, Mediapart a pu consulter un témoignage de première main concernant un massacre commis dans l’église Maryam Dengelat – creusée dans la roche entre le VIe et le XIVe siècle par les premiers chrétiens d’Éthiopie –, qui estime que 80 personnes ont été tuées par l’armée érythréenne, parmi lesquelles des prêtres, des personnes âgées et des enfants. Ce témoignage fournit une liste comportant les noms de 35 victimes.

    « Si ces informations étaient confirmées, cela commencerait à ressembler à une stratégie d’anéantissement, non seulement du TPLF, mais du Tigré en tant qu’identité historique et territoriale », commente le chercheur Éloi Ficquet, de l’EHESS.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/210121/en-ethiopie-la-france-partagee-entre-business-et-defense-des-droits-humain
    #Ethiopie #France #armement #commerce_d'armes #vente_d'armes

  • #Vente_d’armes : en secret, l’#exécutif déclare la guerre au #Parlement

    Une note classée « confidentiel défense » dévoile la stratégie du gouvernement pour torpiller les propositions d’un rapport parlementaire sur un contrôle plus démocratique des #exportations d’armement.

    Silence radio. Depuis la publication, le 18 novembre dernier, du #rapport_parlementaire sur les ventes d’armes françaises, l’exécutif n’a pas réagi. Du moins pas officiellement. Car, en réalité, le gouvernement a préparé la riposte dans le secret des cabinets ministériels. Objectif : torpiller le rapport des députés #Jacques_Maire (La République en marche, LRM) et #Michèle_Tabarot (Les Républicains, LR) et les pistes qu’ils suggèrent pour impliquer le Parlement dans le processus de #contrôle des exportations d’armement.

    Disclose a été destinataire d’une note de quatre pages rédigée par le #Secrétariat_général_de_la_défense_et_de_la_sécurité_nationale (#SGDSN), un service directement rattaché à Matignon. Classée « confidentiel défense » – le premier niveau du « secret-défense » –, elle a été transmise au cabinet d’Emmanuel #Macron mais aussi à #Matignon, au #ministère_des_armées, et à celui des affaires étrangères et de l’économie, le 17 novembre dernier. Soit la veille de la publication du #rapport_Maire-Tabarot.

    étouffer les velléités

    Sobrement intitulé « Analyse des 35 propositions du rapport de la mission d’information sur les exportations d’armement Maire-Tabarot », ce document stratégique révèle l’opposition ferme et définitive du gouvernement à une proposition inédite : la création d’une #commission_parlementaire chargée « du contrôle des exportations d’armement ». D’après Jacques Maire et Michèle Tabarot, « cet organe n’interviendrait pas dans le processus d’autorisation des exportations mais contrôlerait, a posteriori, les grands #choix de la politique d’exportation de la France ». Impensable pour le gouvernement, qui entend peser de tout son poids pour étouffer dans l’œuf ces velléités de #transparence.

    Newsletter

    Selon les analystes de la SGDSN, cette proposition doit constituer le « point d’attention majeur » du pouvoir exécutif ; autrement dit, celui qu’il faut absolument enterrer. Le document explique pourquoi : « Sous couvert d’un objectif d’une plus grande transparence et d’un meilleur dialogue entre les pouvoirs exécutif et #législatif, l’objectif semble bien de contraindre la politique du gouvernement en matière d’exportation en renforçant le #contrôle_parlementaire. » A lire les gardiens du temple militaro-industriel français, plus de transparence reviendrait à entraver la #liberté_de_commerce de l’Etat. Et la SGDSN de prévenir : ces mesures pourraient « entraîner des effets d’éviction de l’#industrie françaises dans certains pays ».

    protéger les « clients »

    Si la commission parlementaire devait malgré tout voir le jour, le note préconise qu’elle ne puisse « en aucun cas » obtenir un suivi précis des transferts d’armes. Les élus devront se contenter du rapport qui leur est remis par le gouvernement chaque année, lequel ne précise ni les bénéficiaires du matériel ni son utilisation finale.

    « Cette implication de parlementaires, alertent encore les auteurs, pourrait mener à une fragilisation du principe du #secret_de_la_défense_nationale (…) ainsi que du #secret_des_affaires et du secret lié aux relations diplomatiques avec nos partenaires stratégiques. » Le risque pour l’Etat ? Que « les clients » soient « soumis à une politisation accrue des décisions » qui nuirait aux affaires et provoquerait la « fragilisation de notre #crédibilité et de notre capacité à établir des #partenariats_stratégiques sur le long terme, et donc de notre capacité à exporter ». En ligne de mire, des pays comme l’#Arabie_saoudite ou l’#Egypte, le principal client de l’industrie tricolore en 2019 (https://disclose.ngo/fr/news/la-france-bat-des-records-en-matiere-de-vente-darmes).

    Selon les analystes de le SGDSN, la création d’un contrôle parlementaire sur les exportations aurait également « des conséquences pour le gouvernement, dont les différents ministres seraient exposés ». Comme ce fut le cas en 2019, lorsque la ministre des armées, #Florence_Parly, dû s’expliquer sur ses #mensonges répétés après les révélations de Disclose sur les armes vendues à l’Arabie saoudite et utilisées dans la guerre au #Yémen (https://made-in-france.disclose.ngo/fr).

    « effet de bord »

    Un autre élément semble susciter l’inquiétude au plus haut sommet de l’Etat : la volonté de convergence entre les représentants des différents parlements de l’Union européenne. Pour Jacques Maire et Michèle Tabarot, ce « #dialogue_interparlementaire » permettrait une meilleure coopération entre Etats membres. Trop risqué, selon le gouvernement, qui y voit « le risque d’un effet de bord qui exposerait notre politique à des enjeux internes propres à certains de nos voisins européens ».

    Sur ce point, l’analyse aurait pu s’arrêter là. Mais le Quai d’Orsay a voulu préciser le fond de sa pensée, comme le révèlent les modifications apportées au document d’origine. Le cabinet de Jean-Yves Le Drian précise, en rouge dans le texte, qu’une telle convergence entre élus européens serait « particulièrement préoccupante », en particulier concernant le Parlement allemand. « Nous n’avons aucun moyen de maîtriser les vicissitudes [de la politique intérieure allemande] »,et la « forte mobilisation, très idéologique, du Parlement [allemand] sur les exportations d’armement », souligne le ministère des affaires étrangères dans ce mail que Disclose s’est procuré.

    Ce commentaire illustre les tensions sur ce sujet avec le voisin allemand, qui a mis en place en octobre 2018 un #embargo, toujours en cours, sur ses ventes d’armes à l’Arabie saoudite à la suite de l’assassinat du journaliste #Jamal_Khashoggi à Istanbul. Une décision jugée à l’époque incompréhensible pour Emmanuel Macron. Les ventes d’armes « n’ont rien à voir avec M. #Khashoggi, il ne faut pas tout confondre », avait alors déclaré le chef de l’Etat, précisant que cette mesure était, selon lui, « pure #démagogie ». Une fois le problème allemand évacué, le Quai d’Orsay désigne enfin le véritable ennemi : les #institutions_européennes, considérées comme « hostiles à nos intérêts dans le domaine du contrôle des exportations sensibles ».

    ouverture en trompe-l’œil

    L’exécutif aurait-il peur du #contrôle_démocratique ? Il s’en défend et feint même de vouloir protéger les députés contre un piège tendu à eux-mêmes. « Les parlementaires impliqués dans le contrôle des exportations (…) ne pourraient pas répondre aux demandes de transparence » et se retrouveraient « de facto solidaires des décisions prises », explique le document. En d’autres termes, s’il leur prenait de vouloir contester la politique de ventes d’armes de la France, les élus seraient de toute façon soumis au « #secret-défense ». Inutile, donc, qu’ils perdent leur temps.

    Pour finir, les services du premier ministre formulent une liste de recommandations quant à la réaction à adopter face à cet épineux rapport. Première d’entre elles, « adopter une position ouverte » sur les propositions de « renforcement de l’information du Parlement ». Un trompe-l’œil, car l’essentiel est ailleurs. « Il convient, poursuit le texte, de confirmer avec les principaux responsables de l’[#Assemblée_nationale] » qu’ils s’opposeront à la plus importante proposition du texte, soit la création d’une #délégation_parlementaire.

    En guise de dernière suggestion, les auteurs de la note invitent l’exécutif à définir « une #ligne_de_communication » face à la médiatisation du rapport et les réactions des ONG. Une ligne de communication désormais beaucoup plus claire, en effet.

    La note « confidentiel défense » dont Disclose a été destinataire est protégée par l’article 413-9 du code pénal sur le secret de la défense nationale. Nous avons néanmoins décidé d’en publier le contenu car ces informations relèvent de l’intérêt général et doivent par conséquent être portées à la connaissance du public. Par souci pour la sécurité de nos sources, nous ne publions pas le document dans son intégralité.

    https://disclose.ngo/fr/article/vente-darmes-en-secret-lexecutif-declare-la-guerre-au-parlement
    #armes #commerce_d'armes #armement #France #UE #EU #démocratie

    ping @reka @simplicissimus

  • #Vente_d’armes : en secret, l’#exécutif déclare la guerre au #Parlement

    Une note classée « confidentiel défense » dévoile la stratégie du gouvernement pour torpiller les propositions d’un rapport parlementaire sur un contrôle plus démocratique des #exportations d’armement.

    Silence radio. Depuis la publication, le 18 novembre dernier, du #rapport_parlementaire sur les ventes d’armes françaises, l’exécutif n’a pas réagi. Du moins pas officiellement. Car, en réalité, le gouvernement a préparé la riposte dans le secret des cabinets ministériels. Objectif : torpiller le rapport des députés #Jacques_Maire (La République en marche, LRM) et #Michèle_Tabarot (Les Républicains, LR) et les pistes qu’ils suggèrent pour impliquer le Parlement dans le processus de #contrôle des exportations d’armement.

    Disclose a été destinataire d’une note de quatre pages rédigée par le #Secrétariat_général_de_la_défense_et_de_la_sécurité_nationale (#SGDSN), un service directement rattaché à Matignon. Classée « confidentiel défense » – le premier niveau du « secret-défense » –, elle a été transmise au cabinet d’Emmanuel #Macron mais aussi à #Matignon, au #ministère_des_armées, et à celui des affaires étrangères et de l’économie, le 17 novembre dernier. Soit la veille de la publication du #rapport_Maire-Tabarot.

    étouffer les velléités

    Sobrement intitulé « Analyse des 35 propositions du rapport de la mission d’information sur les exportations d’armement Maire-Tabarot », ce document stratégique révèle l’opposition ferme et définitive du gouvernement à une proposition inédite : la création d’une #commission_parlementaire chargée « du contrôle des exportations d’armement ». D’après Jacques Maire et Michèle Tabarot, « cet organe n’interviendrait pas dans le processus d’autorisation des exportations mais contrôlerait, a posteriori, les grands #choix de la politique d’exportation de la France ». Impensable pour le gouvernement, qui entend peser de tout son poids pour étouffer dans l’œuf ces velléités de #transparence.

    Newsletter

    Selon les analystes de la SGDSN, cette proposition doit constituer le « point d’attention majeur » du pouvoir exécutif ; autrement dit, celui qu’il faut absolument enterrer. Le document explique pourquoi : « Sous couvert d’un objectif d’une plus grande transparence et d’un meilleur dialogue entre les pouvoirs exécutif et #législatif, l’objectif semble bien de contraindre la politique du gouvernement en matière d’exportation en renforçant le #contrôle_parlementaire. » A lire les gardiens du temple militaro-industriel français, plus de transparence reviendrait à entraver la #liberté_de_commerce de l’Etat. Et la SGDSN de prévenir : ces mesures pourraient « entraîner des effets d’éviction de l’#industrie françaises dans certains pays ».

    protéger les « clients »

    Si la commission parlementaire devait malgré tout voir le jour, le note préconise qu’elle ne puisse « en aucun cas » obtenir un suivi précis des transferts d’armes. Les élus devront se contenter du rapport qui leur est remis par le gouvernement chaque année, lequel ne précise ni les bénéficiaires du matériel ni son utilisation finale.

    « Cette implication de parlementaires, alertent encore les auteurs, pourrait mener à une fragilisation du principe du #secret_de_la_défense_nationale (…) ainsi que du #secret_des_affaires et du secret lié aux relations diplomatiques avec nos partenaires stratégiques. » Le risque pour l’Etat ? Que « les clients » soient « soumis à une politisation accrue des décisions » qui nuirait aux affaires et provoquerait la « fragilisation de notre #crédibilité et de notre capacité à établir des #partenariats_stratégiques sur le long terme, et donc de notre capacité à exporter ». En ligne de mire, des pays comme l’#Arabie_saoudite ou l’#Egypte, le principal client de l’industrie tricolore en 2019 (https://disclose.ngo/fr/news/la-france-bat-des-records-en-matiere-de-vente-darmes).

    Selon les analystes de le SGDSN, la création d’un contrôle parlementaire sur les exportations aurait également « des conséquences pour le gouvernement, dont les différents ministres seraient exposés ». Comme ce fut le cas en 2019, lorsque la ministre des armées, #Florence_Parly, dû s’expliquer sur ses #mensonges répétés après les révélations de Disclose sur les armes vendues à l’Arabie saoudite et utilisées dans la guerre au #Yémen (https://made-in-france.disclose.ngo/fr).

    « effet de bord »

    Un autre élément semble susciter l’inquiétude au plus haut sommet de l’Etat : la volonté de convergence entre les représentants des différents parlements de l’Union européenne. Pour Jacques Maire et Michèle Tabarot, ce « #dialogue_interparlementaire » permettrait une meilleure coopération entre Etats membres. Trop risqué, selon le gouvernement, qui y voit « le risque d’un effet de bord qui exposerait notre politique à des enjeux internes propres à certains de nos voisins européens ».

    Sur ce point, l’analyse aurait pu s’arrêter là. Mais le Quai d’Orsay a voulu préciser le fond de sa pensée, comme le révèlent les modifications apportées au document d’origine. Le cabinet de Jean-Yves Le Drian précise, en rouge dans le texte, qu’une telle convergence entre élus européens serait « particulièrement préoccupante », en particulier concernant le Parlement allemand. « Nous n’avons aucun moyen de maîtriser les vicissitudes [de la politique intérieure allemande] »,et la « forte mobilisation, très idéologique, du Parlement [allemand] sur les exportations d’armement », souligne le ministère des affaires étrangères dans ce mail que Disclose s’est procuré.

    Ce commentaire illustre les tensions sur ce sujet avec le voisin allemand, qui a mis en place en octobre 2018 un #embargo, toujours en cours, sur ses ventes d’armes à l’Arabie saoudite à la suite de l’assassinat du journaliste #Jamal_Khashoggi à Istanbul. Une décision jugée à l’époque incompréhensible pour Emmanuel Macron. Les ventes d’armes « n’ont rien à voir avec M. #Khashoggi, il ne faut pas tout confondre », avait alors déclaré le chef de l’Etat, précisant que cette mesure était, selon lui, « pure #démagogie ». Une fois le problème allemand évacué, le Quai d’Orsay désigne enfin le véritable ennemi : les #institutions_européennes, considérées comme « hostiles à nos intérêts dans le domaine du contrôle des exportations sensibles ».

    ouverture en trompe-l’œil

    L’exécutif aurait-il peur du #contrôle_démocratique ? Il s’en défend et feint même de vouloir protéger les députés contre un piège tendu à eux-mêmes. « Les parlementaires impliqués dans le contrôle des exportations (…) ne pourraient pas répondre aux demandes de transparence » et se retrouveraient « de facto solidaires des décisions prises », explique le document. En d’autres termes, s’il leur prenait de vouloir contester la politique de ventes d’armes de la France, les élus seraient de toute façon soumis au « #secret-défense ». Inutile, donc, qu’ils perdent leur temps.

    Pour finir, les services du premier ministre formulent une liste de recommandations quant à la réaction à adopter face à cet épineux rapport. Première d’entre elles, « adopter une position ouverte » sur les propositions de « renforcement de l’information du Parlement ». Un trompe-l’œil, car l’essentiel est ailleurs. « Il convient, poursuit le texte, de confirmer avec les principaux responsables de l’[#Assemblée_nationale] » qu’ils s’opposeront à la plus importante proposition du texte, soit la création d’une #délégation_parlementaire.

    En guise de dernière suggestion, les auteurs de la note invitent l’exécutif à définir « une #ligne_de_communication » face à la médiatisation du rapport et les réactions des ONG. Une ligne de communication désormais beaucoup plus claire, en effet.

    La note « confidentiel défense » dont Disclose a été destinataire est protégée par l’article 413-9 du code pénal sur le secret de la défense nationale. Nous avons néanmoins décidé d’en publier le contenu car ces informations relèvent de l’intérêt général et doivent par conséquent être portées à la connaissance du public. Par souci pour la sécurité de nos sources, nous ne publions pas le document dans son intégralité.

    https://disclose.ngo/fr/article/vente-darmes-en-secret-lexecutif-declare-la-guerre-au-parlement
    #armes #commerce_d'armes #armement #France #UE #EU #démocratie

    ping @reka @simplicissimus

  • East Mediterranean tension boosts France’s arms sales – Middle East Monitor
    September 26, 2020 at 12:45 pm
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200926-east-mediterranean-tension-boosts-frances-arms-sales

    French-backed tension between East Mediterranean states and Turkey boosts French arms sales, Paul Iddon, contributor to Forbes, revealed on Thursday.

    Iddon noted that French President Emmanuel Macron is a strong critic of Turkey’s foreign policy and poses himself as a supporter of the East Mediterranean states, which are on opposite sides of the tension with Turkey.

    Therefore, the French military has participated in a series of military exercises this year with Turkey’s rivals in the Eastern Mediterranean to signal Paris’ support of these countries.

    He confirmed that France has shown its support for Greece by deploying two Dassault Rafale fighter jets to the Greek island of Crete, along with a warship in August.

    Greece, according to Iddon, turned to France after it had decided to expand its military to buy 18 Rafale jets, including six brand new and 12 second-hand ones that have already served in the French Air Force, noting that Greece is the first European country to buy the Rafale jets.

    Iddon also disclosed that Athens already reached a €260 million ($305 million) deal with France to upgrade its existing fleet of Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets in December 2019. This deal would prevent Turkey from establishing air superiority over the Aegean Sea, or parts of the East Mediterranean.

    Meanwhile, the Republic of Cyprus reached a $262 million arms deal with France for short-range Mistral air defence systems and Exocet anti-ship missiles.

    These deals are not comparable with those reached between France and Egypt, which has been a major rival of Turkey’s since the current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came to power through his military coup in July 2013.

    “Under Sisi,” Iddon wrote in Forbes, “Egypt rapidly became a major multi-billion euro French arms client. His country was the first to buy Rafale jets, along with four Gowind corvettes, a FREEM multipurpose frigate, and two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.”

    Iddon concluded: “So long as these territorial disputes and tensions between these countries and Turkey remain unresolved, France isn’t likely going to have any shortage of arms clients in the Eastern Mediterranean anytime soon.”

    #FranceGrèce #FranceTurquie #marchand_de_canons

  • Les exportations d’armes russes se tournent vers une nouvelle clientèle
    https://www.franceculture.fr/geopolitique/les-exportations-darmes-russes-se-tournent-vers-une-nouvelle-clientele

    « Par ailleurs, la Russie est connue pour ne pas exiger de conditions, en matière de droits de l’homme par exemple, lorsqu’elle vend », poursuit l’expert.

    Ah les vilains, ben oui parce que c’est bien connu que les autres demandent des garanties sur les droits de l’homme avant de signer leur contrats.

    https://www.rusarmyexpo.com
    https://www.sipri.org
    https://seenthis.net/messages/425094
    #armement #france #usa #urss #marchands_de_canons

  • I documenti segreti della #Cia sul caso #Ilaria_Alpi

    L’Espresso ha ottenuto i rapporti inediti americani sul periodo in cui in Somalia fu uccisa la giornalista. Si parla di un’azienda molto pericolosa e di trafficanti italiani.

    Trentadue pagine, dodici documenti classificati “Secret” e “Top Secret”. Report in grado, dopo ventisei anni, di riportarci nelle strade di Mogadiscio poco prima del 20 marzo 1994, la data dell’agguato mortale contro Ilaria Alpi e #Miran_Hrovatin. Carte oggi declassificate dalla principale agenzia dell’intelligence statunitense, la Cia, dopo una richiesta dell’Espresso in base al Freedom of Information Act (Foia). Un anno e mezzo di istruttoria, una risposta per ora parziale, ma in grado di aggiungere elementi importanti al contesto somalo oggetto dell’ultimo reportage di Ilaria Alpi. Doveva andare in onda la sera di quel 20 marzo, non arrivò mai in Italia, se non per frammenti, filmati incompleti. I report Usa aprono una porta sul mondo che Ilaria seguiva durante il suo ultimo viaggio. Traffici di armi, società della cooperazione italiana, alleanze segrete.

    Mogadiscio, 1994. La sconfitta della missione Onu per riappacificare la Somalia era compiuta. È la storia di un fallimento lo scenario che ha visto l’agguato mortale contro Ilaria Alpi e Miran Hrovatin. Roma, 2020. Le indagini per capire chi ha armato il commando di sei uomini sono ancora aperte. Movente, mandanti, esecutori: un foglio bianco.

    Mogadiscio era il crocevia di tante storie. Traffico di armi, prima di tutto. Razzi Rpg, Kalashnikov, munizioni di ogni tipo, un flusso inarrestabile che alimentava la guerra tra le due principali fazioni. Ali Mahdi, alleato con le forze Onu. Mohammed Farah Hassan, detto Aidid, il “vittorioso”, a capo delle forze islamiste. Quel mondo Ilaria lo conosceva come pochi suoi colleghi; si era laureata in lingua e cultura araba, con una lunga gavetta, prima di approdare alla Rai, raccontando il nord Africa, spesso in maniera rocambolesca. Delicata e profonda, nelle sue cronache. In grado di capire le sfumature, le alleanze che si nascondevano dietro l’apparenza. La giornalista giusta, per raccontare l’inferno. Un target per chi alimentava il caos.

    LA ROTTA DELLE ARMI

    #Mohammed_Aidid era il nemico numero uno della coalizione Onu quando la missione #Unosom inizia, con lo spettacolare sbarco dei Marines a Mogadiscio. Almeno in apparenza. Il 3 ottobre del 1993 i Rangers erano sulle sue tracce. Preparano una missione nel cuore di Mogadiscio, un’incursione che doveva durare pochi minuti, giusto il tempo per permettere a reparti speciali di catturare il signore della guerra. Tutto andò storto, i miliziani colpirono uno dei quattro elicotteri Black Hawk, uccidendo 19 soldati americani. Un’azione divenuta famosa con il film di Ridley Scott (“Black Hawk Down”)del 2001, icona cinematografica della sconfitta in Somalia.

    Da mesi la Cia era sulle tracce di Aidid, monitorando ogni suo spostamento. L’obiettivo fondamentale, per l’Onu e gli Stati Uniti, era individuarlo, ma anche capire chi finanziasse il capo della fazione islamista e da dove provenissero le armi utilizzate dalle sue milizie. In una nota del 18 settembre 1993, declassificata su richiesta dell’Espresso, gli analisti della Cia scrivono: «L’abilità del signore della guerra nel reperire nuove armi ha senza dubbio contribuito alle recenti indicazioni che Aidid si sente sicuro di vincere contro gli Stati Uniti e le Nazioni Unite». Dal mese di agosto del 1993 gli agenti statunitensi segnalavano un aumento di flussi di armi dirette alla fazione islamista. In realtà la Somalia fin dall’inizio della guerra civile era una vera e propria Santabarbara. Per anni il governo di Siad Barre - stretto alleato dell’Italia - aveva acquistato armi, creando magazzini letali nell’intero paese. L’Italia era stato uno dei principali fornitori, fin dai primi anni ’80. L’ex generale del Sismi Giuseppe Santovito - iscritto alla P2 - in un interrogatorio davanti all’allora giudice istruttore di Trento Carlo Palermo aveva raccontato delle ingenti forniture di armamenti al paese da sempre ritenuto come una e propria estensione geopolitica dell’Italia.

    Pochi mesi prima della morte di Ilaria Alpi e Miran Horvatin c’è una accelerazione. Aidid ha l’obiettivo - che ritiene raggiungibile - di far fallire la missione Onu, rimandando a casa i paesi della coalizione. Acquisire armi aveva un doppio scopo, spiegano le note Cia: essere pronti al combattimento, ma soprattutto convincere gli altri signori della guerra ad allearsi con gli islamisti.

    L’AIUTO SEGRETO ITALIANO

    Il primo ottobre 1993, due giorni prima di Black Hawk Down, a Washington arriva una nota dalla capitale somala: «Le rotte per la fornitura di armamenti, nascondigli e legami operativi delle forze di Aidid». Dal mese di settembre gli Usa avevano iniziato a monitorare le carovane che partivano dal lungo confine con l’Etiopia dirette nell’area di Mogadiscio, dove la situazione era divenuta estremamente critica: «Gli armamenti - che includono mortai e Rpg - sono trasportati lungo le strade che collegano Mogadiscio con Belet Weyne, Tigielo e Afgoi». L’obiettivo era chiaro: «Stanno pianificando di usare i mortai e gli Rpg contro Unosom».

    Nella stessa nota la Cia fornisce, per la prima volta, un’indicazione sulla rete logistica di appoggio alla fazione degli islamisti: «I supporter di Aidid stanno utilizzando la società Sitt, che è situata dall’altra parte della strada rispetto al compound Unosom. La società Sitt appartiene a Ahmed Duale “Hef”. (omissis) Commento: questa presenza è una minaccia per il personale Unosom e per chiunque entri nel compound». Duale e Sitt, due nomi da appuntare.

    Quando mancano quattro mesi all’ultimo viaggio di Ilaria Alpi e Miran Hrovatin la situazione a Mogadiscio diventa ancora più critica: «I compratori pro-Aidid stanno acquistando una inusuale grande quantità di munizioni», segnala la Cia in una nota del 23 novembre 1993. Un secondo report, con la stessa data, aggiunge un altro dettaglio: «C’è una consegna di armi e munizioni in una casa nel distretto Halilua’a di Mogadiscio, trasportata da un unico camion di produzione italiana, con sei casse di Ak-47, fucili di assalto Fal, quattro lanciatori di granata russi. L’origine del carico è ignota».

    IL DOPPIO GIOCO

    Per l’intelligence Usa, dunque, era la società Sitt lo snodo logistico utilizzato dai supporter di Aidid. «Una minaccia per l’Onu», scrivevano. Il nome era ben noto negli ambienti del contingente italiano. Appena due mesi prima della nota della Cia, la Sitt aveva inviato una serie di fatture per migliaia di dollari al comando Italfor relative alla fornitura di materiale di ogni tipo. Prima del conflitto la stessa società aveva operato come supporto logistico per la cooperazione italiana. A capo di quell’impresa, oltre all’imprenditore somalo Ahmed Duale, citato nella nota Usa, c’era Giancarlo Marocchino, trasportatore originario del Piemonte che operava in Somalia da anni. Fu lui ad intervenire per primo sul luogo dell’attentato mortale contro Alpi e Hrovatin. «Marocchino è stato un collaboratore che ho ritenuto affidabile fino a quando ho trovato le armi nel suo compound diffidandolo ufficialmente», racconta all’Espresso il generale Bruno Loi, a capo del contingente italiano fino al settembre 1993. «Ma per quanto riguarda la nota della Cia - prosegue Loi - mi stupisce che abbiano trovato questa minaccia senza fare nulla per eliminarla; c’è qualcosa che non quadra».

    L’INCHIESTA
    Sull’agguato del 20 marzo 1994 la Cia sostiene di non avere nessun record in archivio. Eppure l’ultima inchiesta di Ilaria Alpi si intreccia strettamente con quel traffico di armi diretto alla fazione di Aidid. Il 14 marzo 1994 i due reporter di Rai 3 arrivano a Bosaso, nel nord della Somalia. C’era un nome appuntato sul quaderno di Ilaria, la compagnia di pesca italo-somala Shifco. Una nave della società era ferma al largo della costa migiurtina, sequestrata dalle milizie locali. In un appunto del Sismi declassificato nel 2014 dall’allora presidente della Camera Laura Boldrini l’intelligence italiana racconta come quella compagnia, diretta da Said Omar Mugne - imprenditore somalo che aveva vissuto a lungo in Italia - proprio in quei mesi stava preparando il trasporto di un carico di armi «acquistato in Ucraina da tale Osman Ato, cittadino somalo naturalizzato statunitense, per conto del generale Aidid». Sulla Shifco e su Osman Ato la Cia ha risposto con la consueta formula: «Non possiamo confermare o smentire l’esistenza o la non esistenza di record». La questione, in questo caso, sembra avere ombre di segreto ancora oggi.

    “CROGIOLO DI MENZOGNE”
    Per il generale Bruno Loi la Somalia è ancora una ferita aperta: «Eravamo pronti a catturare Aidid nel giugno 1993 - racconta - avevamo il consenso del governo italiano, ma Unosom ci bloccò». Il fallimento di quella missione, spiega, va cercata nelle stesse regole di ingaggio delle Nazioni Unite: «L’Onu non ha capito che la democrazia non si esporta, ma si costruisce con anni di supporto», commenta Loi. E forse il caso Alpi rimane una ferita aperta perché è bene non entrare in quel labirinto senza fine della missione nel corno d’Africa: «La Somalia è stata un crogiolo di bugie, menzogne, disinformazione», spiega Loi, ventisei anni dopo. E di segreti che durano ancora oggi.

    https://espresso.repubblica.it/plus/articoli/2020/08/18/news/ilaria-alpi-cia-documenti-1.352110
    #journalisme #assassinat #Somalie #armes #trafic_d'armes #commerce_d'armes

  • Vers des jours heureux... | Le Club de Mediapart

    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/les-invites-de-mediapart/article/280420/vers-des-jours-heureux

    Un virus inconnu circule autour de la planète depuis le début de l’année. Péril mortel et invisible, nous obligeant à nous écarter les uns des autres comme si nous étions dangereux les uns pour les autres, il a retourné les tréfonds des sociétés comme on retourne un gant et il a mis au grand jour ce que l’on tentait jusqu’ici de masquer. Sans doute provoque-t-il un nombre important de morts et met-il sous une lumière crue les limites des systèmes de santé des pays développés, y compris les plus riches d’entre eux. Sans doute, ailleurs, expose-t-il les populations de pays plus pauvres à un extrême danger, les contraignant pour se protéger à accomplir une obligation impossible, le confinement. Mais ceci n’est que la surface des choses.

    Le gant retourné donne à voir la voie périlleuse dans laquelle le monde se trouve engagé depuis des décennies. En mettant les services hospitaliers sous contrainte budgétaire, là où ils étaient développés, et en les négligeant là où ils sont insuffisants, les responsables politiques affolés se sont trouvés pris de court devant l’arrivée de la pandémie. En France, l’impréparation criante à ce type d’évènements, la liquidation coupable de la réserve de masques, la délocalisation de l’industrie pharmaceutique avec pour seule raison la recherche de profits plus grands, la faiblesse des moyens de la recherche scientifique, mettent le gouvernement en situation d’improvisation. En prenant le chemin du confinement dont il ne sait comment sortir, il s’est engagé dans la voie d’une mise en cause radicale des libertés publiques. S’étant privé des autres moyens de protection de la population, il bénéficie d’un acquiescement forcé de cette dernière. Pour le cas où cet acquiescement manquerait, un discours moralisateur et culpabilisant se déploie. Et pourtant, partout, d’innombrables initiatives contredisent l’individualisme entretenu par le modèle économique et social et témoignent de la permanence de la fraternité entre les humains.

    Mais le gant retourné fait apparaître aussi, au moins aux yeux les plus lucides, que la réponse aux enjeux auxquels l’humanité dans son ensemble est en ce moment confrontée, ne saurait être une addition de politiques nationales, encore moins si ces politiques tentent de se mener en vase clos. Il y manquera toujours une part, celle de la communauté des humains qui ne peut refuser plus longtemps de se voir pour ce qu’elle est : une communauté de destin, ce qu’Hannah Arendt nommait une association politique d’hommes libres.

    Ainsi, derrière la crise sanitaire qui est au premier plan, avec la crise économique qui s’amorce et la catastrophe écologique en cours, c’est une crise de civilisation qui émerge enfin. Le monde entièrement dominé par le système capitaliste qui ne cesse de creuser les inégalités et de détruire la nature, est aujourd’hui un bateau ivre qui n’a d’autre horizon que son naufrage à travers des violences insoupçonnées.

    S’il est encore temps de reprendre les commandes, alors ce séisme inédit est l’occasion que le monde doit saisir pour rompre enfin avec sa destruction largement amorcée et inventer une société entièrement différente. Ainsi, ayant conjuré la terreur de l’inconnu, les peuples danseront de joie sur les décombres du vieux monde qui menaçait de les emporter.

    Pour cela, il faut :

    – ne pas tricher avec les constats qu’il y a lieu de faire ;
    – mesurer les risques d’une sortie de crise orientée à un retour à la situation antérieure ou à d’autres dérives ;
    – saisir cette opportunité pour poser les fondements radicalement différents d’une société mondiale juste et viable.

    #covid-19 #le_monde_d_après

  • Assets in Flight: Libya’s Flying Armories

    On December 26, 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced provisional plans to deploy Turkish troops to Libya in defense of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). Since April 2019, the GNA has faced a months-long offensive led by rival leader, General Khalifa Haftar and the Libyan National Army (LNA). Days later, social media outlets, including Twitter, erupted in multiple posts alleging the deployment of Syrian rebels in and around Tripoli. Open-source plane spotters elsewhere identified aircraft transiting between Turkey and Libya, including one operated by Aerotranscargo, a Moldova-based company that in 2017, appeared in a UN Panel of Experts report as one of several Eastern European air freight providers that have operated suspicious flights into Libya, some of which are linked to potentially illicit weapons transfers.

    The aerial re-supply of weapons, materiel, and personnel into conflict zones is not new. However, recent advancements in open source research tools and techniques – especially in publicly accessible flight data – have opened a new frontier in conflict reporting. Using these tools, researchers and investigators can connect conflict events with the underlying logistics that enable the commission of violence and mass atrocities.

    In Libya, the sprawling corporate and logistics networks that connect Europe, Turkey, Sudan, the UAE, Qatar and other regional neighbors have their origins in decades of instability and state collapse on multiple continents. Far from relics of a past era, companies in these jurisdictions have serviced rival factions in the ongoing Libyan civil war now entering its 6th year of sustained conflict.

    Using flight data and corporate records, the Conflict Finance and Irregular Threats (CFIT) team at C4ADS takes a deeper look at these aerial supply operations, revealing potential ownership and management ties between Libya’s flying armories and air freight providers in Libya, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and the UAE. This series specifically exposes the logistical architecture that has for years channeled weapons, materiel, and personnel in and out of Libya, often using commercial businesses and aircraft that are identifiable through open source research.
    Libya’s TransNational Weapons Air Bridge

    On September 27, 2006 an Ilyushin IL-76TD cargo aircraft (Registration number: 5A-DQA) touched down in Baidoa, Somalia carrying two armored vehicles and an unspecified number of senior Ugandan military officers. The plane, which traveled from Kufra, Libya on its way to Baidoa, was reportedly operated by Global Aviation and Services Group (GASG), a chartered air freight service provider based in Tripoli, Libya. Seven years later, GASG appeared on an air waybill issued for the unofficial transfer of several thousand Caracel F Pistols, which the UN report stated were purchased by a US-based company and exported by UAE-based Caracel International LLC to Libyan forces then-organized under the Ministry of Interior in Mitiga, Libya.

    UN investigators found that the transfer to Libya was one of several potential embargo violations reportedly aided by air freight companies such as GASG. UN investigators specifically found operational ties between air freight companies operating between Libya, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), though the relationship between these operators was not fully explored.

    Tracing Global Aviation and Services Group (GASG) Ownership and Management

    Despite the lack of publicly available commercial registries in Libya, C4ADS used open data sources – including social media – to identify and verify GASG’s ownership and management as well as the company’s aerial operations.

    Global Aviation and Services Group (GASG) was founded in 2003 and headquartered in Tripoli, Libya with offices in Benghazi and Istanbul, Turkey. A 2006 version of the company’s website identified a “Captain Abdussalam I. Aradi” as the company Chairman and Managing Director alongside several other company officials. GASG’s chairman separately appeared as “Abdussalam Aradi” according to a Linkedin Profile that seems to be registered to the company’s managing director. An open-source review of Facebook accounts registered under the name: “Abdussalam Aradi” elsewhere revealed an account with several profile photos that seemingly resemble Captain A. Aradi’s likeness.

    On January 21 2014, an image from a business article identified a “Capt. A. Aradi” as Chairman of GASG during a meeting with officials from Skylink Aviation, an air cargo company which operates in several conflict areas including in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Sudan, among others. The article included an image that depicted “Capt. A. Aradi” shaking hands with an individual identified as the President of Skylink Aviation with a Libyan flag and GASG logo set in the background. A separate image of what appears to be the same scene appeared on GASG’s Facebook page on March 3, 2014, this time exposing the company’s three letter ICAO designator – GAK – within the company’s banner as displayed below.

    GASG seemingly re-branded to Global Air in 2006, according to the date listed on the GASG Facebook account (now re-branded to Global Air). Despite the alleged name change, the company is still identified as “Global Aviation and Service Group (GASG)” in the mission and vision sections of the new Global Air Facebook Account as displayed below.

    Additionally, the contact information listed on the new Global Air Facebook account matches the physical address and contact phone number listed on both the GASG and Global Air websites.

    Separately, at least one flyer posted on the GASG Facebook account displayed both the “Global Air” logo and the GASG web address www.global-aviationgroup.com within the same image. This flyer also included the same contact phone number that appeared on the GASG and Global Air websites, suggesting that the two companies are potentially linked despite the change in name and logo.

    Additional images posted on the GASG Facebook account suggest that the change in company logo coincided with the migration from GASG to Global Air. A thorough survey of these images revealed multiple photos bearing both the GASG and Global Air logos as displayed below. In some cases, some of the images retained the full mention of “Global Aviation & Services Group” with a “Global Air” logo appearing at the borders.

    The Mitiga-Baidoa Connection

    C4ADS investigators reviewed additional images posted on the GASG/Global Air Facebook account and the account registered to “Abdussalam Aradi” and found an image of an Ilyushin-76 which matched the aircraft identified by UN investigators in 2006, and again 2013, as the transport aircraft for military equipment sent to Somalia and Libya in potential violation of existing UN restrictions.

    The Facebook account registered to “Abdussalam Aradi” contained an image of an Ilyushin IL-76TD cargo aircraft (Registration Number: 5A-DQA) bearing the Arabic inscription for Global Air (العالمية للطيران) on the front left side of the aircraft as displayed below.

    The same aircraft appeared on an August 23, 2013 post on GASG’s Facebook account, this time photographed with the English “Global Air” visible on the front side of the aircraft as displayed below. While both images lacked Exif data, aircraft spotters have elsewhere attributed the aircraft to GASG in public sightings in both Mitiga and Benghazi in 2007 and 2008 respectively. These sightings seemingly confirm the aircraft’s link to GASG as well its operations in Mitiga specifically, and in Libya at large.

    Global Aviation and Services Group (GASG) Links to Turkey

    Further open source review of GASG’s global operations revealed corporate ties to Turkey as well flight operations elsewhere in Libya, Turkey, and the UAE. According to the company’s website, GASG operated direct cargo flights from Istanbul to Tripoli and Benghazi as well as from Dubai to various other African destinations, specifically Njdamena (Chad). GASG’s website also included several flight schedules for international flights between Sabiha International Airport (Turkey) to Mitiga (Libya). Flights between Benghazi and Dubai operated three days a week while those between Sabiha (Turkey) and Mitiga (Libya) operated twice a week.

    A March 23, 2007 filing in the Turkish Gazette confirmed the registration of “Global Aviation and Services Group” (listed as Merkezi Libya ’Da Bulunan Global Aviation and Services Group Türkiye İstanbul Şubesi) under registration number: 619595. The gazette filling also identifies a “Kaptain Abdusalam Ibrahim Aradi” as the company’s general manager, confirming GASG’s corporate presence in Turkey.

    The Moldovan Connection

    In 2017, UN investigators reported that Global Aviation and Services Group (GASG) had previously chartered aircraft owned and/or operated by Moldovan company AerotransCargo. The company was registered on August 12, 2011 (Registration Number: 1011600028436) at MD-2026, bd. Dacia 60/5, ap.(of.) 115, sec.Botanica, mun. Chişinău, RM according to the Moldovan company gazette. This address is shared with another Moldova-based company, Air Stork (Registration Number: 1015600032031). Air Stork was established on September 30, 2015 and according to corporate documentation shares some directors and personnel with Aerotransport.

    AerotransCargo and Air Stork also share the same address: MD-2026, bd. Dacia 60/5, ap.(of.) 115, sec.Botanica, mun. Chişinău, RM with five additional companies: Tiramavia Air Transport Company SRL, Tehnoaer LLC, Gelfex-M LLC, Alanar Grup LLC, and Valan Voiaj LLC. Four of the five companies operate in the air transport sector and provide passenger and freight transport services, warehousing, and the supply and repair of flight equipment. C4ADS investigators found similar co-location in other air freight service providers located in Moldova, which like GASG, Aerotranscargo, and Air Stork connect Libya to Eastern Europe.

    On April 15, 2019, the European Union banned Air Stork from operating within EU airspace. This restriction, however, did not include AerotransCargo, potentially allowing Air Stork aircraft to fly under AerotransCargo’s operator code. As noted above, both companies are also co-located and share some of the same owners. In 2017, UN investigators found that at least two Air Stock aircraft ­– Registration Numbers: ER-IBI and ER-IBU – had been transferred from another Moldovan company – Sky Prim Air – whose aircraft was sighted transporting officers and armed groups allied to General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army in 2016.

    Additionally, at least one other Air Stork freight aircraft–Registration Number: ER-ABE–was leased to Global Aviation and Services Group on September 19, 2017. A rendered model of this aircraft appears on GASG’s new “Global Air” webpage. An aircraft with tail code ER-ABE was also spotted on April 4, 2018 traveling between Istanbul Sabiha Goken Airport and Misrata International airport by Plane Finder, an open source flight data aggregator.

    GASG and AerotransCargo’s Forays into Libya

    According to the Moldovan aircraft registry, AerotransCargo operates four Boeing 747-412 cargo aircraft with the following registration and ICAO numbers: ER-BAM (ICAO: 504E27), ER-BBJ (ICAO: 504E43), ER-JAI (ICAO: 504E36), and ER-BAJ.

    According to the Moldovan civilian aircraft registry, the AerotransCargo fleet operates under the following ICAO designator: ATG, which allows for the identification of individual flights operated by the airline. In 2017, UN investigators reported that GASG had previously chartered AerotransCargo aircraft on an undisclosed number of trips to Libya. These trips would have likely occurred under GASG’s ICAO designator: GAK making the relationship between GASG and AerotransCargo potentially visible in open flight data. Using flight data from ADS-B Exchange, C4ADS investigators found multiple flights by all four AerotransCargo aircraft flying under the GAK designator, including some that involved flights between Turkey and Libya.

    This flight data also revealed that between April 19, 2017 and May 5, 2019, three of the four AerotransCargo aircraft – Registration Numbers: ER-JAI, ER-BBJ, and ER-BAM –used GASG call signs – GAK3011 and GAK3012 – during trips between Turkey and Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, Libya.

    While the available ADSB data is incomplete, each aircraft transmitted low altitude readings (between 25 and 50 feet) while near Mitiga airport, suggesting potential landing at the airport. Each of these aircraft also appeared on the Aerotranscargo webpage and were linked to the airline by the Moldovan civilian aircraft register though they operated under the GASG operator code during this time period. These findings seemingly confirm GASG’s use of Aerotranscargo aircraft as originally reported by the UN Panel of Experts.

    Whereas public reporting on weapons flows into Libya has dominantly relied on traditional reporting methods, ADS-B data provides an additional mode of verification and attribution not extensively used in conflict reporting. When combined with satellite imagery, ADS-B data opens up a new frontier in open source investigations, especially in data scarce environments.

    Over the next weeks and months, C4ADS will delve deeper into the airborne re-supply of Libyan armed groups with a principal focus on the role of commercial airliners in this pipeline movement of weapons, materiel, and personnel. This reporting will focus on the combined use of ADS-B flight data and satellite imagery, and highlight the innovative use of new technologies in open source reporting in conflict zones. This approach emphasizes the use of open data to expose the illicit logistic architectures that fuel and sustain conflict as a core thematic prerogative of the Conflict Finance and Irregular Threats initiative at C4ADS.

    https://c4ads.org/blogposts/2019/7/30/assets-in-flight-libyas-flying-armories
    #armes #commerce_d'armes #Turquie #armement #Libye

    ping @fil @reka @simplicissimus

  • #Avis sur la légalité internationale des transferts d’armes vers l’#Arabie_saoudite, les #Émirats_arabes_unis et les membres de la coalition militairement impliqués au #Yémen

    Le présent avis traite de la #légalité, au regard du #droit_international, des transferts d’armes vers l’Arabie saoudite, les Émirats arabes unis et les membres de la Coalition militairement impliqués au Yémen. L’avis n’évalue pas la légalité de tels transferts à la lumière du droit interne de chaque État fournisseur, pas plus qu’il n’examine en détail les obligations des groupes armés non étatiques ou des entreprises dans leurs rôles de fournisseurs et d’utilisateurs d’armes.

    L’accent est mis ici sur les #obligations_juridiques_internationales des parties au #conflit au Yémen et des États tiers qui leur fournissent leurs armes. Seront examinées ci-après les principales #normes_internationales applicables aux décisions de #transfert_d’armes qui visent à assurer la #protection_de_la_population_civile au Yémen et de l’#infrastructure_civile indispensable à sa survie.

    Les États qui transfèrent des armes à d’autres pays sont soumis aux normes du droit de la responsabilité internationale de l’État. Ils ont l’obligation de retenir ces transferts d’armes lorsqu’il est raisonnablement prévisible que les destinataires les utiliseront pour commettre des violations graves du droit international ou de les détourneront vers d’autres utilisateurs. Tel qu’expliqué ci-après, les États qui fournissent des armes aux parties au conflit au Yémen portent une énorme #responsabilité en regard du grand nombre de personnes civiles qui ont subi de graves blessures et des pertes, y compris à leur domicile, entraînant des déplacements internes et externes massifs de population. Les infrastructures civiles essentielles à la survie de la population ont été détruites ou gravement endommagées lors d’attaques armées, et l’accès à l’aide humanitaire reste entravé par les forces armées et les milices. Selon les Nations Unies, des millions de personnes souffrent de ce qui a été qualifié de la “pire crise humanitaire du monde”.


    https://ipisresearch.be/publication/avis-sur-la-legalite-internationale-des-transferts-darmes-vers-larabie-
    #armes #armement #commerce_d'armes #Emirats_arabes_unis #protection_civile #guerre

    ping @reka

  • Israel’s dirty arms deals with Myanmar - Haaretz Editorial - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/israel-s-dirty-arms-deals-with-myanmar-1.6429524

    Official Israel does not allow the publication of reports on the arming of Myanmar. In a hearing on petitions to the High Court of Justice filed in the last year and a half by human rights activists and attorney Eitay Mack against Israel’s weapons sales to Myanmar, the Defense Ministry argued that the court had no authority to rule on defense exports. Israeli spokesmen justified the supplying of weapons with the claim that “both sides committed war crimes,” claims that were rejected in the UN report. The court’s ruling on the petition is classified, but according to testimony from Myanmar the weapons sales are continuing, even in the midst of the crimes.

    Israel has a long history of arming dark regimes, from Latin America through the Balkans and Africa, to Asia. The findings of the UN panel’s report require an examination of this method, whose economic benefits cannot serve as a counterweight to the atrocities. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit must order an investigation to determine whether the individuals who approved the arms sales to Myanmar were complicit in genocide in accordance with Israel’s 1950 Law for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In addition, he must see to it that the findings are made public.

  • The business of building walls

    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is once again known for its border walls. This time Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

    Who killed the dream of a more open Europe? What gave rise to this new era of walls? There are clearly many reasons – the increasing displacement of people by conflict, repression and impoverishment, the rise of security politics in the wake of 9/11, the economic and social insecurity felt across Europe after the 2008 financial crisis – to name a few. But one group has by far the most to gain from the rise of new walls – the businesses that build them. Their influence in shaping a world of walls needs much deeper examination.

    This report explores the business of building walls, which has both fuelled and benefited from a massive expansion of public spending on border security by the European Union (EU) and its member states. Some of the corporate beneficiaries are also global players, tapping into a global market for border security estimated to be worth approximately €17.5 billion in 2018, with annual growth of at least 8% expected in coming years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAuv1QyP8l0&feature=emb_logo

    It is important to look both beyond and behind Europe’s walls and fencing, because the real barriers to contemporary migration are not so much the fencing, but the vast array of technology that underpins it, from the radar systems to the drones to the surveillance cameras to the biometric fingerprinting systems. Similarly, some of Europe’s most dangerous walls are not even physical or on land. The ships, aircrafts and drones used to patrol the Mediterranean have created a maritime wall and a graveyard for the thousands of migrants and refugees who have no legal passage to safety or to exercise their right to seek asylum.

    This renders meaningless the European Commission’s publicized statements that it does not fund walls and fences. Commission spokesperson Alexander Winterstein, for example, rejecting Hungary’s request to reimburse half the costs of the fences built on its borders with Croatia and Serbia, said: ‘We do support border management measures at external borders. These can be surveillance measures. They can be border control equipment...But fences, we do not finance’. In other words, the Commission is willing to pay for anything that fortifies a border as long as it is not seen to be building the walls themselves.

    This report is a sequel to Building Walls – Fear and securitization in the European Union, co-published in 2018 with Centre Delàs and Stop Wapenhandel, which first measured and identified the walls that criss-cross Europe. This new report focuses on the businesses that have profited from three different kinds of wall in Europe:

    The construction companies contracted to build the land walls built by EU member states and the Schengen Area together with the security and technology companies that provide the necessary accompanying technology, equipment and services;

    The shipping and arms companies that provide the ships, aircraft, helicopters, drones that underpin Europe’s maritime walls seeking to control migratory flows in the Mediterranean, including Frontex operations, Operation Sophia and Italian operation Mare Nostrum;
    And the IT and security companies contracted to develop, run, expand and maintain EU’s systems that monitor the movement of people – such as SIS II (Schengen Information System) and EES (Entry/Exit Scheme) – which underpin Europe’s virtual walls.

    Booming budgets

    The flow of money from taxpayers to wall-builders has been highly lucrative and constantly growing. The report finds that companies have reaped the profits from at least €900 million spent by EU countries on land walls and fences since the end of the Cold War. The partial data (in scope and years) means actual costs will be at least €1 billion. In addition, companies that provide technology and services that accompany walls have also benefited from some of the steady stream of funding from the EU – in particular the External Borders Fund (€1.7 billion, 2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders Fund (€2.76 billion, 2014-2020).

    EU spending on maritime walls has totalled at least €676.4 million between 2006 to 2017 (including €534 million spent by Frontex, €28.4 million spent by the EU on Operation Sophia and €114 million spent by Italy on Operation Mare Nostrum) and would be much more if you include all the operations by Mediterranean country coastguards. Total spending on Europe’s virtual wall equalled at least €999.4m between 2000 and 2019. (All these estimates are partial ones because walls are funded by many different funding mechanisms and due to lack of data transparency).

    This boom in border budgets is set to grow. Under its budget for the next EU budget cycle (2021–2027) the European Commission has earmarked €8.02 billion to its Integrated Border Management Fund (2021-2027), €11.27bn to Frontex (of which €2.2 billion will be used for acquiring, maintaining and operating air, sea and land assets) and at least €1.9 billion total spending (2000-2027) on its identity databases and Eurosur (the European Border Surveillance System).
    The big arm industry players

    Three giant European military and security companies in particular play a critical role in Europe’s many types of borders. These are Thales, Leonardo and Airbus.

    Thales is a French arms and security company, with a significant presence in the Netherlands, that produces radar and sensor systems, used by many ships in border security. Thales systems, were used, for example, by Dutch and Portuguese ships deployed in Frontex operations. Thales also produces maritime surveillance systems for drones and is working on developing border surveillance infrastructure for Eurosur, researching how to track and control refugees before they reach Europe by using smartphone apps, as well as exploring the use of High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) for border security, for the European Space Agency and Frontex. Thales currently provides the security system for the highly militarised port in Calais. Its acquisition in 2019 of Gemalto, a large (biometric) identity security company, makes it a significant player in the development and maintenance of EU’s virtual walls. It has participated in 27 EU research projects on border security.
    Italian arms company Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica or Leonardo-Finmeccanica) is a leading supplier of helicopters for border security, used by Italy in the Mare Nostrum, Hera and Sophia operations. It has also been one of the main providers of UAVs (or drones) for Europe’s borders, awarded a €67.1 million contract in 2017 by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to supply them for EU coast-guard agencies. Leonardo was also a member of a consortium, awarded €142.1 million in 2019 to implement and maintain EU’s virtual walls, namely its EES. It jointly owns Telespazio with Thales, involved in EU satellite observation projects (REACT and Copernicus) used for border surveillance. Leonardo has participated in 24 EU research projects on border security and control, including the development of Eurosur.
    Pan-European arms giant Airbus is a key supplier of helicopters used in patrolling maritime and some land borders, deployed by Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain, including in maritime Operations Sophia, Poseidon and Triton. Airbus and its subsidiaries have participated in at least 13 EU-funded border security research projects including OCEAN2020, PERSEUS and LOBOS.
    The significant role of these arms companies is not surprising. As Border Wars (2016), showed these companies through their membership of the lobby groups – European Organisation for Security (EOS) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) – have played a significant role in influencing the direction of EU border policy. Perversely, these firms are also among the top four biggest European arms dealers to the Middle East and North Africa, thus contributing to the conflicts that cause forced migration.

    Indra has been another significant corporate player in border control in Spain and the Mediterranean. It won a series of contracts to fortify Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves in northern Morocco). Indra also developed the SIVE border control system (with radar, sensors and vision systems), which is in place on most of Spain’s borders, as well as in Portugal and Romania. In July 2018 it won a €10 million contract to manage SIVE at several locations for two years. Indra is very active in lobbying the EU and is a major beneficiary of EU research funding, coordinating the PERSEUS project to further develop Eurosur and the Seahorse Network, a network between police forces in Mediterranean countries (both in Europe and Africa) to stop migration.

    Israeli arms firms are also notable winners of EU border contracts. In 2018, Frontex selected the Heron drone from Israel Aerospace Industries for pilot-testing surveillance flights in the Mediterranean. In 2015, Israeli firm Elbit sold six of its Hermes UAVs to the Switzerland’s Border Guard, in a controversial €230 million deal. It has since signed a UAV contract with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), as a subcontractor for the Portuguese company CEIIA (2018), as well as contracts to supply technology for three patrol vessels for the Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
    Land wall contractors

    Most of the walls and fences that have been rapidly erected across Europe have been built by national construction companies, but one European company has dominated the field: European Security Fencing, a Spanish producer of razor wire, in particular a coiled wire known as concertinas. It is most known for the razor wire on the fences around Ceuta and Melilla. It also delivered the razor wire for the fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia, and its concertinas were installed on the borders between Bulgaria and Turkey and Austria and Slovenia, as well as at Calais, and for a few days on the border between Hungary and Slovenia before being removed. Given its long-term market monopoly, its concertinas are very likely used at other borders in Europe.

    Other contractors providing both walls and associated technology include DAT-CON (Croatia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova, Slovenia and Ukraine), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén and Eulen (Spain/Morocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov and Indra (Bulgaria/Turkey), Nordecon and Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft and SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Latvia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lithuania/Russia), Minis and Legi-SGS(Slovenia/Croatia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia and Zaun Ltd (France/UK).

    In many cases, the actual costs of the walls and associated technologies exceed original estimates. There have also been many allegations and legal charges of corruption, in some cases because projects were given to corporate friends of government officials. In Slovenia, for example, accusations of corruption concerning the border wall contract have led to a continuing three-year legal battle for access to documents that has reached the Supreme Court. Despite this, the EU’s External Borders Fund has been a critical financial supporter of technological infrastructure and services in many of the member states’ border operations. In Macedonia, for example, the EU has provided €9 million for patrol vehicles, night-vision cameras, heartbeat detectors and technical support for border guards to help it manage its southern border.
    Maritime wall profiteers

    The data about which ships, helicopters and aircraft are used in Europe’s maritime operations is not transparent and therefore it is difficult to get a full picture. Our research shows, however, that the key corporations involved include the European arms giants Airbus and Leonardo, as well as large shipbuilding companies including Dutch Damen and Italian Fincantieri.

    Damen’s patrol vessels have been used for border operations by Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK as well as in key Frontex operations (Poseidon, Triton and Themis), Operation Sophia and in supporting NATO’s role in Operation Poseidon. Outside Europe, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey use Damen vessels for border security, often in cooperation with the EU or its member states. Turkey’s €20 million purchase of six Damen vessels for its coast guard in 2006, for example, was financed through the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), intended for peace-building and conflict prevention.

    The sale of Damen vessels to Libya unveils the potential troubling human costs of this corporate trade. In 2012, Damen supplied four patrol vessels to the Libyan Coast Guard, sold as civil equipment in order to avoid a Dutch arms export license. Researchers have since found out, however, that the ships were not only sold with mounting points for weapons, but were then armed and used to stop refugee boats. Several incidents involving these ships have been reported, including one where some 20 or 30 refugees drowned. Damen has refused to comment, saying it had agreed with the Libyan government not to disclose information about the ships.

    In addition to Damen, many national shipbuilders play a significant role in maritime operations as they were invariably prioritised by the countries contributing to each Frontex or other Mediterranean operation. Hence, all the ships Italy contributed to Operation Sophia were built by Fincantieri, while all Spanish ships come from Navantia and its predecessors. Similarly, France purchases from DCN/DCNS, now Naval Group, and all German ships were built by several German shipyards (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Other companies in Frontex operations have included Greek company, Motomarine Shipyards, which produced the Panther 57 Fast Patrol Boats used by the Hellenic Coast Guard, Hellenic Shipyards and Israel Shipyards.

    Austrian company Schiebel is a significant player in maritime aerial surveillance through its supply of S-100 drones. In November 2018, EMSA selected the company for a €24 million maritime surveillance contract for a range of operations including border security. Since 2017, Schiebel has also won contracts from Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The company has a controversial record, with its drones sold to a number of countries experiencing armed conflict or governed by repressive regimes such as Libya, Myanmar, the UAE and Yemen.

    Finland and the Netherlands deployed Dornier aircraft to Operation Hermes and Operation Poseidon respectively, and to Operation Triton. Dornier is now part of the US subsidiary of the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. CAE Aviation (Luxembourg), DEA Aviation (UK) and EASP Air (Netherlands) have all received contracts for aircraft surveillance work for Frontex. Airbus, French Dassault Aviation, Leonardo and US Lockheed Martin were the most important suppliers of aircraft used in Operation Sophia.

    The EU and its member states defend their maritime operations by publicising their role in rescuing refugees at sea, but this is not their primary goal, as Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri made clear in April 2015, saying that Frontex has no mandate for ‘proactive search-and-rescue action[s]’ and that saving lives should not be a priority. The thwarting and criminalisation of NGO rescue operations in the Mediterranean and the frequent reports of violence and illegal refoulement of refugees, also demonstrates why these maritime operations should be considered more like walls than humanitarian missions.
    Virtual walls

    The major EU contracts for the virtual walls have largely gone to two companies, sometimes as leaders of a consortium. Sopra Steria is the main contractor for the development and maintenance of the Visa Information System (VIS), Schengen Information System (SIS II) and European Dactyloscopy (Eurodac), while GMV has secured a string of contracts for Eurosur. The systems they build help control, monitor and surveil people’s movements across Europe and increasingly beyond.

    Sopra Steria is a French technology consultancy firm that has to date won EU contracts worth a total value of over €150 million. For some of these large contracts Sopra Steria joined consortiums with HP Belgium, Bull and 3M Belgium. Despite considerable business, Sopra Steria has faced considerable criticism for its poor record on delivering projects on time and on budget. Its launch of SIS II was constantly delayed, forcing the Commission to extend contracts and increase budgets. Similarly, Sopra Steria was involved in another consortium, the Trusted Borders consortium, contracted to deliver the UK e-Borders programme, which was eventually terminated in 2010 after constant delays and failure to deliver. Yet it continues to win contracts, in part because it has secured a near-monopoly of knowledge and access to EU officials. The central role that Sopra Steria plays in developing these EU biometric systems has also had a spin-off effect in securing other national contracts, including with Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Slovenia GMV, a Spanish technology company, has received a succession of large contracts for Eurosur, ever since its testing phase in 2010, worth at least €25 million. It also provides technology to the Spanish Guardia Civil, such as control centres for its Integrated System of External Vigilance (SIVE) border security system as well as software development services to Frontex. It has participated in at least ten EU-funded research projects on border security.

    Most of the large contracts for the virtual walls that did not go to consortia including Sopra Steria were awarded by eu-LISA (European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice) to consortia comprising computer and technology companies including Accenture, Atos Belgium and Morpho (later renamed Idema).
    Lobbying

    As research in our Border Wars series has consistently shown, through effective lobbying, the military and security industry has been very influential in shaping the discourse of EU security and military policies. The industry has succeeded in positioning itself as the experts on border security, pushing the underlying narrative that migration is first and foremost a security threat, to be combatted by security and military means. With this premise, it creates a continuous demand for the ever-expanding catalogue of equipment and services the industry supplies for border security and control.

    Many of the companies listed here, particularly the large arms companies, are involved in the European Organisation for Security (EOS), the most important lobby group on border security. Many of the IT security firms that build EU’s virtual walls are members of the European Biometrics Association (EAB). EOS has an ‘Integrated Border Security Working Group’ to ‘facilitate the development and uptake of better technology solutions for border security both at border checkpoints, and along maritime and land borders’. The working group is chaired by Giorgio Gulienetti of the Italian arms company Leonardo, with Isto Mattila (Laurea University of Applied Science) and Peter Smallridge of Gemalto, a digital security company recently acquired by Thales.

    Company lobbyists and representatives of these lobby organisations regularly meet with EU institutions, including the European Commission, are part of official advisory committees, publish influential proposals, organise meetings between industry, policy-makers and executives and also meet at the plethora of military and security fairs, conferences and seminars. Airbus, Leonardo and Thales together with EOS held 226 registered lobbying meetings with the European Commission between 2014 and 2019. In these meetings representatives of the industry position themselves as the experts on border security, presenting their goods and services as the solution for ‘security threats’ caused by immigration. In 2017, the same group of companies and EOS spent up to €2.65 million on lobbying.

    A similar close relationship can be seen on virtual walls, with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission arguing openly for public policy to foster the ‘emergence of a vibrant European biometrics industry’.
    A deadly trade and a choice

    The conclusion of this survey of the business of building walls is clear. A Europe full of walls has proved to be very good for the bottom line of a wide range of corporations including arms, security, IT, shipping and construction companies. The EU’s planned budgets for border security for the next decade show it is also a business that will continue to boom.

    This is also a deadly business. The heavy militarisation of Europe’s borders on land and at sea has led refugees and migrants to follow far more hazardous routes and has trapped others in desperate conditions in neighbouring countries like Libya. Many deaths are not recorded, but those that are tracked in the Mediterranean show that the proportion of those who drown trying to reach Europe continues to increase each year.

    This is not an inevitable state of affairs. It is both the result of policy decisions made by the EU and its member states, and corporate decisions to profit from these policies. In a rare principled stand, German razor wire manufacturer Mutanox in 2015 stated it would not sell its product to the Hungarian government arguing: ‘Razor wire is designed to prevent criminal acts, like a burglary. Fleeing children and adults are not criminals’. It is time for other European politicians and business leaders to recognise the same truth: that building walls against the world’s most vulnerable people violates human rights and is an immoral act that history will judge harshly. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is time for Europe to bring down its new walls.

    https://www.tni.org/en/businessbuildingwalls

    #business #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières #visualisation #Europe #UE #EU #complexe_militaro-industriel #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #Indra #Israel_Aerospace_Industries #Elbit #European_Security_Fencing #DAT-CON #Geo_Alpinbau #Dragados #Ferrovial, #Proyectos_Y_Tecnología_Sallén #Eulen #Patstroy_Bourgas #Infra_Expert #Patengineeringstroy #Geostroy_Engineering #Metallic-Ivan_Mihaylov #Nordecon #Defendec #DAK_Acélszerkezeti_Kft #SIA_Ceļu_būvniecības_sabiedrība_IGATE #Gintrėja #Minis #Legi-SGS #Groupe_CW #Jackson’s_Fencing #Sorhea #Vinci #Eurovia #Zaun_Ltd #Damen #Fincantieri #Frontex #Damen #Turquie #Instrument_contributing_to_Stability_and_Peace (#IcSP) #Libye #exernalisation #Operation_Sophia #Navantia #Naval_Group #Flensburger_Schiffbau-Gesellschaft #HDW #Lürssen_Gruppe #Motomarine_Shipyards #Panther_57 #Hellenic_Shipyards #Israel_Shipyards #Schiebel #Dornier #Operation_Hermes #CAE_Aviation #DEA_Aviation #EASP_Air #French_Dassault_Aviation #US_Lockheed_Martin #murs_virtuels #Sopra_Steria #Visa_Information_System (#VIS) #données #Schengen_Information_System (#SIS_II) #European_Dactyloscopy (#Eurodac) #GMV #Eurosur #HP_Belgium #Bull #3M_Belgium #Trusted_Borders_consortium #économie #biométrie #Integrated_System_of_External_Vigilance (#SIVE) #eu-LISA #Accenture #Atos_Belgium #Morpho #Idema #lobby #European_Organisation_for_Security (#EOS) #European_Biometrics_Association (#EAB) #Integrated_Border_Security_Working_Group #Giorgio_Gulienetti #Isto_Mattila #Peter_Smallridge #Gemalto #murs_terrestres #murs_maritimes #coût #chiffres #statistiques #Joint_Research_Centre_of_the_European_Commission #Mutanox

    Pour télécharger le #rapport :


    https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/business_of_building_walls_-_full_report.pdf

    déjà signalé par @odilon ici :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/809783
    Je le remets ici avec des mots clé de plus

    ping @daphne @marty @isskein @karine4

    • La costruzione di muri: un business

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del Muro di Berlino, l’Europa fa parlare di sé ancora una volta per i suoi muri di frontiera. Questa volta non è tanto l’ideologia che la divide, quanto la paura di rifugiati e migranti, alcune tra le persone più vulnerabili al mondo.

      Riassunto del rapporto «The Business of Building Walls» [1]:

      Chi ha ucciso il sogno di un’Europa più aperta? Cosa ha dato inizio a questa nuova era dei muri?
      Ci sono evidentemente molte ragioni: il crescente spostamento di persone a causa di conflitti, repressione e impoverimento, l’ascesa di politiche securitarie sulla scia dell’11 settembre, l’insicurezza economica e sociale percepita in Europa dopo la crisi finanziaria del 2008, solo per nominarne alcune. Tuttavia, c’è un gruppo che ha di gran lunga da guadagnare da questo innalzamento di nuovi muri: le imprese che li costruiscono. La loro influenza nel dare forma ad un mondo di muri necessita di un esame più profondo.

      Questo rapporto esplora il business della costruzione di muri, che è stato alimentato e ha beneficiato di un aumento considerevole della spesa pubblica dedicata alla sicurezza delle frontiere dall’Unione Europea (EU) e dai suoi Stati membri. Alcune imprese beneficiarie sono delle multinazionali che approfittano di un mercato globale per la sicurezza delle frontiere che si stima valere approssimativamente 17,5 miliardi di euro nel 2018, con una crescita annuale prevista almeno dell’8% nei prossimi anni.

      È importante guardare sia oltre che dietro i muri e le barriere d’Europa, perché i reali ostacoli alla migrazione contemporanea non sono tanto le recinzioni, quanto la vasta gamma di tecnologie che vi è alla base, dai sistemi radar ai droni, dalle telecamere di sorveglianza ai sistemi biometrici di rilevamento delle impronte digitali. Allo stesso modo, alcuni tra i più pericolosi muri d’Europa non sono nemmeno fisici o sulla terraferma. Le navi, gli aerei e i droni usati per pattugliare il Mediterraneo hanno creato un muro marittimo e un cimitero per i migliaia di migranti e di rifugiati che non hanno un passaggio legale verso la salvezza o per esercitare il loro diritto di asilo.

      Tutto ciò rende insignificanti le dichiarazioni della Commissione Europea secondo le quali essa non finanzierebbe i muri e le recinzioni. Il portavoce della Commissione, Alexander Winterstein, per esempio, nel rifiutare la richiesta dell’Ungheria di rimborsare la metà dei costi delle recinzioni costruite sul suo confine con la Croazia e la Serbia, ha affermato: “Noi sosteniamo le misure di gestione delle frontiere presso i confini esterni. Queste possono consistere in misure di sorveglianza o in equipaggiamento di controllo delle frontiere... . Ma le recinzioni, quelle non le finanziamo”. In altre parole, la Commissione è disposta a pagare per qualunque cosa che fortifichi un confine fintanto che ciò non sia visto come propriamente costruire dei muri.

      Questo rapporto è il seguito di “Building Walls - Fear and securitizazion in the Euopean Union”, co-pubblicato nel 2018 con Centre Delàs e Stop Wapenhandel, che per primi hanno misurato e identificato i muri che attraversano l’Europa.

      Questo nuovo rapporto si focalizza sulle imprese che hanno tratto profitto dai tre differenti tipi di muro in Europa:
      – Le imprese di costruzione ingaggiate per costruire i muri fisici costruiti dagli Stati membri UE e dall’Area Schengen in collaborazione con le imprese esperte in sicurezza e tecnologia che provvedono le tecnologie, l’equipaggiamento e i servizi associati;
      – le imprese di trasporto marittimo e di armamenti che forniscono le navi, gli aerei, gli elicotteri e i droni che costituiscono i muri marittimi dell’Europa per tentare di controllare i flussi migratori nel Mediterraneo, in particolare le operazioni di Frontex, l’operazione Sophia e l’operazione italiana Mare Nostrum;
      – e le imprese specializzate in informatica e in sicurezza incaricate di sviluppare, eseguire, estendere e mantenere i sistemi dell’UE che controllano i movimento delle persone, quali SIS II (Schengen Information System) e EES (Entry/Exii Scheme), che costituiscono i muri virtuali dell’Europa.
      Dei budget fiorenti

      Il flusso di denaro dai contribuenti ai costruttori di muri è stato estremamente lucrativo e non cessa di aumentare. Il report rivela che dalla fine della guerra fredda, le imprese hanno raccolto i profitti di almeno 900 milioni di euro di spese dei paesi dell’UE per i muri fisici e per le recinzioni. Con i dati parziali (sia nella portata e che negli anni), i costi reali raggiungerebbero almeno 1 miliardo di euro. Inoltre, le imprese che forniscono la tecnologia e i servizi che accompagnano i muri hanno ugualmente beneficiato di un flusso costante di finanziamenti da parte dell’UE, in particolare i Fondi per le frontiere esterne (1,7 miliardi di euro, 2007-2013) e i Fondi per la sicurezza interna - Fondi per le Frontiere (2,76 miliardi di euro, 2014-2020).

      Le spese dell’UE per i muri marittimi hanno raggiunto almeno 676,4 milioni di euro tra il 2006 e il 2017 (di cui 534 milioni sono stati spesi da Frontex, 28 milioni dall’UE nell’operazione Sophia e 114 milioni dall’Italia nell’operazione Mare Nostrum) e sarebbero molto superiori se si includessero tutte le operazioni delle guardie costiera nazionali nel Mediterraneo.

      Questa esplosione dei budget per le frontiere ha le condizioni per proseguire. Nel quadro del suo budget per il prossimo ciclo di bilancio dell’Unione Europea (2021-2027), la Commissione europea ha attribuito 8,02 miliardi di euro al suo fondo di gestione integrata delle frontiere (2021-2027), 11,27 miliardi a Frontex (dei quali 2,2 miliardi saranno utilizzati per l’acquisizione, il mantenimento e l’utilizzo di mezzi aerei, marittimi e terrestri) e almeno 1,9 miliardi di euro di spese totali (2000-2027) alle sue banche dati di identificazione e a Eurosur (il sistemo europeo di sorveglianza delle frontiere).
      I principali attori del settore degli armamenti

      Tre giganti europei del settore della difesa e della sicurezza giocano un ruolo cruciale nei differenti tipi di frontiere d’Europa: Thales, Leonardo e Airbus.

      – Thales è un’impresa francese specializzata negli armamenti e nella sicurezza, con una presenza significativa nei Paesi Bassi, che produce sistemi radar e sensori utilizzati da numerose navi della sicurezza frontaliera. I sistemi Thales, per esempio, sono stati utilizzati dalle navi olandesi e portoghesi impiegate nelle operazioni di Frontex.
      Thales produce ugualmente sistemi di sorveglianza marittima per droni e lavora attualmente per sviluppare una infrastruttura di sorveglianza delle frontiere per Eurosus, che permetta di seguire e controllare i rifugiati prima che raggiungano l’Europa con l’aiuto di applicazioni per Smartphone, e studia ugualmente l’utilizzo di “High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites - HAPS” per la sicurezza delle frontiere, per l’Agenzia spaziale europea e Frontex. Thales fornisce attualmente il sistema di sicurezza del porto altamente militarizzato di Calais.
      Con l’acquisto nel 2019 di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza e identità (biometrica), Thales diventa un attore importante nello sviluppo e nel mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE. L’impresa ha partecipato a 27 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      – La società di armamenti italiana Leonardo (originariamente Finmeccanica o Leonardo-Finmeccanica) è uno dei principali fornitori di elicotteri per la sicurezza delle frontiere, utilizzati dalle operazioni Mare Nostrum, Hera e Sophia in Italia. Ha ugualmente fatto parte dei principali fornitori di UAV (o droni), ottenendo un contratto di 67,1 milioni di euro nel 2017 con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima) per fornire le agenzie di guardia costiera dell’UE.
      Leonardo faceva ugualmente parte di un consorzio che si è visto attribuire un contratto di 142,1 milioni di euro nel 2019 per attuare e assicurare il mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE, ossia il Sistema di entrata/uscita (EES). La società detiene, con Thales, Telespazio, che partecipa ai progetti di osservazione dai satelliti dell’UE (React e Copernicus) utilizzati per controllare le frontiere. Leonardo ha partecipato a 24 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere, tra cui lo sviluppo di Eurosur.

      – Il gigante degli armamenti pan-europei Airbus è un importante fornitore di elicotteri utilizzati nella sorveglianza delle frontiere marittime e di alcune frontiere terrestri, impiegati da Belgio, Francia, Germania, Grecia, Italia, Lituania e Spagna, in particolare nelle operazioni marittime Sophia, Poseidon e Triton. Airbus e le sue filiali hanno partecipato almeno a 13 progetti di ricerca sulla sicurezza delle frontiere finanziati dall’UE, tra cui OCEAN2020, PERSEUS e LOBOS.

      Il ruolo chiave di queste società di armamenti in realtà non è sorprendente. Come è stato dimostrato da “Border Wars” (2016), queste imprese, in quanto appartenenti a lobby come EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza) e ASD (Associazione delle industrie aerospaziali e della difesa in Europa), hanno ampiamente contribuito a influenzare l’orientamento della politica delle frontiere dell’UE. Paradossalmente, questi stessi marchi fanno ugualmente parte dei quattro più grandi venditori europei di armi al Medio Oriente e all’Africa del Nord, contribuendo così ad alimentare i conflitti all’origine di queste migrazioni forzate.

      Allo stesso modo Indra gioca un ruolo non indifferente nel controllo delle frontiere in Spagna e nel Mediterraneo. L’impresa ha ottenuto una serie di contratti per fortificare Ceuta e Melilla (enclavi spagnole nel Nord del Marocco). Indra ha ugualmente sviluppato il sistema di controllo delle frontiere SIVE (con sistemi radar, di sensori e visivi) che è installato nella maggior parte delle frontiere della Spagna, così come in Portogallo e in Romania. Nel luglio 2018, Indra ha ottenuto un contratto di 10 milioni di euro per assicurare la gestione di SIVE su più siti per due anni. L’impresa è molto attiva nel fare lobby presso l’UE. È ugualmente una dei grandi beneficiari dei finanziamenti per la ricerca dell’UE, che assicurano il coordinamento del progetto PERSEUS per lo sviluppo di Eurosur e il Seahorse Network, la rete di scambio di informazioni tra le forze di polizia dei paesi mediterranei (in Europa e in Africa) per fermare le migrazioni.

      Le società di armamenti israeliane hanno anch’esse ottenuto numerosi contratti nel quadro della sicurezza delle frontiere in UE. Nel 2018, Frontex ha selezionato il drone Heron delle Israel Aerospace Industries per i voli di sorveglianza degli esperimenti pilota nel Mediterraneo. Nel 2015, la società israeliana Elbit Systems ha venduto sei dei suoi droni Hermes al Corpo di guardie di frontiera svizzero, nel quadro di un contratto controverso di 230 milioni di euro. Ha anche firmato in seguito un contratto per droni con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima), in quanto subappaltatore della società portoghese CEIIA (2018), così come dei contratti per equipaggiare tre navi di pattugliamento per la Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
      Gli appaltatori dei muri fisici

      La maggioranza di muri e recinzioni che sono stati rapidamente eretti attraverso l’Europa, sono stati costruiti da società di BTP nazionali/società nazionali di costruzioni, ma un’impresa europea ha dominato nel mercato: la European Security Fencing, un produttore spagnolo di filo spinato, in particolare di un filo a spirale chiamato “concertina”. È famosa per aver fornito i fili spinati delle recinzioni che circondano Ceuta e Melilla. L’impresa ha ugualmente dotato di fili spinati le frontiere tra l’Ungheria e la Serbia, e i suoi fili spinati “concertina” sono stati installati alle frontiere tra Bulgaria e Turchia e tra l’Austria e la Slovenia, così come a Calais e, per qualche giorno, alla frontiera tra Ungheria e Slovenia, prima di essere ritirati. Dato che essi detengono il monopolio sul mercato da un po’ di tempo a questa parte, è probabile che i fili spinati “concertina” siano stati utilizzati presso altre frontiere in Europa.

      Tra le altre imprese che hanno fornito i muri e le tecnologie ad essi associate, si trova DAT-CON (Croazia, Cipro, Macedonia, Moldavia, Slovenia e Ucraina), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén e Eulen (Spagna/Marocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov et Indra (Bulgaria/Turchia), Nordecon e Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft e SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Lettonia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lituania/Russi), Minis e Legi-SGS (Slovenia/Croazia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia e Zaun Ltd (Francia/Regno Unito).

      I costi reali dei muri e delle tecnologie associate superano spesso le stime originali. Numerose accuse e denunce per corruzione sono state allo stesso modo formulate, in certi casi perché i progetti erano stati attribuiti a delle imprese che appartenevano ad amici di alti funzionari. In Slovenia, per esempio, accuse di corruzione riguardanti un contratto per la costruzione di muri alle frontiere hanno portato a tre anni di battaglie legali per avere accesso ai documenti; la questione è passata poi alla Corte suprema.

      Malgrado tutto ciò, il Fondo europeo per le frontiere esterne ha sostenuto finanziariamente le infrastrutture e i servizi tecnologici di numerose operazioni alle frontiere degli Stati membri. In Macedonia, per esempio, l’UE ha versato 9 milioni di euro per finanziare dei veicoli di pattugliamento, delle telecamere a visione notturna, dei rivelatori di battito cardiaco e sostegno tecnico alle guardie di frontiera nell’aiuto della gestione della sua frontiera meridionale.
      Gli speculatori dei muri marittimi

      I dati che permettono di determinare quali imbarcazioni, elicotteri e aerei sono utilizzati nelle operazioni marittime in Europa mancano di trasparenza. È dunque difficile recuperare tutte le informazioni. Le nostre ricerche mostrano comunque che tra le principali società implicate figurano i giganti europei degli armamenti Airbus e Leonardo, così come grandi imprese di costruzione navale come l’olandese Damen e l’italiana Fincantieri.

      Le imbarcazioni di pattugliamento di Damen sono servite per delle operazioni frontaliere portate avanti da Albania, Belgio, Bulgaria, Portogallo, Paesi Bassi, Romania, Svezia e Regno Unito, così come per le vaste operazioni di Frontex (Poseidon, Triton e Themis), per l’operazione Sophia e hanno ugualmente sostento la NATO nell’operazione Poseidon.

      Al di fuori dell’Europa, la Libia, il Marocco, la Tunisia e la Turchia utilizzano delle imbarcazioni Damen per la sicurezza delle frontiere, spesso in collaborazione con l’UE o i suoi Stati membri. Per esempio, le sei navi Damen che la Turchia ha comprato per la sua guardia costiera nel 2006, per un totale di 20 milioni di euro, sono state finanziate attraverso lo strumento europeo che contribuirebbe alla stabilità e alla pace (IcSP), destinato a mantenere la pace e a prevenire i conflitti.

      La vendita di imbarcazioni Damen alla Libia mette in evidenza l’inquietante costo umano di questo commercio. Nel 2012, Damen ha fornito quattro imbarcazioni di pattugliamento alla guardia costiera libica, che sono state vendute come equipaggiamento civile col fine di evitare la licenza di esportazione di armi nei Paesi Bassi. I ricercatori hanno poi scoperto che non solo le imbarcazioni erano state vendute con dei punti di fissaggio per le armi, ma che erano state in seguito armate ed utilizzate per fermare le imbarcazioni di rifugiati. Numerosi incidenti che hanno implicato queste imbarcazioni sono stati segnalati, tra i quali l’annegamento di 20 o 30 rifugiati. Damen si è rifiutata di commentare, dichiarando di aver convenuto col governo libico di non divulgare alcuna informazione riguardante le imbarcazioni.

      Numerosi costruttori navali nazionali, oltre a Damen, giocano un ruolo determinante nelle operizioni marittime poiché sono sistematicamente scelti con priorità dai paesi partecipanti a ogni operazione di Frontex o ad altre operazioni nel Mediterraneo. Tutte le imbarcazioni fornite dall’Italia all’operazione Sophia sono state costruite da Fincantieri e tutte quelle spagnole sono fornite da Navantia e dai suoi predecessori. Allo stesso modo, la Francia si rifornisce da DCN/DCNS, ormai Naval Group, e tutte le imbarcazioni tedesche sono state costruite da diversi cantieri navali tedeschi (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Altre imprese hanno partecipato alle operazioni di Frontex, tra cui la società greca Motomarine Shipyards, che ha prodotto i pattugliatori rapidi Panther 57 utilizzati dalla guardia costiera greca, così come la Hellenic Shipyards e la Israel Shipyards.

      La società austriaca Schiebel, che fornisce i droni S-100, gioca un ruolo importante nella sorveglianza aerea delle attività marittime. Nel novembre 2018, è stata selezionata dall’EMSA per un contratto di sorveglianza marittima di 24 milioni di euro riguardante differenti operazioni che includevano la sicurezza delle frontiere. Dal 2017, Schiebel ha ugualmente ottenuto dei contratti con la Croazia, la Danimarca, l’Islanda, l’Italia, il Portogallo e la Spagna. L’impresa ha un passato controverso: ha venduto dei droni a numerosi paesi in conflitto armato o governati da regimi repressivi come la Libia, il Myanmar, gli Emirati Arabi Uniti e lo Yemen.

      La Finlandia e i Paesi Bassi hanno impiegato degli aerei Dornier rispettivamente nel quadro delle operazioni Hermès, Poseidon e Triton. Dornier appartiene ormai alla filiale americana della società di armamenti israeliana Elbit Systems.
      CAE Aviation (Lussemburgo), DEA Aviation (Regno Unito) e EASP Air (Paesi Bassi) hanno tutte ottenuto dei contratti di sorveglianza aerea per Frontex.
      Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Leonardo e l’americana Lockheed Martin hanno fornito il più grande numero di aerei utilizzati per l’operazione Sophia.

      L’UE e i suoi Stati membri difendono le loro operazioni marittime pubblicizzando il loro ruolo nel salvataggio dei rifugiati in mare. Ma non è questo il loro obiettivo principale, come sottolinea il direttore di Frontex Fabrice Leggeri nell’aprile 2015, dichiarando che “le azioni volontarie di ricerca e salvataggio” non fanno parte del mandato affidato a Frontex, e che salvare delle vite non dovrebbe essere una priorità. La criminalizzazione delle operazioni di salvataggio da parte delle ONG, gli ostacoli che esse incontrano, così come la violenza e i respingimenti illegali dei rifugiati, spesso denunciati, illustrano bene il fatto che queste operazioni marittime sono volte soprattutto a costituire muri piuttosto che missioni umanitarie.
      I muri virtuali

      I principali contratti dell’UE legati ai muri virtuali sono stati affidati a due imprese, a volte in quanto leader di un consorzio.
      Sopra Steria è il partner principale per lo sviluppo e il mantenimento del Sistema d’informazione dei visti (SIV), del Sistema di informazione Schengen (SIS II) e di Eurodac (European Dactyloscopy) e GMV ha firmato una serie di contratti per Eurosur. I sistemi che essi concepiscono permettono di controllare e di sorvegliare i movimenti delle persone attraverso l’Europa e, sempre più spesso, al di là delle sue frontiere.

      Sopra Steria è un’impresa francese di servizi per consultazioni in tecnologia che ha, ad oggi, ottenuto dei contratti con l’UE per un valore totale di più di 150 milioni di euro. Nel quadro di alcuni di questi grossi contratti, Sopra Steria ha formato dei consorzi con HP Belgio, Bull e 3M Belgio.

      Malgrado l’ampiezza di questi mercati, Sopra Steria ha ricevuto importanti critiche per la sua mancanza di rigore nel rispetto delle tempistiche e dei budget. Il lancio di SIS II è stato costantemente ritardato, costringendo la Commissione a prolungare i contratti e ad aumentare i budget. Sopra Steria aveva ugualmente fatto parte di un altro consorzio, Trusted Borders, impegnato nello sviluppo del programma e-Borders nel Regno Unito. Quest’ultimo è terminato nel 2010 dopo un accumulo di ritardi e di mancate consegne. Tuttavia, la società ha continuato a ottenere contratti, a causa del suo quasi monopolio di conoscenze e di relazioni con i rappresentanti dell’UE. Il ruolo centrale di Sopra Steria nello sviluppo dei sistemi biometrici dell’UE ha ugualmente portato alla firma di altri contratti nazionali con, tra gli altri, il Belgio, la Bulgaria, la Repubblica ceca, la Finlandia, la Francia, la Germania, la Romania e la Slovenia.

      GMV, un’impresa tecnologica spagnola, ha concluso una serie di grossi contratti per Eurosur, dopo la sua fase sperimentale nel 2010, per almeno 25 milioni di euro. Essa rifornisce ugualmente di tecnologie la Guardia Civil spagnola, tecnologie quali, ad esempio, i centri di controllo del suo Sistema integrato di sorveglianza esterna (SIVE), sistema di sicurezza delle frontiere, così come rifornisce di servizi di sviluppo logistico Frontex. L’impresa ha partecipato ad almeno dieci progetti di ricerca finanziati dall’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      La maggior parte dei grossi contratti riguardanti i muri virtuali che non sono stati conclusi con consorzi di cui facesse parte Sopra Steria, sono stati attribuiti da eu-LISA (l’Agenzia europea per la gestione operazionale dei sistemi di informazione su vasta scale in seno allo spazio di libertà, di sicurezza e di giustizia) a dei consorzi di imprese specializzate nell’informazione e nelle nuove tecnologie, tra questi: Accenture, Atos Belgium e Morpho (rinominato Idemia).
      Lobby

      Come testimonia il nostro report “Border Wars”, il settore della difesa e della sicurezza, grazie ad una lobbying efficace, ha un’influenza considerabile nell’elaborazione delle politiche di difesa e di sicurezza dell’UE. Le imprese di questo settore industriale sono riuscite a posizionarsi come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, portando avanti il loro discorso secondo il quale la migrazione è prima di tutto una minaccia per la sicurezza che deve essere combattuta tramite mezzi militari e securitari. Questo crea così una domanda continua del catalogo sempre più fornito di equipaggiamenti e servizi che esse forniscono per la sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere.

      Un numero alto di imprese che abbiamo nominato, in particolare le grandi società di armamenti, fanno parte dell’EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza), il più importante gruppo di pressione sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      Molte imprese informatiche che hanno concepito i muri virtuali dell’UE sono membri dell’EAB (Associazione Europea per la Biometria). L’EOS ha un “Gruppo di lavoro sulla sicurezza integrata delle frontiere” per “permettere lo sviluppo e l’adozione delle migliori soluzioni tecnologiche per la sicurezza delle frontiere sia ai checkpoint che lungo le frontiere marittime e terrestri”.
      Il gruppo di lavoro è presieduto da Giorgio Gulienetti, della società di armi italiana Leonardo, Isto Mattila (diplomato all’università di scienze applicate) e Peter Smallridge di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza numerica, recentemente acquisita da Thales.

      I lobbisti di imprese e i rappresentanti di questi gruppi di pressione incontrano regolarmente le istituzioni dell’UE, tra cui la Commissione europea, nel quadro di comitati di consiglio ufficiali, pubblicano proposte influenti, organizzano incontri tra il settore industriale, i policy-makers e i dirigenti e si ritrovano allo stesso modo in tutti i saloni, le conferenze e i seminari sulla difesa e la sicurezza.

      Airbus, Leonardo e Thales e l’EOS hanno anche assistito a 226 riunioni ufficiali di lobby con la Commissione europea tra il 2014 e il 2019. In queste riunioni, i rappresentanti del settore si presentano come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, e propongono i loro prodotti e servizi come soluzione alle “minacce alla sicurezza” costituite dall’immigrazione. Nel 2017, queste stesse imprese e l’EOS hanno speso fino a 2,56 milioni di euro in lobbying.

      Si constata una relazione simile per quanto riguarda i muri virtuali: il Centro comune della ricerca della Commissione europea domanda apertamente che le politiche pubbliche favoriscano “l’emergenza di una industria biometrica europea dinamica”.
      Un business mortale, una scelta

      La conclusione di questa inchiesta sul business dell’innalzamento di muri è chiara: la presenza di un’Europa piena di muri si rivela molto fruttuosa per una larga fetta di imprese del settore degli armamenti, della difesa, dell’informatica, del trasporto marittimo e delle imprese di costruzioni. I budget che l’UE ha pianificato per la sicurezza delle frontiere nei prossimi dieci anni mostrano che si tratta di un commercio che continua a prosperare.

      Si tratta altresì di un commercio mortale. A causa della vasta militarizzazione delle frontiere dell’Europa sulla terraferma e in mare, i rifugiati e i migranti intraprendono dei percorsi molto più pericolosi e alcuni si trovano anche intrappolati in terribili condizioni in paesi limitrofi come la Libia. Non vengono registrate tutte le morti, ma quelle che sono registrate nel Mediterraneo mostrano che il numero di migranti che annegano provando a raggiungere l’Europa continua ad aumentare ogni anno.

      Questo stato di cose non è inevitabile. È il risultato sia di decisioni politiche prese dall’UE e dai suoi Stati membri, sia dalle decisioni delle imprese di trarre profitto da queste politiche. Sono rare le imprese che prendono posizione, come il produttore tedesco di filo spinato Mutinox che ha dichiarato nel 2015 che non avrebbe venduto i suoi prodotti al governo ungherese per il seguente motivo: “I fili spinati sono concepiti per impedire atti criminali, come il furto. Dei rifugiati, bambini e adulti, non sono dei criminali”.

      È tempo che altri politici e capi d’impresa riconoscano questa stessa verità: erigere muri contro le popolazioni più vulnerabili viola i diritti umani e costituisce un atto immorale che sarà evidentemente condannato dalla storia.

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del muro di Berlino, è tempo che l’Europa abbatta i suoi nuovi muri.

      https://www.meltingpot.org/La-costruzione-di-muri-un-business.html

    • How the arms industry drives Fortress Europe’s expansion

      In recent years, rising calls for deterrence have intensified the physical violence migrants face at the EU border. The externalization of the border through deals with sending and transit countries signals the expansion of this securitization process. Financial gains by international arms firms in this militarization trend form an obstacle for policy change.

      In March, April, and May of this year, multiple European countries deployed military forces to their national borders. This was done to assist with controls and patrols in the wake of border closures and other movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 crisis. Poland deployed 1,460 soldiers to the border to support the Border Guard and police as part of a larger military operation in reaction to Covid-19. And the Portuguese police used military drones as a complement to their land border checks. According to overviews from NATO, the Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands (military police), Slovakia, and Slovenia all stationed armed forces at their national borders.

      While some of these deployments have been or will be rolled back as the Corona crisis dies down, they are not exceptional developments. Rather, using armed forces for border security and control has been a common occurrence at EU external borders since the so-called refugee crisis of 2015. They are part of the continuing militarisation of European border and migration policies, which is known to put refugees at risk but is increasingly being expanded to third party countries. Successful lobbying from the military and security industry has been an important driver for these policies, from which large European arms companies have benefited.

      The militarization of borders happens when EU member states send armies to border regions, as they did in Operation Sophia off the Libyan coast. This was the first outright EU military mission to stop migration. But border militarization also includes the use of military equipment for migration control, such as helicopters and patrol vessels, as well as the the EU-wide surveillance system Eurosur, which connects surveillance data from all individual member states. Furthermore, EU countries now have over 1,000 kilometers of walls and fences on their borders. These are rigged with surveillance, monitoring, and detection technologies, and accompanied by an increasing use of drones and other autonomous systems. The EU also funds a constant stream of Research & Technology (R&T) projects to develop new technologies and services to monitor and manage migration.

      This process has been going on for decades. The Schengen Agreement of 1985, and the subsequent creation of the Schengen Area, which coupled the opening of the internal EU borders with robust control at the external borders, can be seen as a starting point for these developments. After 2011, when the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ led to fears of mass migration to Europe, and especially since the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the EU accelerated the boosting and militarising of border security, enormously. Since then, stopping migration has been at the top of the EU agenda.

      An increasingly important part of the process of border militarization isn’t happening at the European borders, but far beyond them. The EU and its member states are incentivizing third party countries to help stop migrants long before they reach Europe. This externalising of borders has taken many forms, from expanding the goals of EUCAP missions in Mali and Niger to include the prevention of irregular migration, to funding and training the Libyan Coast Guard to return refugees back to torture and starvation in the infamous detention centers in Libya. It also includes the donation of border security equipment, for example from Germany to Tunisia, and funding for purchases, such as Turkey’s acquisition of coast guard vessels to strengthen its operational capacities.

      Next to the direct consequences of European border externalisation efforts, these policies cause and worsen problems in the third party countries concerned: diverting development funds and priorities, ruining migration-based economies, and strengthening authoritarian regimes such as those in Chad, Belarus, Eritrea, and Sudan by providing funding, training and equipment to their military and security forces. Precisely these state organs are most responsible for repression and abuses of human rights. All this feeds drivers of migration, including violence, repression, and unemployment. As such, it is almost a guarantee for more refugees in the future.

      EU border security agency Frontex has also extended its operations into non-EU-countries. Ongoing negotiations and conclusions of agreements with Balkan countries resulted in the first operation in Albania having started in May 2019. And this is only a small part of Frontex’ expanding role in recent years. In response to the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015, the European Commission launched a series of proposals that saw large increases in the powers of the agency, including giving member states binding advice to boost their border security, and giving Frontex the right to intervene in member states’ affairs (even without their consent) by decision of the Commission or Council.

      These proposals also included the creation of a 10,000 person strong standing corps of border guards and a budget to buy or lease its own equipment. Concretely, Frontex started with a budget of €6 million in 2005, which grew to €143 million in 2015. This was then quickly increased again from €239 million in 2016 to €460 million in 2020. The enormous expansion of EU border security and control has been accompanied by rapidly increasing budgets in general. In recent years, billions of euros have been spent on fortifying borders, setting up biometric databases, increasing surveillance capacities, and paying non-EU-countries to play their parts in this expansion process.

      Negotiations about the next seven-year-budget for the EU, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, are still ongoing. In the European Commission’s latest proposal, which is clearly positioned as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fund for strengthening member states’ border security, the Integrated Border Management Fund, has been allotted €12.5 billion. Its predecessors, the External Borders Fund (2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders (2014-2020), had much smaller budgets: €1.76 billion and €2.70 billion, respectively. For Frontex, €7.5 billion is reserved, with €2.2 billion earmarked for purchasing or leasing equipment such as helicopters, drones, and patrol vessels. These huge budget increases are exemplary of the priority the EU attaches to stopping migration.

      The narrative underlying these policies and budget growths is the perception of migration as a threat; a security problem. As researcher, Ainhoa Ruiz (Centre Delàs) writes, “the securitisation process also includes militarisation,” because “the prevailing paradigm for providing security is based on military principles: the use of force and coercion, more weapons equating to more security, and the achievement of security by eliminating threats.”

      This narrative hasn’t come out of the blue. It is pushed by right wing politicians and often followed by centrist and leftist parties afraid of losing voters. Importantly, it is also promoted by an extensive and successful industrial lobby. According to Martin Lemberg-Pedersen (Assistant Professor in Global Refugee Studies, Aalborg University), arms companies “establish themselves as experts on border security, and use this position to frame immigration to Europe as leading to evermore security threats in need of evermore advanced [security] products.” The narrative of migration as a security problem thus sets the stage for militaries, and the security companies behind the commercial arms lobby, to offer their goods and services as the solution. The range of militarization policies mentioned so far reflects the broad adoption of this narrative.

      The lobby organizations of large European military and security companies regularly interact with the European Commission and EU border agencies. They have meetings, organise roundtables, and see each other at military and security fairs and conferences. Industry representatives also take part in official advisory groups, are invited to present new arms and technologies, and write policy proposals. These proposals can sometimes be so influential that they are adopted as policy, almost unamended.

      This happened, for instance, when the the Commission decided to open up the Instrument contributing to Security and Peace, a fund meant for peace-building and conflict prevention. The fund’s terms were expanded to cover provision of third party countries with non-lethal security equipment, for example, for border security purposes. The new policy document for this turned out to be a step-by-step reproduction of an earlier proposal from lobby organisation, Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). Yet, perhaps the most far-reaching success of this kind is the expansion of Frontex, itself, into a European Border Guard. Years before it actually happened, the industry had already been pushing for this outcome.

      The same companies that are at the forefront of the border security and control lobby are, not surprisingly, also the big winners of EU and member states’ contracts in these areas. These include three of the largest European (and global) arms companies, namely, Airbus (Paneuropean), Leonardo (Italy) and Thales (France). These companies are active in many aspects of the border security and control market. Airbus’ and Leonardo’s main product in this field are helicopters, with EU funds paying for many purchases by EU and third countries. Thales provides radar, for example, for border patrol vessels, and is heavily involved in biometric and digital identification, especially after having acquired market leader, Gemalto, last year.

      These three companies are the main beneficiaries of the European anti-migration obsession. At the same time, these very three companies also contribute to new migration streams to Europe’s shores through their trade in arms. They are responsible for significant parts of Europe’s arms exports to countries at war, and they provide the arms used by parties in internal armed conflicts, by human rights violators, and by repressive regimes. These are the forces fueling the reasons for which people are forced to flee in the first place.

      Many other military and security companies also earn up to hundreds of millions of euros from large border security and control projects oriented around logistics and transport. Dutch shipbuilder Damen provided not only many southern European countries with border patrol vessels, but also controversially sold those to Libya and Turkey, among others. Its ships have also been used in Frontex operations, in Operation Sophia, and on the Channel between Calais and Dover.

      The Spanish company, European Security Fencing, provided razor wire for the fences around the Spanish enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, in Morocco, as well as the fence at Calais and the fences on the borders of Austria, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Frontex, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), and Greece leased border surveillance drones from Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). These are Israeli military companies that routinely promote their products as ‘combat-proven’ or ‘battlefield tested’ against Palestinians.

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe. These are just a few examples of the companies that benefit from the billions of euros that the EU and its member states spend on a broad range of purchases and projects in their bid to stop migration.

      The numbers of forcibly displaced people in the world grew to a staggering 79.5 million by the end of last year. Instead of helping to eliminate the root causes of migration, EU border and migration policies, as well as its arms exports to the rest of the world, are bound to lead to more refugees in the future. The consequences of these policies have already been devastating. As experts in the field of migration have repeatedly warned, the militarisation of borders primarily pushes migrants to take alternative migration routes that are often more dangerous and involve the risks of relying on criminal smuggling networks. The Mediterranean Sea has become a sad witness of this, turning into a graveyard for a growing percentage of refugees trying to cross it.

      The EU approach to border security doesn’t stand on its own. Many other countries, in particular Western ones and those with authoritarian leaders, follow the same narrative and policies. Governments all over the world, but particularly those in the US, Australia, and Europe, continue to spend billions of euros on border security and control equipment and services. And they plan to increase budgets even more in the coming years. For military and security companies, this is good news; the global border security market is expected to grow by over 7% annually for the next five years to a total of $65 billion in 2025. It looks like they will belong to the very few winners of increasingly restrictive policies targeting vulnerable people on the run.

      https://crisismag.net/2020/06/27/how-the-arms-industry-drives-fortress-europes-expansion
      #industrie_militaire #covid-19 #coronavirus #frontières_extérieures #Operation_Sophia #Eurosur #surveillance #drones #technologie #EUCAP #externalisation #Albanie #budget #Integrated_Border_Management_Fund #menace #lobby_industriel #Instrument_contributing_to_Security_and_Peace #conflits #paix #prévention_de_conflits #Aerospace_and_Defence_Industries_Association_of_Europe (#ASD) #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #hélicoptères #radar #biométrie #identification_digitale #Gemalto #commerce_d'armes #armement #Damen #European_Security_Fencing #barbelé #European_Maritime_Safety_Agency (#EMSA) #Elbit #Israel_Aerospace_Industries (#IAI) #Civipol #Safran #base_de_données

      –—

      Pour @etraces :

      Civipol, a French public-private company owned by the state, and several large arms producers (including Thales, Airbus, and Safran), run a string of EU-/member state-funded border security projects in third party countries. This includes setting up fingerprint databases of the whole populations of Mali and Senegal, which facilitates identification and deportation of their nationals from Europe

    • GUARDING THE FORTRESS. The role of Frontex in the militarisation and securitisation of migration flows in the European Union

      The report focuses on 19 Frontex operations run by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex) to explore how the agency is militarising borders and criminalising migrants, undermining fundamental rights to freedom of movement and the right to asylum.

      This report is set in a wider context in which more than 70.8 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced, according to the 2018 figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (UNHCR, 2019). Some of these have reached the borders of the European Union (EU), seeking protection and asylum, but instead have encountered policy responses that mostly aim to halt and intercept migration flows, against the background of securitisation policies in which the governments of EU Member States see migration as a threat. One of the responses to address migration flows is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex), established in 2004 as the EU body in charge of guarding what many have called ‘Fortress Europe’, and whose practices have helped to consolidate the criminalisation of migrants and the securitisation of their movements.

      The report focuses on analysing the tools deployed by Fortress Europe, in this case through Frontex, to prevent the freedom of movement and the right to asylum, from its creation in 2004 to the present day.

      The sources used to write this report were from the EU and Frontex, based on its budgets and annual reports. The analysis focused on the Frontex regulations, the language used and its meaning, as well as the budgetary trends, identifying the most significant items – namely, the joint operations and migrant-return operations.

      A table was compiled of all the joint operations mentioned in the annual reports since the Agency was established in 2005 up to 2018 (see annexes). The joint operations were found on government websites but were not mentioned in the Frontex annual reports. Of these operations, we analysed those of the longest duration, or that have showed recent signs of becoming long-term operations. The joint operations are analysed in terms of their objectives, area of action, the mandates of the personnel deployed, and their most noteworthy characteristics.

      Basically, the research sought to answer the following questions: What policies are being implemented in border areas and in what context? How does Frontex act in response to migration movements? A second objective was to analyse how Frontex securitises the movement of refugees and other migrants, with the aim of contributing to the analysis of the process of border militarisation and the security policies applied to non-EU migrants by the EU and its Member States.

      https://www.tni.org/en/guarding-the-fortress

      Pour télécharger le rapport_
      https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/informe40_eng_ok.pdf

      #rapport #TNI #Transnational_institute

    • #Frontex aircraft : Below the radar against international law

      For three years, Frontex has been chartering small aircraft for the surveillance of the EU’s external borders. First Italy was thus supported, then Croatia followed. Frontex keeps the planes details secret, and the companies also switch off the transponders for position display during operations.

      The European Commission does not want to make public which private surveillance planes Frontex uses in the Mediterranean. In the non-public answer to a parliamentary question, the EU border agency writes that the information on the aircraft is „commercially confidential“ as it contains „personal data and sensitive operational information“.

      Frontex offers EU member states the option of monitoring their external borders using aircraft. For this „Frontex Aerial Surveillance Service“ (FASS), Frontex charters twin-engined airplanes from European companies. Italy first made use of the service in 2017, followed a year later by Croatia. In 2018, Frontex carried out at least 1,800 flight hours under the FASS, no figures are yet available for 2019.

      Air service to be supplemented with #drones

      The FASS flights are carried out under the umbrella of „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, which includes satellite surveillance as well as drones. Before the end of this year, the border agency plans to station large drones in the Mediterranean for up to four years. The situation pictures of the European Union’s „pre-frontier area“ are fed into the surveillance system EUROSUR, whose headquarter is located at Frontex in Warsaw. The national EUROSUR contact points, for example in Spain, Portugal and Italy, also receive this information.

      In addition to private charter planes, Frontex also uses aircraft and helicopters provided by EU Member States, in the central Mediterranean via the „Themis“ mission. The EU Commission also keeps the call signs of the state aircraft operating there secret. They would be considered „sensitive operational information“ and could not be disclosed to MEPs.

      Previously, the FOIA platform „Frag den Staat“ („Ask the State“) had also tried to find out details about the sea and air capacities of the member states in „Themis“. Frontex refused to provide any information on this matter. „Frag den Staat“ lost a case against Frontex before the European Court of Justice and is now to pay 23,700 Euros to the agency for legal fees.

      Real-time tracking with FlightAware

      The confidentiality of Frontex comes as a surprise, because companies that monitor the Mediterranean for the agency are known through a tender. Frontex has signed framework contracts with the Spanish arms group Indra as well as the charter companies CAE Aviation (Canada), Diamond-Executive Aviation (Great Britain) and EASP Air (Netherlands). Frontex is spending up to 14.5 million euros each on the contracts.

      Finally, online service providers such as FlightAware can also be used to draw conclusions about which private and state airplanes are flying for Frontex in the Mediterranean. For real-time positioning, the providers use data from ADS-B transponders, which all larger aircraft must have installed. A worldwide community of non-commercial trackers receives this geodata and feeds it into the Internet. In this way, for example, Italian journalist Sergio Scandura documents practically all movements of Frontex aerial assets in the central Mediterranean.

      Among the aircraft tracked this way are the twin-engined „DA-42“, „DA-62“ and „Beech 350“ of Diamond-Executive Aviation, which patrol the Mediterranean Sea on behalf of Frontex as „Osprey1“, „Osprey3“ and „Tasty“, in former times also „Osprey2“ and „Eagle1“. They are all operated by Diamond-Executive Aviation and take off and land at airports in Malta and Sicily.

      „Push-backs“ become „pull-backs“

      In accordance with the Geneva Convention on Refugees, the EU Border Agency may not return people to states where they are at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Libya is not a safe haven; this assessment has been reiterated on several occasions by the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, among others.

      Because these „push-backs“ are prohibited, Frontex has since 2017 been helping with so-called „pull-backs“ by bringing refugees back to Libya by the Libyan coast guard rather than by EU units. With the „Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance“, Frontex is de facto conducting air reconnaissance for Libya. By November 2019, the EU border agency had notified Libyan authorities about refugee boats on the high seas in at least 42 cases.

      Many international law experts consider this practice illegal. Since Libya would not be able to track down the refugees without the help of Frontex, the agency must take responsibility for the refoulements. The lawyers Omer Shatz and Juan Branco therefore want to sue responsibles of the European Union before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

      Frontex watches refugees drown

      This is probably the reason why Frontex disguises the exact location of its air surveillance. Private maritime rescue organisations have repeatedly pointed out that Frontex aircrafts occasionally switch off their transponders so that they cannot be tracked via ADS-B. In the answer now available, this is confirmed by the EU Commission. According to this, the visibility of the aircraft would disclose „sensitive operational information“ and, in combination with other kinds of information, „undermine“ the operational objectives.

      The German Ministry of the Interior had already made similar comments on the Federal Police’s assets in Frontex missions, according to which „general tracking“ of their routes in real time would „endanger the success of the mission“.

      However, Frontex claims it did not issue instructions to online service providers to block the real-time position display of its planes, as journalist Scandura described. Nonetheless, the existing concealment of the operations only allows the conclusion that Frontex does not want to be controlled when the deployed aircraft watch refugees drown and Italy and Malta, as neighbouring EU member states, do not provide any assistance.

      https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/11/frontex-aircraft-blind-flight-against-international-law
      #avions #Italie #Croatie #confidentialité #transparence #Frontex_Aerial_Surveillance_Service (#FASS) #Multipurpose_Aerial_Surveillance #satellites #Méditerranée #Thermis #information_sensible #Indra #CAE_Aviation #Diamond-Executive_Aviation #EASP_Air #FlightAware #ADS-B #DA-42 #DA-62 #Beech_350 #Osprey1 #Osprey3 #Tasty #Osprey2 #Eagle1 #Malte #Sicile #pull-back #push-back #refoulement #Sergio_Scandura

    • Walls Must Fall: Ending the deadly politics of border militarisation - webinar recording
      This webinar explored the trajectory and globalization of border militarization and anti-migrant racism across the world, the history, ideologies and actors that have shaped it, the pillars and policies that underpin the border industrial complex, the resistance of migrants, refugees and activists, and the shifting dynamics within this pandemic.

      - #Harsha_Walia, author of Undoing Border Imperialism (2013)
      - #Jille_Belisario, Transnational Migrant Platform-Europe (TMP-E)
      - #Todd_Miller, author of Empire of Borders (2020), Storming the Wall (2019) and TNI’s report More than A Wall (2019)
      - #Kavita_Krishnan, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA).
      https://www.tni.org/en/article/walls-must-fall
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8B-cJ2bTi8&feature=emb_logo

      #conférence #webinar

    • Le business meurtrier des frontières

      Le 21ème siècle sera-t-il celui des barrières ? Probable, au rythme où les frontières nationales se renforcent. Dans un livre riche et documenté, publié aux éditions Syllepse, le géographe Stéphane Rosière dresse un indispensable état des lieux.

      Une nuit du mois de juin, dans un centre de rétention de l’île de Rhodes, la police grecque vient chercher une vingtaine de migrant·e·s, dont deux bébés. Après un trajet en bus, elle abandonne le groupe dans un canot de sauvetage sans moteur, au milieu des eaux territoriales turques. En août, le New York Times publie une enquête révélant que cette pratique, avec la combinaison de l’arrivée aux affaires du premier ministre conservateur Kyriakos Mitsotakis et de la diffusion de la pandémie de Covid-19, est devenue courante depuis mars.

      Illégales au regard du droit international, ces expulsions illustrent surtout le durcissement constant de la politique migratoire de l’Europe depuis 20 ans. Elles témoignent aussi d’un processus mondial de « pixellisation » des frontières : celles-ci ne se réduisent pas à des lignes mais à un ensemble de points plus ou moins en amont ou en aval (ports, aéroports, eaux territoriales…), où opèrent les polices frontalières.
      La fin de la fin des frontières

      Plus largement, le récent ouvrage de Stéphane Rosière, Frontières de fer, le cloisonnement du monde, permet de prendre la mesure d’un processus en cours de « rebordering » à travers le monde. À la fois synthèse des recherches récentes sur les frontières et résultats des travaux de l’auteur sur la résurgence de barrières frontalières, le livre est une lecture incontournable sur l’évolution contemporaine des frontières nationales.

      D’autant qu’il n’y a pas si longtemps, la mondialisation semblait promettre l’affaissement des frontières, dans la foulée de la disparition de l’Union soviétique et, corollairement, de la généralisation de l’économie de marché. La Guerre froide terminée annonçait la « fin de l’histoire » et, avec elle, la disparition des limites territoriales héritées de l’époque moderne. Au point de ringardiser, rappelle Stéphane Rosière, les études sur les frontières au sein de la géographie des années 1990, parallèlement au succès d’une valorisation tous azimuts de la mobilité dans le discours politique dominant comme dans les sciences sociales.

      Trente ans après, le monde se réveille avec 25 000 kilomètres de barrières frontalières – record pour l’Inde, avec plus de 3 000 kilomètres de clôtures pour prévenir l’immigration depuis le Bangladesh. Barbelés, murs de briques, caméras, détecteurs de mouvements, grilles électrifiées, les dispositifs de contrôle frontalier fleurissent en continu sur les cinq continents.
      L’âge des « murs anti-pauvres »

      La contradiction n’est qu’apparente. Les barrières du 21e siècle ne ferment pas les frontières mais les cloisonnent – d’où le titre du livre. C’est-à-dire que l’objectif n’est pas de supprimer les flux mondialisés – de personnes et encore moins de marchandises ni de capitaux – mais de les contrôler. Les « teichopolitiques », terme qui recouvre, pour Stéphane Rosière, les politiques de cloisonnement de l’espace, matérialisent un « ordre mondial asymétrique et coercitif », dans lequel on valorise la mobilité des plus riches tout en assignant les populations pauvres à résidence.

      De fait, on observe que les barrières frontalières redoublent des discontinuités économiques majeures. Derrière l’argument de la sécurité, elles visent à contenir les mouvements migratoires des régions les plus pauvres vers des pays mieux lotis économiquement : du Mexique vers les États-Unis, bien sûr, ou de l’Afrique vers l’Europe, mais aussi de l’Irak vers l’Arabie Saoudite ou du Pakistan vers l’Iran.

      Les dispositifs de contrôle frontalier sont des outils parmi d’autres d’une « implacable hiérarchisation » des individus en fonction de leur nationalité. Comme l’a montré le géographe Matthew Sparke à propos de la politique migratoire nord-américaine, la population mondiale se trouve divisée entre une classe hypermobile de citoyen·ne·s « business-class » et une masse entravée de citoyen·ne·s « low-cost ». C’est le sens du « passport index » publié chaque année par le cabinet Henley : alors qu’un passeport japonais ou allemand donne accès à plus de 150 pays, ce chiffre descend en-dessous de 30 avec un passeport afghan ou syrien.
      Le business des barrières

      Si les frontières revêtent une dimension économique, c’est aussi parce qu’elles sont un marché juteux. À l’heure où les pays européens ferment des lits d’hôpital faute de moyens, on retiendra ce chiffre ahurissant : entre 2005 et 2016, le budget de Frontex, l’agence en charge du contrôle des frontières de l’Union européenne, est passé de 6,3 à 238,7 millions d’euros. À quoi s’ajoutent les budgets colossaux débloqués pour construire et entretenir les barrières – budgets entourés d’opacité et sur lesquels, témoigne l’auteur, il est particulièrement difficile d’enquêter, faute d’obtenir… des fonds publics.

      L’argent public alimente ainsi une « teichoéconomie » dont les principaux bénéficiaires sont des entreprises du BTP et de la sécurité européennes, nord-américaines, israéliennes et, de plus en plus, indiennes ou saoudiennes. Ce complexe sécuritaro-industriel, identifié par Julien Saada, commercialise des dispositifs de surveillance toujours plus sophistiqués et prospère au rythme de l’inflation de barrières entre pays, mais aussi entre quartiers urbains.

      Un business d’autant plus florissant qu’il s’auto-entretient, dès lors que les mêmes entreprises vendent des armes. On sait que les ventes d’armes, alimentant les guerres, stimulent les migrations : un « cercle vertueux » s’enclenche pour les entreprises du secteur, appelées à la rescousse pour contenir des mouvements de population qu’elles participent à encourager.
      « Mourir aux frontières »

      Bénéfices juteux, profits politiques, les barrières font des heureux. Elles tuent aussi et l’ouvrage de Stéphane Rosière se termine sur un décompte macabre. C’est, dit-il, une « guerre migratoire » qui est en cours. Guerre asymétrique, elle oppose la police armée des puissances économiques à des groupes le plus souvent désarmés, venant de périphéries dominées économiquement et dont on entend contrôler la mobilité. Au nom de la souveraineté des États, cette guerre fait plusieurs milliers de victimes par an et la moindre des choses est de « prendre la pleine mesure de la létalité contemporaine aux frontières ».

      Sur le blog :

      – Une synthèse sur les murs frontaliers : http://geographiesenmouvement.blogs.liberation.fr/2019/01/28/lamour-des-murs

      – Le compte rendu d’un autre livre incontournable sur les frontières : http://geographiesenmouvement.blogs.liberation.fr/2019/08/03/frontieres-en-mouvement

      – Une synthèse sur les barricades à l’échelle intraurbaine : http://geographiesenmouvement.blogs.liberation.fr/2020/10/21/gated-communities-le-paradis-entre-quatre-murs

      http://geographiesenmouvement.blogs.liberation.fr/2020/11/05/le-business-meurtrier-des-frontieres

    • How Private Security Firms Profit Off the Refugee Crisis

      The UK has pumped money to corporations turning #Calais into a bleak fortress.

      Tall white fences lined with barbed wire – welcome to Calais. The city in northern France is an obligatory stop for anyone trying to reach the UK across the channel. But some travellers are more welcome than others, and in recent decades, a slew of private security companies have profited millions of pounds off a very expensive – an unattractive – operation to keep migrants from crossing.

      Every year, thousands of passengers and lorries take the ferry at the Port of Calais-Fréthun, a trading route heavily relied upon by the UK for imports. But the entrance to the port looks more like a maximum-security prison than your typical EU border. Even before Brexit, the UK was never part of the Schengen area, which allows EU residents to move freely across 26 countries. For decades, Britain has strictly controlled its southern border in an attempt to stop migrants and asylum seekers from entering.

      As early as 2000, the Port of Calais was surrounded by a 2.8 metre-high fence to prevent people from jumping into lorries waiting at the ferry departure point. In 1999, the Red Cross set up a refugee camp in the nearby town of Sangatte which quickly became overcrowded. The UK pushed for it to be closed in 2002 and then negotiated a treaty with France to regulate migration between the two countries.

      The 2003 Le Toquet Treaty allowed the UK to check travellers on French soil before their arrival, and France to do the same on UK soil. Although the deal looks fair on paper, in practice it unduly burdens French authorities, as there are more unauthorised migrants trying to reach the UK from France than vice versa.

      The treaty effectively moved the UK border onto French territory, but people still need to cross the channel to request asylum. That’s why thousands of refugees from conflict zones like Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia have found themselves stranded in Calais, waiting for a chance to cross illegally – often in search of family members who’ve already made it to the UK. Many end up paying people smugglers to hide them in lorries or help them cross by boat.

      These underlying issues came to a head during the Syrian crisis, when refugees began camping out near Calais in 2014. The so-called Calais Jungle became infamous for its squalid conditions, and at its peak, hosted more than 7,000 people. They were all relocated to other centres in France before the camp was bulldozed in 2016. That same year, the UK also decided to build a €2.7 million border wall in Calais to block access to the port from the camp, but the project wasn’t completed until after the camp was cleared, attracting a fair deal of criticism. Between 2015 and 2018, the UK spent over €110 million on border security in France, only to top it up with over €56 million more in 2018.

      But much of this public money actually flows into the accounts of private corporations, hired to build and maintain the high-tech fences and conduct security checks. According to a 2020 report by the NGO Care4Calais, there are more than 40 private security companies working in the city. One of the biggest, Eamus Cork Solutions (ECS), was founded by a former Calais police officer in 2004 and is reported to have benefited at least €30 million from various contracts as of 2016.

      Stéphane Rosière, a geography professor at the University of Reims, wrote his book Iron Borders (only available in French) about the many border walls erected around the world. Rosière calls this the “security-industrial” complex – private firms that have largely replaced the traditional military-industrial sector in Europe since WW2.

      “These companies are getting rich by making security systems adaptable to all types of customers – individuals, companies or states,” he said. According to Rosière, three-quarters of the world’s border security barriers were built in the 21st century.

      Brigitte, a pensioner living close to the former site of the Calais Jungle, has seen her town change drastically over the past two decades. “Everything is cordoned off with wire mesh," she said. "I have the before and after photos, and it’s not a pretty sight. It’s just wire, wire, wire.” For the past 15 years, Brigitte has been opening her garage door for asylum seekers to stop by for a cup of tea and charge their phones and laptops, earning her the nickname "Mama Charge”.

      “For a while, the purpose of these fences and barriers was to stop people from crossing,” said François Guennoc, president of L’Auberge des Migrants, an NGO helping displaced migrants in Calais.

      Migrants have still been desperate enough to try their luck. “They risked a lot to get into the port area, and many of them came back bruised and battered,” Guennoc said. Today, walls and fences are mainly being built to deter people from settling in new camps near Calais after being evicted.

      In the city centre, all public squares have been fenced off. The city’s bridges have been fitted with blue lights and even with randomly-placed bike racks, so people won’t sleep under them.

      “They’ve also been cutting down trees for some time now,” said Brigitte, pointing to a patch near her home that was once woods. Guennoc said the authorities are now placing large rocks in areas where NGOs distribute meals and warm clothes, to prevent displaced people from receiving the donations. “The objective of the measures now is also to make the NGOs’ work more difficult,” he said.

      According to the NGO Refugee Rights Europe, about 1,500 men, women and minors were living in makeshift camps in and around Calais as of April 2020. In July 2020, French police raided a camp of over 500 people, destroying residents’ tents and belongings, in the largest operation since the Calais Jungle was cleared. An investigation by Slate found that smaller camps are cleared almost every day by the French police, even in the middle of winter. NGOs keep providing new tents and basic necessities to displaced residents, but they are frustrated by the waste of resources. The organisations are also concerned about COVID-19 outbreaks in the camps.

      As VICE World News has previously reported, the crackdown is only pushing people to take more desperate measures to get into the UK. Boat crossings reached record-highs in 2020, and four people have died since August 2020 while trying to cross, by land and sea. “When you create an obstacle, people find a way to get around it,” Guennoc said. “If they build a wall all the way along the coast to prevent boat departures, people will go to Normandy – and that has already started.” Crossing the open sea puts migrants at even greater risk.

      Rosière agrees security measures are only further endangering migrants.“All locks eventually open, no matter how complex they may be. It’s just a matter of time.”

      He believes the only parties who stand to profit from the status quo are criminal organisations and private security firms: “At the end of the day, this a messed-up use of public money.”

      https://www.vice.com/en/article/wx8yax/how-private-security-firms-profit-off-the-refugee-crisis

      En français:
      À Calais, la ville s’emmure
      https://www.vice.com/fr/article/wx8yax/a-calais-la-ville-semmure

    • Financing Border Wars. The border industry, its financiers and human rights

      This report seeks to explore and highlight the extent of today’s global border security industry, by focusing on the most important geographical markets—Australia, Europe, USA—listing the human rights violations and risks involved in each sector of the industry, profiling important corporate players and putting a spotlight on the key investors in each company.

      Executive summary

      Migration will be one of the defining human rights issues of the 21st century. The growing pressures to migrate combined with the increasingly militarised state security response will only exacerbate an already desperate situation for refugees and migrants. Refugees already live in a world where human rights are systematically denied. So as the climate crisis deepens and intersects with other economic and political crises, forcing more people from their homes, and as states retreat to ever more authoritarian security-based responses, the situation for upholding and supporting migrants’ rights looks ever bleaker.

      States, most of all those in the richest countries, bear the ultimate responsibility to uphold the human rights of refugees and migrants recognised under International Human Rights Law. Yet corporations are also deeply implicated. It is their finance, their products, their services, their infrastructure that underpins the structures of state migration and border control. In some cases, they are directly involved in human rights violations themselves; in other cases they are indirectly involved as they facilitate the system that systematically denies refugees and migrants their rights. Most of all, through their lobbying, involvement in government ‘expert’ groups, revolving doors with state agencies, it becomes clear that corporations are not just accidental beneficiaries of the militarisation of borders. Rather they actively shape the policies from which they profit and therefore share responsibility for the human rights violations that result.

      This state-corporate fusion is best described as a Border Industrial Complex, drawing on former US President Eisenhower’s warning of the dangers of a Military-Industrial Complex. Indeed it is noticeable that many of the leading border industries today are also military companies, seeking to diversify their security products to a rapidly expanding new market.

      This report seeks to explore and highlight the extent of today’s global border security industry, by focusing on the most important geographical markets—Australia, Europe, USA—listing the human rights violations and risks involved in each sector of the industry, profiling important corporate players and putting a spotlight on the key investors in each company.
      A booming industry

      The border industry is experiencing spectacular growth, seemingly immune to austerity or economic downturns. Market research agencies predict annual growth of the border security market of between 7.2% and 8.6%, reaching a total of $65–68 billion by 2025. The largest expansion is in the global Biometrics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) markets. Markets and Markets forecasts the biometric systems market to double from $33 billion in 2019 to $65.3 billion by 2024—of which biometrics for migration purposes will be a significant sector. It says that the AI market will equal US$190.61 billion by 2025.

      The report investigates five key sectors of the expanding industry: border security (including monitoring, surveillance, walls and fences), biometrics and smart borders, migrant detention, deportation, and audit and consultancy services. From these sectors, it profiles 23 corporations as significant actors: Accenture, Airbus, Booz Allen Hamilton, Classic Air Charter, Cobham, CoreCivic, Deloitte, Elbit, Eurasylum, G4S, GEO Group, IBM, IDEMIA, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Mitie, Palantir, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Serco, Sopra Steria, Thales, Thomson Reuters, Unisys.

      – The border security and control field, the technological infrastructure of security and surveillance at the border, is led by US, Australian, European and Israeli firms including Airbus, Elbit, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Leonardo and Thales— all of which are among the world’s major arms sellers. They benefit not only from border contracts within the EU, US, and Australia but also increasingly from border externalisation programmes funded by these same countries. Jean Pierre Talamoni, head of sales and marketing at Airbus Defence and Space (ADS), said in 2016 that he estimates that two thirds of new military market opportunities over the next 10 years will be in Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Companies are also trying to muscle in on providing the personnel to staff these walls, including border guards.

      - The Smart Borders sector encompasses the use of a broad range of (newer) technologies, including biometrics (such as fingerprints and iris-scans), AI and phone and social media tracking. The goal is to speed up processes for national citizens and other acceptable travellers and stop or deport unwanted migrants through the use of more sophisticated IT and biometric systems. Key corporations include large IT companies, such as IBM and Unisys, and multinational services company Accenture for whom migration is part of their extensive portfolio, as well as small firms, such as IDEMIA and Palantir Technologies, for whom migration-related work is central. The French public–private company Civipol, co-owned by the state and several large French arms companies, is another key player, selected to set up fingerprint databases of the whole population of Mali and Senegal.

      – Deportation. With the exception of the UK and the US, it is uncommon to privatise deportation. The UK has hired British company Mitie for its whole deportation process, while Classic Air Charter dominates in the US. Almost all major commercial airlines, however, are also involved in deportations. Newsweek reported, for example, that in the US, 93% of the 1,386 ICE deportation flights to Latin American countries on commercial airlines in 2019 were facilitated by United Airlines (677), American Airlines (345) and Delta Airlines (266).

      - Detention. The Global Detention Project lists over 1,350 migrant detention centres worldwide, of which over 400 are located in Europe, almost 200 in the US and nine in Australia. In many EU countries, the state manages detention centres, while in other countries (e.g. Australia, UK, USA) there are completely privatised prisons. Many other countries have a mix of public and private involvement, such as state facilities with private guards. Australia outsourced refugee detention to camps outside its territories. Australian service companies Broadspectrum and Canstruct International managed the detention centres, while the private security companies G4S, Paladin Solutions and Wilson Security were contracted for security services, including providing guards. Migrant detention in third countries is also an increasingly important part of EU migration policy, with the EU funding construction of migrant detention centres in ten non-EU countries.

      - Advisory and audit services are a more hidden part of public policies and practices, but can be influential in shaping new policies. A striking example is Civipol, which in 2003 wrote a study on maritime borders for the European Commission, which adopted its key policy recommendations in October 2003 and in later policy documents despite its derogatory language against refugees. Civipol’s study also laid foundations for later measures on border externalisation, including elements of the migration deal with Turkey and the EU’s Operation Sophia. Since 2003 Civipol has received funding for a large number of migration-related projects, especially in African countries. Between 2015 and 2017, it was the fourth most-funded organisation under the EU Trust Fund. Other prominent corporations in this sector include Eurasylum, as well as major international consultancy firms, particularly Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, for which migration-related work is part of their expansive portfolio.

      Financing the industry

      The markets for military and border control procurement are characterized by massively capital intensive investments and contracts, which would not be possible without the involvement of financial actors. Using data from marketscreener.com, the report shows that the world’s largest investment companies are also among the major shareholders in the border industry.

      – The Vanguard Group owns shares in 15 of the 17 companies, including over 15% of the shares of CoreCivic and GEO Group that manage private prisons and detention facilities.

      - Other important investors are Blackrock, which is a major shareholder in 11 companies, Capital Research and Management (part of the Capital Group), with shares in arms giants Airbus and Lockheed Martin, and State Street Global Advisors (SsgA), which owns over 15% of Lockheed Martin shares and is also a major shareholder in six other companies.

      - Although these giant asset management firms dominate, two of the profiled companies, Cobham and IDEMIA, are currently owned by the private equity firm Advent International. Advent specialises in buyouts and restructuring, and it seems likely that it will attempt to split up Cobham in the hope of making a profit by selling on the component companies to other owners.

      - In addition, three large European arms companies, Airbus, Thales and Leonardo, active in the border security market, are partly owned by the governments of the countries where they are headquartered.

      In all cases, therefore, the financing depends on our money. In the case of state ownership, through our taxes, and in terms of asset management funds, through the way individual savings, pension funds, insurance companies and university endowments are directly invested in these companies via the giant Asset Management Funds. This financing means that the border industry survives on at least the tacit approved use of the public’s funds which makes it vulnerable to social pressure as the human rights costs of the industry become ever more clear.
      Human rights and the border industry

      Universal human rights apply to every single human being, including refugees and migrants. While the International Bill of Human Rights provides the foundation, including defining universal rights that are important in the context of migration, such as the right to life, liberty and security of person, the right to freedom from torture or cruel or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, and freedom from discrimination, there are other instruments such as the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention or Geneva Convention) of 1951 that are also relevant. There are also regional agreements, including the Organisation of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) that play a role relevant to the countries that have ratified them.

      Yet despite these important and legally binding human rights agreements, the human rights situation for refugees and migrants has become ever more desperate. States frequently deny their rights under international law, such as the right to seek asylum or non-refoulement principles, or more general rights such as the freedom from torture, cruel or inhumane treatment. There is a gap with regard to effective legal means or grievance mechanisms to counter this or to legally enforce or hold to account states that fail to implement instruments such as the UDHR and the Refugee Convention of 1951. A Permanent Peoples Tribunal in 2019 even concluded that ‘taken together, the immigration and asylum policies and practices of the EU and its Member States constitute a total denial of the fundamental rights of people and migrants, and are veritable crimes against humanity’. A similar conclusion can be made of the US and Australian border and immigration regime.

      The increased militarisation of border security worldwide and state-sanctioned hostility toward migrants has had a deeply detrimental impact on the human rights of refugees and migrants.

      – Increased border security has led to direct violence against refugees, pushbacks with the risk of returning people to unsafe countries and inhumane circumstances (contravening the principle of non-refoulement), and a disturbing rise in avoidable deaths, as countries close off certain migration routes, forcing migrants to look for other, often more dangerous, alternatives and pushing them into the arms of criminal smuggling networks.

      – The increased use of autonomous systems of border security such as drones threaten new dangers related to human rights. There is already evidence that they push migrants to take more dangerous routes, but there is also concern that there is a gradual trend towards weaponized systems that will further threaten migrants’ lives.

      – The rise in deportations has threatened fundamental human rights including the right to family unity, the right to seek asylum, the right to humane treatment in detention, the right to due process, and the rights of children’. There have been many instances of violence in the course of deportations, sometimes resulting in death or permanent harm, against desperate people who try to do everything to prevent being deported. Moreover, deportations often return refugees to unsafe countries, where they face violence, persecution, discrimination and poverty.

      - The widespread detention of migrants also fundamentally undermines their human rights . There have been many reports of violence and neglect by guards and prison authorities, limited access to adequate legal and medical support, a lack of decent food, overcrowding and poor and unhealthy conditions. Privatisation of detention exacerbates these problems, because companies benefit from locking up a growing number of migrants and minimising costs.

      – The building of major migration databases such as EU’s Eurodac and SIS II, VIS gives rise to a range of human rights concerns, including issues of privacy, civil liberties, bias leading to discrimination—worsened by AI processes -, and misuse of collected information. Migrants are already subject to unprecedented levels of surveillance, and are often now treated as guinea pigs where even more intrusive technologies such as facial recognition and social media tracking are tried out without migrants consent.

      The trend towards externalisation of migration policies raises new concerns as it seeks to put the human costs of border militarisation beyond the border and out of public sight. This has led to the EU, US and Australia all cooperating with authoritarian regimes to try and prevent migrants from even getting close to their borders. Moreover as countries donate money, equipment or training to security forces in authoritarian regimes, they end up expanding and strengthening their capacities which leads to a rise in human rights violations more broadly. Nowhere are the human rights consequences of border externalisation policies clearer than in the case of Libya, where the EU and individual member states (in particular Italy and Malta) funding, training and cooperation with security forces and militias have led to violence at the borders, murder, disappearances, rape, enslavement and abuse of migrants in the country and torture in detention centres.

      The 23 corporations profiled in this report have all been involved in or connected to policies and practices that have come under fire because of violations of the human rights of refugees and migrants. As mentioned earlier, sometimes the companies are directly responsible for human rights violations or concerns. In other cases, they are indirectly responsible through their contribution to a border infrastructure that denies human rights and through lobbying to influence policy-making to prioritize militarized responses to migration. 11 of the companies profiled publicly proclaim their commitment to human rights as signatories to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), but as these are weak voluntary codes this has not led to noticeable changes in their business operations related to migration.

      The most prominent examples of direct human rights abuses come from the corporations involved in detention and deportation. Classic Air Charter, Cobham, CoreCivic, Eurasylum, G4S, GEO Group, Mitie and Serco all have faced allegations of violence and abuse by their staff towards migrants. G4S has been one of the companies most often in the spotlight. In 2017, not only were assaults by its staff on migrants at the Brook House immigration removal centre in the UK broadcast by the BBC, but it was also hit with a class suit in Australia by almost 2,000 people who are or were detained at the externalised detention centre on Manus Island, because of physical and psychological injuries as a result of harsh treatment and dangerous conditions. The company eventually settled the case for A$70 million (about $53 million) in the largest-ever human rights class-action settlement. G4S has also faced allegations related to its involvement in deportations.

      The other companies listed all play a pivotal role in the border infrastructure that denies refugees’ human rights. Airbus P-3 Orion surveillance planes of the Australian Air Force, for example, play a part in the highly controversial maritime wall that prevents migrants arriving by boat and leads to their detention in terrible conditions offshore. Lockheed Martin is a leading supplier of border security on the US-Mexico border. Leonardo is one of the main suppliers of drones for Europe’s borders. Thales produces the radar and sensor systems, critical to patrolling the Mediterrean. Elbit Systems provides surveillance technologies to both the EU and US, marketed on their success as technologies used in the separation wall in the Palestinian occupied territories. Accenture, IDEMIA and Sopra Steria manage many border biometric projects. Deloitte has been one of the key consulting companies to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency since 2003, while PriceWaterhouseCoopers provides similar consultancy services to Frontex and the Australian border forces. IBM, Palantir and UNISYS provide the IT infrastructure that underpins the border and immigration apparatus.
      Time to divest

      The report concludes by calling for campaigns to divest from the border industry. There is a long history of campaigns and movements that call for divestment from industries that support human rights violations—from the campaigns to divest from Apartheid South Africa to more recent campaigns to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The border industry has become an equally morally toxic asset for any financial institution, given the litany of human rights abuses tied to it and the likelihood they will intensify in years to come.

      There are already examples of existing campaigns targeting particular border industries that have borne fruit. A spotlight on US migrant detention, as part of former President Trump’s anti- immigration policies, contributed to six large US banks (Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Fifth Third Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust, and Wells Fargo) publicly announcing that they would not provide new financing to the private prison industry. The two largest public US pension funds, CalSTRS and CalPERS, also decided to divest from the same two companies. Geo Group acknowledged that these acts of ‘public resistance’ hit the company financially, criticising the banks as ‘clearly bow[ing] down to a small group of activists protesting and conducting targeted social media campaigns’.

      Every company involved or accused of human rights violations either denies them or says that they are atypical exceptions to corporate behavior. This report shows however that a militarised border regime built on exclusion will always be a violent apparatus that perpetuates human rights violations. It is a regime that every day locks up refugees in intolerable conditions, separates families causing untold trauma and heartbreak, and causes a devastating death toll as refugees are forced to take unimaginable dangerous journeys because the alternatives are worse. However well-intentioned, any industry that provides services and products for this border regime will bear responsibility for its human consequences and its human rights violations, and over time will suffer their own serious reputational costs for their involvement in this immoral industry. On the other hand, a widespread exodus of the leading corporations on which the border regime depends could force states to change course, and to embrace a politics that protects and upholds the rights of refugees and migrants. Worldwide, social movements and the public are starting to wake up to the human costs of border militarisation and demanding a fundamental change. It is time now for the border industry and their financiers to make a choice.

      https://www.tni.org/en/financingborderwars

      #TNI #rapport
      #industrie_frontalière #militarisation_des_frontières #biométrie #Intelligence_artificielle #AI #IA

      #Accenture #Airbus #Booz_Allen_Hamilton #Classic_Air_Charter #Cobham #CoreCivic #Deloitte #Elbit #Eurasylum #G4S #GEO_Group #IBM #IDEMIA #Leonardo #Lockheed_Martin #Mitie #Palantir #PricewaterhouseCoopers #Serco #Sopra_Steria #Thales #Thomson_Reuters #Unisys
      #contrôles_frontaliers #surveillance #technologie #Jean-Pierre_Talamoni #Airbus_Defence_and_Space (#ADS) #smart_borders #frontières_intelligentes #iris #empreintes_digitales #réseaux_sociaux #IT #Civipol #Mali #Sénégal #renvois #expulsions #déportations #Mitie #Classic_Air_Charter #compagnies_aériennes #United_Airlines #ICE #American_Airlines #Delta_Airlines #rétention #détention_administrative #privatisation #Broadspectrum #Canstruct_International #Paladin_Solutions #Wilson_Security #Operation_Sophia #EU_Trust_Fund #Trust_Fund #externalisation #Eurasylum #Deloitte #PricewaterhouseCoopers #Vanguard_Group #CoreCivic #Blackrock #investisseurs #investissement #Capital_Research_and_Management #Capital_Group #Lockheed_Martin #State_Street_Global_Advisors (#SsgA) #Cobham #IDEMIA #Advent_International #droits_humains #VIS #SIS_II #P-3_Orion #Accenture #Sopra_Steria #Frontex #Australie

    • Outsourcing oppression. How Europe externalises migrant detention beyond its shores

      This report seeks to address the gap and join the dots between Europe’s outsourcing of migrant detention to third countries and the notorious conditions within the migrant detention centres. In a nutshell, Europe calls the shots on migrant detention beyond its shores but is rarely held to account for the deeply oppressive consequences, including arbitrary detention, torture, forced disappearance, violence, sexual violence, and death.

      Key findings

      – The European Union (EU), and its member states, externalise detention to third countries as part of a strategy to keep migrants out at all costs. This leads to migrants being detained and subjected to gross human rights violations in transit countries in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, West Asia and Africa.

      – Candidate countries wishing to join the EU are obligated to detain migrants and stop them from crossing into the EU as a prerequisite for accession to the Union. Funding is made available through pre-accession agreements specifically for the purpose of detaining migrants.

      – Beyond EU candidate countries, this report identifies 22 countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and West Asia where the EU and its member states fund the construction of detention centres, detention related activities such as trainings, or advocate for detention in other ways such as through aggressively pushing for detention legislation or agreeing to relax visa requirements for nationals of these countries in exchange for increased migrant detention.

      - The main goal of detention externalisation is to pre-empt migrants from reaching the external borders of the EU by turning third countries into border outposts. In many cases this involves the EU and its member states propping up and maintaining authoritarian regimes.

      – Europe is in effect following the ‘Australian model’ that has been highly criticised by UN experts and human rights organisations for the torturous conditions inside detention centres. Nevertheless, Europe continues to advance a system that mirrors Australia’s outsourced model, focusing not on guaranteeing the rights of migrants, but instead on deterring and pushing back would-be asylum seekers at all costs.

      - Human rights are systematically violated in detention centres directly and indirectly funded by the EU and its member states, including cases of torture, arbitrary and prolonged detention, sexual violence, no access to legal recourse, humanitarian assistance, or asylum procedures, the detention of victims of trafficking, and many other serious violations in which Europe is implicated.

      - Particularly horrendous is the case of Libya, which continues to receive financial and political support from Europe despite mounting evidence of brutality, enslavement, torture, forced disappearance and death. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), implement EU policies in Libya and, according to aid officials, actively whitewash the consequences of European policies to safeguard substantial EU funding.

      - Not only does the EU deport and push back migrants to unsafe third countries, it actively finances and coercively pushes for their detention in these countries. Often they have no choice but to sign ‘voluntary’ agreements to be returned to their countries of origin as the only means of getting out of torturous detention facilities.

      - The EU implements a carrot and stick approach, in particular in its dealings with Africa, prolonging colonialist dynamics and uneven power structures – in Niger, for example, the EU pushed for legislation on detention, in exchange for development aid funding.

      – The EU envisages a greater role for migrant detention in third countries going forward, as was evidenced in the European Commission’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum.

      - The EU acts on the premise of containment and deterrence, namely, that if migrants seeking to reach Europe are intercepted and detained along that journey, they will be deterred from making the journey in the first place. This approach completely misses the point that people migrate to survive, often fleeing war and other forms of violence. The EU continues to overlook the structural reasons behind why people flee and the EU’s own role in provoking such migration.

      – The border industrial complex profits from the increased securitisation of borders. Far from being passive spectators, the military and security industry is actively involved in shaping EU border policies by positioning themselves as experts on the issue. We can already see a trend of privatising migrant detention, paralleling what is happening in prison systems worldwide.

      https://www.tni.org/en/outsourcingoppression

      pour télécharger le rapport :
      https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/outsourcingoppression-report-tni.pdf

      #externalisation #rétention #détention #détention_arbitraire #violence #disparitions #disparitions_forcées #violence #violence_sexuelle #morts #mort #décès #Afrique #Europe_de_l'Est #Balkans #Asie #modèle_australien #EU #UE #Union_européenne #torture #Libye #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux #HCR #UNHCR #OIM #IOM #dissuasion #privatisation

  • Les exportations d’armes suisses explosent

    Au 30 septembre, l’industrie militaire helvétique affiche des chiffres record. Parmi les destinataires : l’#Arabie_saoudite, la #Turquie ou le #Koweït.

    Depuis le premier janvier, les entreprises suisses du secteur de l’armement ont exporté pour près d’un demi-milliard de francs (496 millions). Discrètement annoncé dans de nouvelles statistiques publiées ce mardi par le Secrétariat d’Etat à l’économie (Seco), le montant révèle la santé éclatante de la branche, dont les ventes ont grimpé de 60% par rapport aux trois premiers trimestres de l’année dernière (299 millions). La présence de plusieurs dictatures parmi les destinataires n’a pas manqué de susciter l’ire des opposants au commerce d’armes.

    https://www.letemps.ch/suisse/exportations-darmes-suisses-explosent

    #exportation #armes #commerce_d'armes #Suisse #armement

    ping @visionscarto

  • Les secrets des ventes d’armes de la Serbie à l’Arabie saoudite

    Non seulement l’usine #Krušik de Valjevo vend-elle des armes à l’Arabie saoudite, mais elle accorderait des tarifs préférentiels et illégaux à un intermédiaire, qui n’est autre que #Branko_Stefanović, le père de l’actuel ministre de l’Intérieur de Serbie. Le lanceur d’alerte, un employé de l’usine de 35 ans, a été emprisonné il y a un mois dans le plus grand secret.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/ventes-d-armes-de-la-serbie-a-l-arabie-saoudite
    #armes #commerce_d'armes #Serbie #Arabie_Saoudite #Branko_Stefanovic ##Krusik

  • Les armes françaises tuent des civils aux quatre coins du monde
    Par Christophe-Cécil Garnier | StreetPress
    https://www.streetpress.com/sujet/1571047701-armes-francaises-tuent-civils-quatre-coins-monde-disclose-fr

    Depuis moins d’un an, Disclose publie des révélations sur les armes françaises utilisées dans des conflits internationaux contre des civils. Ses fondateurs, Mathias Destal et Geoffrey Livolsi, reviennent pour StreetPress sur leur travail.

    #marchand_de_canons #armement #Disclose

  • Libye : quand les Rafale vendus à l’Egypte aidaient le seigneur de guerre Haftar
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/200919/libye-quand-les-rafale-vendus-l-egypte-aidaient-le-seigneur-de-guerre-haft

    Le « maréchal » Khalifa Haftar, qui a lancé en avril son offensive contre le régime de Tripoli reconnu par la communauté internationale, a bénéficié pour conquérir l’est du pays de l’aide discrète de précieux alliés, dont la France. Et du soutien des Rafale vendus par Paris à l’Égypte.

    #Armement #Dassault,_Conseil_de_la_choura_des_moudjahidines,_France,_Houn,_Ventes_d’armes,_Egypte,_ALN,_Khalifa_Haftar,_Derna,_FrenchArms,_Abdel_Fattah_al-Sissi,_GNA,_libye,_Rafale

  • #Serco slammed over profits drive at arms trade show while trying to evict asylum seekers fleeing war

    The firm evicting hundreds of asylum seekers from their homes has been condemned over plans to exhibit at a controversial arms trade show.

    Serco, which holds the Home Office contract to house about 300 people in Glasgow, has dozens of defence contracts around the world.

    The private multinational will be touting for business at DSEI 2019 next month in London’s ExCeL arena.

    Serco sparked controversy over plans to change locks on the homes of unsuccessful asylum seekers, with hundreds facing homelessness in the coming weeks.

    Many tenants fled conflict to seek sanctuary in Scotland. But despite protests and live legal challenges, Serco has started evictions.

    DSEI is a bi-annual event that brings together hundreds of firms with military delegations.

    Serco is a major partner of the Ministry of Defence and provides services for Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets, among other contracts.

    Both aircraft have been used by a Saudi-led coalition accused of scores of war crimes in the civil war by proxy in Yemen.

    Serco’s website says the firm has 70 defence contracts in the UK and Europe alone, including with the Belgian armed forces.

    It also has contracts with the Australian navy and Australian defence force, and last year won an £18million training contract with the US army.

    The website claims Serco has “breadth and depth of expertise across all military environments, including space, maritime, land, and air”.

    Last year its operating profit rose 40 per cent to £80.5million.

    The Scottish Human Rights Commission was last month given leave to intervene in a legal challenge against evicting asylum seekers denied the right to stay in the United Kingdom.

    The case – Ali v Serco and the Home Secretary – opposes Serco’s Glasgow lock change programme and argues that eviction would be unlawful without a court order.

    It was dismissed in April but is now being appealed.

    Graham O’Neill of the Scottish Refugee Council said: “In Glasgow, Serco are contracted to provide housing to thousands of highly vulnerable people who have fled war and terror across the world, in countries such as Syria, Iran and Eritrea.

    “That they are attending the arms fair while actively evicting this marginalised group, despite live legal proceedings, indicates that they value defence and immigration contracts and profit over people.”

    Labour MP Paul Sweeney said: “That Serco seeks to profit from conflict while earning income from the refugees displaced by those very conflicts throws into sharp focus the mercenary exploitation of unscrupulous capitalism.

    “It’s a crass move that will stick in the throats of the thousands of Glaswegians who stand shoulder to shoulder with the asylum seekers Serco is throwing out on the street.”

    Campaign Against the Arms Trade in Scotland added: “This exposes the ruthless business model of Serco. We will be at DSEI protesting this gross hypocrisy.”

    At least 38 companies with bases in Scotland are also attending DSEI 2019.

    They include arms firms Chemring, Leonardo MW and Raytheon, whose smart bombs made in Fife have been linked to alleged war crimes in Yemen.

    A Serco spokesman said it would have “a small stand” at the event, to promote its “civil space business”.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/asylum-seeker-eviction-firm-serco-18955574
    #privatisation #asile #migrations #armes #armement #commerce_d'armes #DSEI #salon_de_l'armement #Londres

    ping @visionscarto @daphne @albertocampiphoto @marty