• A la frontière serbo-hongroise... on emprisonne les réfugiés qui tentent de la passer... et sur lesquels les gardes-frontières avaient tiré...

    Refugees who were shot at by Hungarian police last week as they tried to cross the Hungarian border were convicted this Friday, 07.02.2020 (https://hungarytoday.hu/migrants-roszke-sentence-court). Four refugees, two Syrians and two Palestinians, were arrested last week while attempting to cross the #Reska border crossing. They were sentenced to one year in prison. A fifth man, who crossed the border independently, was sentenced to ten months in prison and expelled from the country for four years. On Thursday, some 300 refugees gathered in the cross-zone near the #Kelebija border crossing (https://www.blic.rs/vesti/drustvo/dosta-nam-je-svega-hocemo-u-madjarsku-oko-300-migranata-okupilo-se-u-meduzoni/m5qwk1p), protesting peacefully and seeking entry to Hungary. The next day, refugees were taken from Kelebija to reception centres in Serbia and the border crossing was reopened. (http://rs.n1info.com/Vesti/a567286/Migranti-sa-Kelebije-prebaceni-u-prihvatne-centre-otvoren-granicni-prelaz)

    #Hongrie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #criminalisation #arrestation #fermeture_des_frontières #Serbie #ouverture_des_frontières #résistance #protestation

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 11.02.2020

    –---------

    Pour rappel...

    Hongrie : des #tirs de sommation pour dissuader des dizaines de migrants à la frontière avec la #Serbie
    https://seenthis.net/messages/823626

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Grèce. Le « #mur_flottant » visant à arrêter les personnes réfugiées mettra des vies en danger

    En réaction à la proposition du gouvernement d’installer un système de #barrages_flottants de 2,7 km le long des côtes de #Lesbos pour décourager les nouvelles arrivées de demandeurs et demandeuses d’asile depuis la Turquie, Massimo Moratti, directeur des recherches pour le bureau européen d’Amnesty International, a déclaré :

    « Cette proposition marque une escalade inquiétante dans les tentatives du gouvernement grec de rendre aussi difficile que possible l’arrivée de personnes demandeuses d’asile et réfugiées sur ses rivages. Cela exposerait davantage aux #dangers celles et ceux qui cherchent désespérément la sécurité.

    « Ce plan soulève des questions préoccupantes sur la possibilité pour les sauveteurs de continuer d’apporter leur aide salvatrice aux personnes qui tentent la dangereuse traversée par la mer jusqu’à Lesbos. Le gouvernement doit clarifier de toute urgence les détails pratiques et les garanties nécessaires pour veiller à ce que ce système ne coûte pas de nouvelles vies. »

    Complément d’information

    Le système de barrage flottant ferait partie des mesures adoptées dans le cadre d’une tentative plus large de sécuriser les #frontières_maritimes et d’empêcher les arrivées.

    En 2019, près de 60 000 personnes sont arrivées en Grèce par la mer, soit presque deux fois plus qu’en 2018. Entre janvier et octobre, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) a enregistré 66 décès sur la route de la Méditerranée orientale.

    https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2020/01/greece-floating-wall-to-stop-refugees-puts-lives-at-risk
    #migrations #frontières #asile #réfugiés #Grèce #Mer_Méditerranée #Mer_Egée #fermeture_des_frontières #frontière_mobile #frontières_mobiles

    ping @karine4 @mobileborders

    • Greece plans floating border barrier to stop migrants

      The government in Greece wants to use a floating barrier to help stop migrants from reaching the Greek islands from the nearby coast of Turkey.
      The Defense Ministry has invited private contractors to bid on supplying a 2.7-kilometer-long (1.7 miles) floating fence within three months, according to information available on a government procurement website Wednesday. No details were given on when the barrier might be installed.
      A resurgence in the number of migrants and refugees arriving by sea to Lesbos and other eastern Greek islands has caused severe overcrowding at refugee camps.
      The netted barrier would rise 50 centimeters (20 inches) above water and be designed to hold flashing lights, the submission said. The Defense Ministry estimates the project will cost 500,000 euros ($550,000), which includes four years of maintenance.
      The government’s description says the “floating barrier system” needs to be built “with non-military specifications” and “specific features for carrying out the mission of (maritime agencies) in managing the refugee crisis.”
      “This contract process will be executed by the Defense Ministry but is for civilian use — a process similar to that used for the supply of other equipment for (camps) housing refugees and migrants,” a government official told The Associated Press.
      The official asked not to be identified pending official announcements by the government.
      Greece’s six-month old center-right government has promised to take a tougher line on the migration crisis and plans to set up detention facilities for migrants denied asylum and to speed up deportations back to Turkey.
      Under a 2016 migration agreement between the European Union and Turkey, the Turkish government was promised up to 6 billion euros to help stop the mass movement of migrants to Europe.
      Nearly 60,000 migrants and refugees made the crossing to the islands last year, nearly double the number recorded in 2018, according to data from the United Nations’ refugee agency.

      https://www.arabnews.com/node/1619991/world

    • Greece wants floating fence to keep migrants out

      Greece wants to install a floating barrier in the Aegean Sea to deter migrants arriving at its islands’ shores through Turkey, government officials said on Thursday.

      Greece served as the gateway to the European Union for more than one million Syrian refugees and other migrants in recent years. While an agreement with Turkey sharply reduced the number attempting the voyage since 2016, Greek islands still struggle with overcrowded camps operating far beyond their capacity.

      The 2.7 kilometer long (1.68 miles) net-like barrier that Greece wants to buy will be set up in the sea off the island of Lesbos, where the overcrowded Moria camp operates.

      It will rise 50 centimeters above sea level and carry light marks that will make it visible at night, a government document inviting vendors to submit offers said, adding that it was “aimed at containing the increasing inflows of migrants”.

      “The invitation for floating barriers is in the right direction,” Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos told Skai Radio. “We will see what the result, what its effect as a deterrent will be in practice.”

      “It will be a natural barrier. If it works like the one in Evros... it can be effective,” he said, referring to a cement and barbed-wire fence Greece set up in 2012 along its northern border with Turkey to stop a rise in migrants crossing there.

      Aid groups, which have described the living conditions at migrant camps as appalling, said fences in Europe had not deterred arrivals and that Greece should focus on speeding up the processing of asylum requests instead.

      “We see, in recent years, a surge in the number of barriers that are being erected but yet people continue to flee,” Βoris Cheshirkov, spokesman in Greece for U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, told Reuters. “Greece has to have fast procedures to ensure that people have access to asylum quickly when they need it.”

      Last year, 59,726 migrants and refugees reached Greece’s shores according to the UN agency UNHCR. Nearly 80% of them arrived on Chios, Samos and Lesbos.

      A defense ministry official told Reuters the floating fence would be installed at the north of Lesbos, where migrants attempt to cross over due to the short distance from Turkey.

      If the 500,000 euro barrier is effective, more parts may be added and it could reach up to 15 kilometers, the official said.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-greece-barrier/greece-wants-floating-fence-to-keep-migrants-out-idUSKBN1ZT0W5?il=0

    • La Grèce veut ériger une frontière flottante sur la mer pour limiter l’afflux de migrants

      Le ministère grec de la Défense a rendu public mercredi un appel d’offres pour faire installer un "système de protection flottant" en mer Égée. L’objectif : réduire les flux migratoires en provenance de la Turquie alors que la Grèce est redevenue en 2019 la première porte d’entrée des migrants en Europe.

      C’est un appel d’offres surprenant qu’a diffusé, mercredi 29 janvier, le ministère grec de la Défense : une entreprise est actuellement recherchée pour procéder à l’installation d’un “système de protection flottant” en mer Égée. Cette frontière maritime qui pourra prendre la forme de "barrières" ou de "filets" doit servir "en cas d’urgence" à repousser les migrants en provenance de la Turquie voisine.

      Selon le texte de l’appel d’offres, le barrage - d’une “longueur de 2,7 kilomètres” et d’une hauteur de 1,10 mètre dont 50 cm au dessus du niveau de la mer - sera mis en place par les forces armées grecques. Il devrait être agrémenté de feux clignotants pour une meilleure visibilité. Le budget total comprenant conception et installation annoncé par le gouvernement est de 500 000 euros.

      “Au-delà de l’efficacité douteuse de ce choix, comme ne pas reconnaître la dimension humanitaire de la tragédie des réfugiés et la transformer en un jeu du chat et de la souris, il est amusant de noter la taille de la barrière et de la relier aux affirmations du gouvernement selon lesquelles cela pourrait arrêter les flux de réfugiés”, note le site d’information Chios News qui a tracé cette potentielle frontière maritime sur une carte à bonne échelle pour comparer les 2,7 kilomètres avec la taille de l’île de Lesbos.

      La question des migrants et des réfugiés est gérée par le ministère de l’Immigration qui a fait récemment sa réapparition après avoir été fusionné avec un autre cabinet pendant six mois. Devant l’ampleur des flux migratoires que connaît la Grèce depuis 2015, le ministère de la Défense et l’armée offrent un soutien logistique au ministère de l’Immigration et de l’Asile.

      Mais la situation continue de se corser pour la Grèce qui est redevenue en 2019 la première porte d’entrée des migrants et des réfugiés en Europe. Actuellement, plus de 40 000 demandeurs d’asile s’entassent dans des camps insalubres sur des îles grecques de la mer Égée, alors que leur capacité n’est que de 6 200 personnes.

      Le nouveau Premier ministre Kyriakos Mitsotakis, élu à l’été 2019, a fait de la lutte contre l’immigration clandestine l’une de ses priorités. Il a déjà notamment durci l’accès à la procédure de demande d’asile. Il compte également accélérer les rapatriements des personnes qui "n’ont pas besoin d’une protection internationale" ou des déboutés du droit d’asile, une mesure à laquelle s’opposent des ONG de défense des droits de l’Homme.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/22441/la-grece-veut-eriger-une-frontiere-flottante-sur-la-mer-pour-limiter-l

    • Vidéo avec la réponse d’ #Adalbert_Jahnz, porte-parole de la Commission Européenne, à la question de la légalité d’une telle mesure.
      La réponse est mi-figue, mi-raisin : les réfugiés ne doivent pas être empêchés par des #barrières_physiques à déposer une demande d’asile, mais la mise en place de telles #barrières n’est pas en soi contraire à la législation européenne et la protection de frontières externes relève principalement de la responsabilité de chaque Etat membre : https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-183932

      signalé, avec le commentaire ci-dessus, par Vicky Skoumbi.

    • Greece’s Answer to Migrants, a Floating Barrier, Is Called a ‘Disgrace’

      Rights groups have condemned the plan, warning that it would increase the dangers faced by asylum seekers.

      As Greece struggles to deal with a seemingly endless influx of migrants from neighboring Turkey, the conservative government has a contentious new plan to respond to the problem: a floating net barrier to avert smuggling boats.

      But rights groups have condemned the plan, warning that it would increase the perils faced by asylum seekers amid growing tensions at camps on the Aegean Islands and in communities there and on the mainland. The potential effectiveness of the barrier system has also been widely questioned, and the center-right daily newspaper Kathimerini dismissed the idea in an editorial on Friday as “wishful thinking.”

      Moreover, the main opposition party, the leftist Syriza, has condemned the floating barrier plan as “a disgrace and an insult to humanity.”

      The authorities aim to install a 1.7-mile barrier between the Greek and Turkish coastlines that would rise more than 19 inches above the water and display flashing lights, according to a description posted on a government website this past week by Greece’s Defense Ministry.

      Citing an “urgent need to address rising refugee flows,” the 126-page submission invited private contractors to bid for the project that would cost an estimated 500,000 euros, or more than $554,000, including the cost of four years of maintenance. The government is expected to assign the job in the next three months, though it is unclear when the barrier would be erected.

      Greece’s defense minister, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, told Greek radio on Thursday that he hoped the floating barrier would act as a deterrent to smugglers, similar to a barbed-wire fence that the Greek authorities built along the northern land border with Turkey in 2012.

      “In Evros, physical barriers had a relative impact in curbing flows,” he said. “We believe a similar result can be achieved with these floating barriers.”

      The construction will be overseen by the Defense Ministry, which has supervised the creation of new reception centers on the Greek islands and mainland in recent months, and will be subject to “nonmilitary specifications” to meet international maritime standards, the submission noted.

      A spokesman for Greece’s government, Stelios Petsas, said the barrier system would have to be tested for safety.

      But rights activists warn that the measure would increase the dangers faced by migrants making the short but perilous journey across the Aegean. Amnesty International’s research director for Europe, Massimo Moratti, condemned the proposal as “an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores.”

      He warned that it could “lead to more danger for those desperately seeking safety.”

      The head of Amnesty International’s chapter in Greece, Gavriil Sakellaridis, questioned whether the Greek authorities would respond to an emergency signal issued by a boat stopped at the barrier.

      The European Commission has expressed reservations and planned to ask the authorities in Greece, which is a member of the European Union, for details about the proposal. Adalbert Jahnz, a commission spokesman, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday that any Greek sea barriers to deter migrants must not block access for asylum seekers.

      “The setting up of barriers is not in and of itself against E.U. law,” he said. “But physical barriers or obstacles of this sort should not be an impediment to seeking asylum which is protected by E.U. law,” he said, conceding, however, that the protection of external borders was primarily the responsibility of member states.

      The barrier was proposed amid an uptick in migrants from Turkey. The influx, though far below the thousands of daily arrivals at the peak of the crisis in 2015, has put an increasing strain on already intensely overcrowded reception centers.

      According to Greece’s migration minister, Notis Mitarakis, 72,000 migrants entered Greece last year, compared with 42,000 in 2018. The floating barrier will help curb arrivals, Mr. Mitarakis said.
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      “It sends out the message that we are not a place where anything goes and that we’re taking all necessary measures to protect the borders,” he said, adding that the process of deporting migrants who did not merit refugee status would be sped up.

      “The rules have changed,” he said.

      Greece has repeatedly appealed for more support from the bloc to tackle migration flows, saying it cannot handle the burden alone and accusing Turkey of exploiting the refugee crisis for leverage with the European Union.

      Repeated threats by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to “open the gates” to Europe for Syrian refugees on his country’s territory have fueled fears that an agreement signed between Turkey and the European Union in 2016, which radically curbed arrivals, will collapse.

      Growing tensions between Greece and Turkey over energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and revived disputes over sovereignty in the Aegean have further undermined cooperation between the two traditional foes in curbing human trafficking, fragile at the best of times.

      The Greek government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is also under growing pressure domestically since it came to power last summer on a pledge to take a harder line on migration than that of his predecessor, Alexis Tsipras of Syriza.

      Plans unveiled in November to create new camps on the Aegean Islands have angered residents, who staged mass demonstrations last month, waving banners reading, “We want our islands back.”

      Rights groups have also warned of the increasingly dire conditions at existing camps on five islands hosting some 44,000 people, nearly 10 times their capacity.

      Tensions are particularly acute on the sprawling Moria camp on Lesbos, with reports of 30 stabbings in the past month, two fatal.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/01/world/europe/greece-migrants-floating-barrier.html

    • Greece plans to build sea barrier off Lesbos to deter migrants

      Defence ministry says floating barrier will stop migrants crossing from Turkey.

      The Greek government has been criticised after announcing it will build a floating barrier to deter thousands of people from making often perilous sea journeys from Turkey to Aegean islands on Europe’s periphery.

      The centre-right administration unveiled the measure on Thursday, following its pledge to take a tougher stance on undocumented migrants accessing the country.

      The 2.7km-long netted barrier will be erected off Lesbos, the island that shot to prominence at the height of the Syrian civil war when close to a million Europe-bound refugees landed on its beaches. The bulwark will rise from pylons 50 metres above water and will be equipped with flashing lights to demarcate Greece’s sea borders.

      Greece’s defence minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, told Skai radio: “In Evros, natural barriers had relative [good] results in containing flows,” referring to the barbed-wire topped fence that Greece built along its northern land border with Turkey in 2012 to deter asylum seekers. “We believe a similar result can be had with these floating barriers. We are trying to find solutions to reduce flows.”

      Amnesty International slammed the plan, warning it would enhance the dangers asylum-seekers and refugees encountered as they attempted to seek safety.

      “This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores,” said Massimo Moratti, the group’s Research Director for Europe.“The plan raises serious issues about rescuers’ ability to continue providing life-saving assistance to people attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Lesbos. The government must urgently clarify the operational details and necessary safeguards to ensure that this system does not cost further lives.”

      Greece’s former migration minister, Dimitris Vitsas, described the barrier as a “stupid idea” that was bound to be ineffective. “The idea that a fence of this length is going to work is totally stupid,” he said. “It’s not going to stop anybody making the journey.”

      Greece has seen more arrivals of refugees and migrants than any other part of Europe over the past year, as human traffickers along Turkey’s western coast target its outlying Aegean isles with renewed vigour. More than 44,000 people are in camps on the outposts designed to hold no more than 5,400 people. Human rights groups have described conditions in the facilities as deplorable. In Moria, the main reception centre on Lesbos, about 140 sick children are among an estimated 19,000 men, women and children crammed into vastly overcrowded tents and containers.

      Amid mounting tensions with Turkey over energy resources in the Mediterranean, Greece fears a further surge in arrivals in the spring despite numbers dropping radically since the EU struck a landmark accord with Ankara to curb the flows in March 2016.

      The prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who trounced his predecessor, Alexis Tsipras, in July partly on the promise to bolster the country’s borders, has accused the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of exploiting the refugee drama as political leverage both in dealings with Athens and the EU. As host to some 4 million displaced Syrians, Turkey has more refugees than anywhere else in the world, with Erdoğan facing mounting domestic pressure over the issue.

      Greek officials, who are also confronting growing outrage from local communities on Aegean islands, fear that the number of arrivals will rise further if, as looks likely, Idlib, Syria’s last opposition holdout falls. The area has come under renewed attack from regime forces in recent days.

      It is hoped the barrier will be in place by the end of April after an invitation by the Greek defence ministry for private contractors to submit offers.

      The project is expected to cost €500,000 (£421,000). Officials said it will be built by the military, which has also played a role in erecting camps across Greece, but with “non-military specifications” to ensure international maritime standards. The fence could extend 13 to 15km, with more parts being added if the initial pilot is deemed successful.

      “There will be a test run probably on land first for technological reasons,” said one official.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/30/greece-plans-to-build-sea-barrier-off-lesbos-to-deter-migrants

    • “Floating wall” to stop refugees puts lives at risk, says Amnesty International

      The plans of the Greek government to build floating fences to prevent refugee and migrants arrivals from Turkey have triggered sharp criticism by Amnesty International. A statement issued on Thursday says that the floating fences will put people’s lives at risk.

      In response to a government proposal to install a 2.7 km long system of floating dams off the coast of Lesvos to deter new arrivals of asylum seekers from Turkey, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Europe Massimo Moratti said:

      “This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores and will lead to more danger for those desperately seeking safety.

      This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible refugees to arrive on its shores.
      Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International

      “The plan raises serious issues about rescuers’ ability to continue providing life-saving assistance to people attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Lesvos. The government must urgently clarify the operational details and necessary safeguards to ensure that this system does not cost further lives.”

      Background

      The floating dam system is described as one of the measures adopted in a broader attempt to secure maritime borders and prevent arrivals.

      In 2019, Greece received almost 60,000 sea arrivals, almost doubling the total number of sea arrivals in 2018. Between January and October, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) recorded 66 deaths on the Eastern Mediterranean route.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/01/31/amnesty-international-floating-fences-greece-refugees

    • Greece is building floating fences to stop migration flows in the Aegean

      Greece is planning to build floating fences in the Aegean Sea in order to prevent refugees and migrants to arrive from Turkey, The fences are reportedly to be set off the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea that receive the overwhelming migration flows. The plan will be executed by the Greek Armed Forces as the tender launched by the Defense Ministry states.

      For this purpose the Defense Ministry has launched a tender for the supply of the floating fences.

      According to Lesvos media stonisi, the tender aims to supply the Defense Ministry with 2,700 meters of protection floating system of no military specifications.

      The floating fences will be used by the Armed Forces for their mission to manage a continuously increasing refugee/migration flows, as it is clearly stated in the tender text.

      It is indicative that the tender call to the companies states that the supply of the floating protection system “will restrict and, where appropriate, suspend the intent to enter the national territory, in order to counter the ever-increasing migration / refugee flows due to the imperative and urgent need to restrain the increased refugee flows.”

      The tender has been reportedly launched on Jan 24, 2020, in order to cover “urgent needs.” The floating fences will carry lights liker small lighthouses. The fences will be 1.10 m high with 60 cm under water.

      they are reportedly to be installed off the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos.

      The estimated cost of the floating system incl maintenance is at 500,000 euros.

      Government spokesman and Defense Minister confirmed the reports on Thursday following skeptical reactions. “It is the first phase of a pilot program,” to start initially of Lesvos, said spokesman Petsas. “We want to see if it works,” he added.

      The floating fences plan primarily raises the question on whether it violates the international law as it prevents people fleeing for their live to seek a safe haven.

      Another question is how these floating fences will prevent the sea traffic (ships, fishing boats)

      PS and the third question is, of course, political: Will these fences be installed at 6 or 12 nautical miles off the islands shores? Greece could use the opportunity to extend its territorial waters… etc etc But it only the usual mean Greeks making jokes about a measure without logic.

      https://twitter.com/Kapoiosmpla/status/1222496803154800641?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      Meanwhile, opponents of the measure showed the length of the floating fence in proportion to the island of Lesvos. The comparison is shocking.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/01/29/floating-fences-greece-aegean-migration-armed-forces

    • La barrière marine anti-migrants en Grèce pourrait ressembler à ça

      Au large de Lesbos, 27km de filet vont être installés pour dissuader les réfugiés et les demandeurs d’asile d’atteindre les îles grecques.

      Un mur marin en filet pour dissuader de venir. Cela fait quelques jours que la Grèce a annoncé son intention d’ériger une barrière dans la mer pour empêcher les migrants d’arriver sur les côtes. On découvre à présent à quoi pourrait ressembler ce nouveau dispositif.

      Selon les informations du Guardianet de la BBC et modélisée en images par l’agence Reuters, la barrière anti-migrants voulue par la Grèce s’étendrait sur 27 kilomètres de long au large de Lesbos. Elle serait soutenue par des pylônes qui s’élèveraient à une cinquantaine de mètres au-dessus de l’eau. Équipée d’une signalisation lumineuse, elle pourrait dissuader les réfugiés de se rendre à Lesbos. C’est, du moins, l’intention du ministre grec de l’Intérieur, Nikos Panagiotopoulos.

      De telles barrières s’élevant au-dessus du niveau de la mer pourraient ainsi rendre difficile le passage des petits bateaux et pourraient poser un problème pour les navires à hélices. Le coût du projet s’élèverait à 500.000 euros ; il faudrait quatre ans pour le mener à bien.
      “Une idée stupide et inefficace”

      L’ONG Amnesty International a vivement critiqué le projet avertissant qu’il ne ferait qu’aggraver les dangers auxquels les réfugiés sont déjà confrontés dans leur quête de sécurité. L’ancien ministre grec des migrations, Dimitris Vitsas, a, lui, décrit la barrière comme une “idée stupide” qui devrait être inefficace. “L’idée qu’une clôture de cette longueur va fonctionner est totalement stupide, a-t-il déclaré. Cela n’empêchera personne de faire le voyage.”

      Mais pour le ministre grec de la Défense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, l’expérience vécue avec les murs terrestres justifie le projet. ”À Evros, a-t-il déclaré sur radio Skai, l’une des plus grosses stations du pays, les barrières naturelles ont eu de [bons] résultats relatifs à contenir les flux.” Il fait ainsi référence à la clôture surmontée de barbelés que la Grèce a construite le long de sa frontière terrestre nord avec la Turquie en 2012 pour dissuader demandeurs d’asile. “Nous pensons qu’un résultat similaire peut être obtenu avec ces barrières flottantes. Nous essayons de trouver des solutions pour réduire les flux”, ajoute-t-il.

      La situation est tendue sur l’île grecque où les habitants se sont mobilisés fin janvier pour s’opposer à l’ouverture de nouveaux camps. Plus récemment, lundi 3 février, une manifestation des migrants à Lesbos contre le durcissement des lois d’asile a viré à l’affrontement avec les forces de l’ordre.


      https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/entry/grece-mur-migrant-srefugies-lesbos-barriere_fr_5e397a4cc5b6ed0033acc5

    • Greece plans to build sea barrier off Lesbos to deter migrants

      Defence ministry says floating barrier will stop migrants crossing from Turkey.

      The Greek government has been criticised after announcing it will build a floating barrier to deter thousands of people from making often perilous sea journeys from Turkey to Aegean islands on Europe’s periphery.

      The centre-right administration unveiled the measure on Thursday, following its pledge to take a tougher stance on undocumented migrants accessing the country.

      The 2.7km-long netted barrier will be erected off Lesbos, the island that shot to prominence at the height of the Syrian civil war when close to a million Europe-bound refugees landed on its beaches. The bulwark will rise from pylons 50 metres above water and will be equipped with flashing lights to demarcate Greece’s sea borders.

      Greece’s defence minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, told Skai radio: “In Evros, natural barriers had relative [good] results in containing flows,” referring to the barbed-wire topped fence that Greece built along its northern land border with Turkey in 2012 to deter asylum seekers. “We believe a similar result can be had with these floating barriers. We are trying to find solutions to reduce flows.”

      Amnesty International slammed the plan, warning it would enhance the dangers asylum-seekers and refugees encountered as they attempted to seek safety.

      “This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores,” said Massimo Moratti, the group’s Research Director for Europe.“The plan raises serious issues about rescuers’ ability to continue providing life-saving assistance to people attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Lesbos. The government must urgently clarify the operational details and necessary safeguards to ensure that this system does not cost further lives.”

      Greece’s former migration minister, Dimitris Vitsas, described the barrier as a “stupid idea” that was bound to be ineffective. “The idea that a fence of this length is going to work is totally stupid,” he said. “It’s not going to stop anybody making the journey.”

      Greece has seen more arrivals of refugees and migrants than any other part of Europe over the past year, as human traffickers along Turkey’s western coast target its outlying Aegean isles with renewed vigour. More than 44,000 people are in camps on the outposts designed to hold no more than 5,400 people. Human rights groups have described conditions in the facilities as deplorable. In Moria, the main reception centre on Lesbos, about 140 sick children are among an estimated 19,000 men, women and children crammed into vastly overcrowded tents and containers.

      Amid mounting tensions with Turkey over energy resources in the Mediterranean, Greece fears a further surge in arrivals in the spring despite numbers dropping radically since the EU struck a landmark accord with Ankara to curb the flows in March 2016.

      The prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who trounced his predecessor, Alexis Tsipras, in July partly on the promise to bolster the country’s borders, has accused the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of exploiting the refugee drama as political leverage both in dealings with Athens and the EU. As host to some 4 million displaced Syrians, Turkey has more refugees than anywhere else in the world, with Erdoğan facing mounting domestic pressure over the issue.

      Greek officials, who are also confronting growing outrage from local communities on Aegean islands, fear that the number of arrivals will rise further if, as looks likely, Idlib, Syria’s last opposition holdout falls. The area has come under renewed attack from regime forces in recent days.

      It is hoped the barrier will be in place by the end of April after an invitation by the Greek defence ministry for private contractors to submit offers.

      The project is expected to cost €500,000 (£421,000). Officials said it will be built by the military, which has also played a role in erecting camps across Greece, but with “non-military specifications” to ensure international maritime standards. The fence could extend 13 to 15km, with more parts being added if the initial pilot is deemed successful.

      “There will be a test run probably on land first for technological reasons,” said one official.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/30/greece-plans-to-build-sea-barrier-off-lesbos-to-deter-migrants

    • Schwimmende Barrieren gegen Migranten: Die griechische Regierung will Flüchtlingsboote mit schwimmenden Barrikaden stoppen

      Griechenland denkt über eine umstrittene Methode nach, um die stark wachsende Zahle der Bootsflüchtlinge einzudämmen.

      Die Zahl der Flüchtlinge, die von der türkischen Küste her übers Meer zu den griechischen Ägäis­inseln kommen, steigt derzeit wieder deutlich an. Die Regierung in Athen hat jetzt eine neue Idee vorgestellt, wie sie die Flüchtlingsboote stoppen will: mit schwimmenden Grenzbarrieren mitten auf dem Meer.

      Der griechische Regierungssprecher Stelios Petsas bestätigte gestern die Pläne. Das griechische Verteidigungsministerium hat bereits einen entsprechenden Auftrag zum Bau eines Prototyps ausgeschrieben. Das Pilotprojekt sieht den Bau einer 2,7 Kilometer langen Barriere vor, die 1,10 Meter aus dem Wasser aufragt und 50 bis 60 Zentimeter tief ins Wasser reicht. Der schwimmende Zaun soll mit blinkenden Leuchten versehen sein, damit er in der Dunkelheit sichtbar ist.
      Israel hat Erfahrungen mit Sperranlagen im Meer

      Für den Bau der Sperranlage will das Verteidigungsministerium 500000 Euro bereitstellen. Das Unternehmen, das den Zuschlag bekommt, soll innerhalb von drei Monaten liefern und für vier Jahre die Wartung der Barriere übernehmen. Verteidigungsminister Nikos Panagiotopoulos sagte dem griechischen Fernsehsender Skai, man wolle in einer ersten Phase ausprobieren, «ob das System funktioniert und wo es eingesetzt werden kann».

      Über dem Projekt schweben allerdings viele Fragezeichen. Erfahrungen mit schwimmenden Barrieren hat Israel an den Grenzen zum Gazastreifen und zu Jordanien im Golf von Akaba gemacht. In der Ägäis sind die Bedingungen aber wegen der grossen Wassertiefe, der starken Strömungen und häufigen Stürme viel schwieriger. Schwimmende Barrieren müssten am Meeresboden verankert sein, damit sie nicht davontreiben.

      Fraglich ist auch, ob sich die Schleuser von solchen Sperren abhalten liessen. Sie würden vermutlich auf andere Routen ausweichen. Und selbst wenn Flüchtlingsboote an der Barriere «stranden» sollten, wäre die griechische Küstenwache verpflichtet, die Menschen als Schiffbrüchige zu retten.

      Ohnehin scheint die Regierung daran zu denken, nur besonders stark frequentierte Küstenabschnitte zu sichern. Die gesamte griechisch-türkische Seegrenze von der Insel Samothraki im Norden bis nach Rhodos im Süden mit einem schwimmenden Zaun abzuriegeln, wäre ein utopisches Projekt. Diese Grenze ist über 2000 Kilometer lang. Sie mit einer Barriere dicht zu machen, verstiesse überdies gegen das internationale Seerecht und würde den Schiffsverkehr in der Ägäis behindern. Experten sagen, dass letztlich nur die Türkei die Seegrenze zu Griechenland wirksam sichern kann – indem sie die Flüchtlingsboote gar nicht erst ablegen lässt. Dazu hat sich die Türkei im Flüchtlingspakt mit der EU verpflichtet. Dennoch kamen im vergangenen Jahr 59726 Schutzsuchende übers Meer aus der Türkei, ein Anstieg von fast 84 Prozent gegenüber 2018.

      https://www.luzernerzeitung.ch/international/schwimmende-barrieren-gegen-migranten-ld.1190264

    • EU fordert Erklärungen von Griechenland zu Barriere-Plänen

      Das griechische Verteidigungsministerium will Geflüchtete mit schwimmenden „Schutzsystemen“ vor der Küste zurückhalten. Die EU-Kommission dringt auf mehr Information - sie erfuhr aus den Medien von den Plänen.

      Griechenland will Migranten mit schwimmenden Barrieren in der Ägäis konfrontieren - zu den Plänen des Verteidigungsministeriums sind aber noch viele Fragen offen. Auch die EU-Kommission hat Erklärungsbedarf. „Wir werden die griechische Regierung kontaktieren, um besser zu verstehen, worum es sich handelt“, sagte Behördensprecher Adalbert Jahnz. Die Kommission habe aus den Medien von dem Vorhaben erfahren.

      Jahnz sagte, der Zweck des Vorhabens sei derzeit noch nicht ersichtlich. Klar sei, dass Barrieren dieser Art den Zugang zu einem Asylverfahren verhindern dürften. Der Grundsatz der Nichtzurückweisung und die Grundrechte müssten in jedem Fall gewahrt bleiben. „Ich kann nichts zur Moralität verschiedener Maßnahmen sagen“, fügte Jahnz hinzu. Die Errichtung der Barrieren an sich verstoße nicht gegen EU-Recht.

      Griechenlands Verteidigungsminister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, dessen Ministerium das Projekt ausgeschrieben hat, zeigte sich jedoch nicht sicher, ob der Plan erfolgreich sein kann. Zunächst sei nur ein Versuch geplant, sagte er dem Athener Nachrichtensender Skai. „Wir wollen sehen, ob das funktioniert und wo und ob es eingesetzt werden kann“, sagte Panagiotopoulos.

      Das Verteidigungsministerium hatte die Ausschreibung für das Projekt am Mittwoch auf seiner Homepage veröffentlicht. Die „schwimmenden Schutzsysteme“ sollen knapp drei Kilometer lang sein, etwa 50 Zentimeter über dem Wasser aufragen und mit Blinklichtern ausgestattet sein. Die griechische Presse verglich die geplanten Absperrungen technisch mit den Barrieren gegen Ölteppiche im Meer.
      Was können die Barrieren tatsächlich ausrichten?

      Eigentlich dürften gar keine Migranten illegal auf dem Seeweg von der Türkei nach Griechenland kommen: Die Europäische Union hat mit der Türkei eine Vereinbarung geschlossen, die Ankara verpflichtet, Migranten und ihre Schleuser abzufangen und von Griechenland zudem Migranten ohne Asylanspruch zurückzunehmen.

      Doch nach Angaben des Uno-Flüchtlingshilfswerks UNHCR stieg die Zahl der Migranten, die illegal aus der Türkei nach Griechenland kamen, 2019 von gut 50.500 auf mehr als 74.600. Seit Jahresbeginn 2020 setzen täglich im Durchschnitt gut 90 Menschen aus der Türkei zu den griechischen Ägäis-Inseln über.

      Die Frage ist, ob schwimmende Sperren daran etwas ändern. „Ich kann nicht genau verstehen, wie diese Barrieren die Migranten daran hindern sollen, nach Griechenland zu kommen“, sagte ein Offizier der Küstenwache. Denn wenn die Migranten die Barrieren erreichten, seien sie in griechischen Hoheitsgewässern und müssten gemäß dem Seerecht gerettet und aufgenommen werden.

      Der UNHCR-Sprecher in Athen, Boris Cheshirkov, verweist zudem auf die Pflicht Griechenlands, die Menschenrechte zu achten. Griechenland habe das legitime Recht, seine Grenzen so zu kontrollieren, „wie das Land es für richtig hält“, sagte er. „Dabei müssen aber die Menschenrechte geachtet werden. Zahlreiche Migranten, die aus der Türkei nach Griechenland übersetzen, sind nämlich Flüchtlinge.“

      In Athen wird der Barrierebau auch als innenpolitisches Manöver angesichts der wachsenden Unzufriedenheit über die Entwicklung der Einwanderung gewertet.

      https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/fluechtlinge-eu-fordert-erklaerungen-von-griechenland-zu-barriere-plaenen-a-

    • Un autre „mur flottant“, à #Gaza...

      Wie Israel tauchende und schwimmende Terroristen abwehrt

      Der Gazastreifen wird mit großem Aufwand weiter abgeriegelt. Die neue Seebarriere ergänzt die Mauer und die Luftabwehr gegen Hamas-Attacken.

      Am Sikim-Strand an Israels Mittelmeerküste, rund 70 Kilometer südlich von Tel Aviv, rollen dieser Tage die Bagger durch den feinen, beigefarbenen Sand. Sie arbeiten nicht an einer Strandverschönerung, sondern an einer Schutzvorrichtung, die Israel sicherer machen soll: eine Meeresbarriere – „die einzige dieser Art auf der Welt“, verkündete Verteidigungsminister Avigdor Lieberman stolz auf Twitter.

      Die neue Konstruktion soll tauchenden und schwimmenden Terroristen aus Gaza den Weg blockieren und aus drei Schichten bestehen: eine unter Wasser, eine aus Stein und eine aus Stacheldraht – ähnlich wie Wellenbrecher. Ein zusätzlicher Zaun soll um diese Barriere errichtet werden. „Das ist eine weitere Präventionsmaßnahme gegen die Hamas, die nun eine weitere strategische Möglichkeit verlieren wird, in deren Entwicklung sie viel Geld investiert hat“, schrieb Lieberman. Man werde die Bürger weiterhin mit Stärke und Raffinesse schützen.

      Tatsächlich ist die Meeresbarriere nicht das erste „raffinierte“ Konstrukt der Israelis, um sich vor Terrorangriffen aus dem Gazastreifen zu schützen. Seit 2011 setzt die Armee den selbst entwickelten Abfangschirm „Iron Dome“ ein, der Raketen rechtzeitig erkennt und noch in der Luft abschießt – zumindest dann, wenn der Flug lange dauert, das heißt das Angriffsziel nicht zu nahe am Abschussort liegt. Für einige Dörfer und Kibbuzim direkt am Gazastreifen bleiben die Raketen weiterhin eine große Gefahr.
      Einsatz von Drachen

      Seit vergangenem Jahr baut Israel auch eine bis tief in die Erde reichende Mauer. Umgerechnet mehr als 750 Millionen Euro kostet dieser Hightechbau, der mit Sensoren ausgestattet ist und Bewegungen auch unterhalb der Erde meldet. In den vergangenen Jahren und Monaten hat die Armee zahlreiche Tunnel entdeckt und zerstört. Dass Terrorgruppen nach Abschluss des Baus noch versuchen werden, unterirdisch vorzudringen, scheint unwahrscheinlich: „Mit dem Bau wird die Grenze hermetisch abgeriegelt“, sagt ein Sicherheitsexperte. Rund zehn der insgesamt 64 Kilometer langen Mauer seien bereits komplett fertiggestellt, bis Anfang kommenden Jahres soll der Bau abgeschlossen sein.

      Nun folgt der Seeweg: Während des Gazakrieges 2014 hatten Taucher der Hamas es geschafft, bewaffnet Israels Küste zu erreichen. Sie wurden dort von den israelischen Streitkräften getötet. Es waren seither wohl nicht die einzigen Versuche, ist Kobi Michael, einst stellvertretender Generaldirektor des Ministeriums für Strategische Angelegenheiten, überzeugt. „Es wurde nicht zwingend darüber berichtet, aber es gab Versuche.“

      Israel reagiert mit neuen Erfindungen auf die verschiedenen Angriffstaktiken der Terroristen in Gaza – doch die entwickeln bereits neue. Es bleibt ein Katz-und-Maus-Spiel. Jüngste Taktik ist der Einsatz von Drachen, die mit Molotowcocktails oder Dosen voller brennendem Benzin ausgestattet werden. Dutzende solcher Drachen wurden während der „Marsch der Rückkehr“-Proteste in den vergangenen zwei Monaten nach Israel geschickt.

      „Das ist eine neue und sehr primitive Art des Terrors“, so Kobi Michael. Aber eben auch eine wirkungsvolle, da Landwirtschaft im Süden eine große Rolle spielt und Israel zudem seine Natur schützen will. „Sie haben es geschafft, bereits Hunderte Hektar Weizenfelder und Wälder in Brand zu stecken.“ Israel setzt nun unter anderem spezielle Drohnen ein, um die brennenden Drachen noch in der Luft zu zerstören. Aber Michael ist sicher, auch hier bedarf es zukünftig eines besseren Abwehrsystems. Der Sicherheitsexperte sieht es positiv: „Sie fordern uns heraus und wir reagieren mit der Entwicklung hochtechnologischer Lösungen.“

      https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/seebarriere-noerdlich-des-gazastreifens-wie-israel-tauchende-und-schwimmende-terroristen-abwehrt/22617084.html
      #Israël #Palestine

    • La #barrière_maritime israélienne de Gaza est sur le point d’être achevée

      Un mur sous-marin de rochers et de détecteurs surmonté d’une clôture intelligente de 6 mètres de haut et d’un brise-lames comble un vide dans les défenses d’Israël.

      Plus de quatre ans après qu’une équipe de commandos du Hamas est entrée en Israël depuis la mer pendant la guerre de Gaza en 2014, les ingénieurs israéliens sont sur le point d’achever la construction d’une barrière maritime intelligente destinée à prévenir de futures attaques, a rapporté lundi la Dixième chaîne.

      La construction de la barrière de 200 mètres de long a été effectuée par le ministère de la Défense au large de la plage de Zikim, sur la frontière la plus au nord de Gaza. Le travail a duré sept mois.

      La barrière est destinée à combler un vide dans les défenses d’Israël le long de la frontière avec Gaza.

      Sur terre, Israël a une clôture en surface et construit un système complexe de barrières et de détecteurs souterrains pour empêcher le Hamas – l’organisation terroriste islamiste qui dirige Gaza et cherche à détruire Israël – de percer des tunnels en territoire israélien. En mer, la marine israélienne maintient une présence permanente capable de détecter les tentatives d’infiltration dans les eaux israéliennes.

      Mais il y avait une brèche juste au large de la plage de Zikim, dans la zone étroite des eaux peu profondes où ni les forces terrestres ni les navires de mer ne pouvaient opérer facilement.

      Les commandos du Hamas ont profité de cette faille en 2014 pour contourner facilement une clôture vétuste et délabrée et passer en Israël par les eaux peu profondes.

      Les forces du Hamas n’ont été arrêtées que lorsque les équipes de surveillance de Tsahal ont remarqué leurs mouvements lorsqu’elles sont arrivées sur la plage en Israël.

      La barrière est composée de plusieurs parties. Un mur sous-marin de blocs rocheux s’étend à environ 200 mètres dans la mer. A l’intérieur du mur de blocs rocheux se trouve un mur en béton revêtu de détecteurs sismiques et d’autres outils technologiques dont la fonction exacte est secrète.

      Au-dessus de l’eau, le long du côté ouest du mur nord-sud, une clôture intelligente hérissée de détecteurs s’élève à une hauteur de six mètres.

      Du côté est, un brise-lames avec une route au milieu s’étend sur toute la longueur du mur sous-marin.

      La construction a été rapide, bien qu’elle ait été entravée ponctuellement par les attaques du Hamas.

      Lors d’une de ces attaques, un combattant du Hamas a lancé des grenades sur les forces israéliennes qui gardaient les équipes de travail, avant d’être tué par les tirs israéliens en retour.

      https://fr.timesofisrael.com/la-barriere-maritime-israelienne-de-gaza-est-sur-le-point-detre-ac

    • Grèce : un mur flottant pour contrer l’arrivée de migrants

      Pour restreindre l’arrivée de migrants depuis la Turquie, le gouvernement grec vient de lancer un appel d’offres pour la construction, en pleine mer Égée, d’un « système de protection flottant ». Une annonce qui provoque de vives réactions.

      Athènes (Grèce), correspondance.– Depuis les côtes turques, les rivages de Lesbos surgissent après une douzaine de kilomètres de mer Égée. En 2019, ce bras de mer est redevenu la première porte d’entrée des demandeurs d’asile dans l’Union européenne, pour la plupart des Afghans et des Syriens. Mais un nouvel obstacle pourrait bientôt compliquer le passage, sinon couper la voie. À Athènes, le gouvernement conservateur estime détenir une solution pour réduire les arrivées : ériger une barrière flottante anti-migrants.

      Fin janvier, le ministère de la défense a ainsi publié un appel d’offres « pour la fourniture d’un système de protection flottant […] », visant « à gérer […] en cas d’urgence […] le flux de réfugiés et de migrants qui augmente sans cesse ». D’après ce document de 122 pages, le dispositif « de barrage ou filet […] de couleur jaune ou orange », composé de plusieurs sections de 25 à 50 mètres reliées entre elles, s’étendra sur 2,7 km.

      Il s’élèvera « d’au moins » 50 centimètres au-dessus des flots. Et de nuit, la clôture brillera grâce à « des bandes réfléchissantes […] et des lumières jaunes clignotantes ». Son coût estimé : 500 000 euros – dont 96 774 de TVA – incluant « quatre ans d’entretien et la formation du personnel » pour son installation en mer.

      Sollicitées, les autorités n’ont pas donné d’autres détails à Mediapart. Mais l’agence Reuters et les médias grecs précisent que le mur sera testé au nord de Lesbos, île qui a concentré 58 % des entrées de migrants dans le pays en 2019, d’après le Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR).

      Alors que la Grèce compte désormais 87 000 demandeurs d’asile, environ 42 000 (majoritairement des familles) sont bloqués à Lesbos, Leros, Chios, Kos et Samos, le temps du traitement de leur requête. Avec 6 000 places d’hébergement à peine sur ces cinq îles, la situation est devenue explosive (lire notre reportage à Samos).

      « Cela ne peut pas continuer ainsi, a justifié le ministre de la défense nationale, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, le 30 janvier dernier, sur la radio privée Skaï. Il reste à savoir si [ce barrage] fonctionnera. »

      Joint par téléphone, un habitant de Mytilène (chef-lieu de Lesbos), souhaitant garder son anonymat, déclare ne voir dans ce mur qu’un « effet d’annonce ». « Impossible qu’il tienne en mer, les vents sont trop violents l’hiver. Et ce sera dangereux pour les pêcheurs du coin. Ce projet n’est pas sérieux, les autorités turques ne réagissent même pas, elles rigolent ! »

      Pour Amnesty International, il s’agit d’une « escalade inquiétante » ; pour Human Rights Watch, d’un projet « insensé qui peut mettre la vie [des migrants] en danger ».

      L’annonce de ce mur test a non seulement fait bondir les ONG, mais aussi provoqué un malaise au sein de certaines institutions. « Si une petite embarcation percute la barrière et se renverse, comment les secours pourront-ils accéder au lieu du naufrage ? », interroge également la chercheuse Vicky Skoumbi, directrice de programme au Collège international de philosophie de Paris. Selon elle, cette barrière est « contraire au droit international », notamment l’article 33 de la Convention de 1951 sur le statut des réfugiés et le droit d’asile, qui interdit les refoulements. « L’entrave à la liberté de circulation que constitue la barrière flottante équivaut à un refoulement implicite (ou en acte) du candidat à l’asile », poursuit Vicky Skoumbi.

      L’opposition de gauche Syriza, qui moque sa taille (trois kilomètres sur des centaines de kilomètres de frontière maritime), a aussi qualifié ce projet de « hideux » et de « violation des réglementations européennes ».

      Le porte-parole de la Commission européenne, Adalbert Jahnz, pris de court le 30 janvier lors d’un point presse, a par ailleurs déclaré : « L’installation de barrières n’est pas contraire en tant que telle au droit de l’UE […] cependant […] du point de vue du droit de l’[UE], des barrières de ce genre ou obstacles physiques ne peuvent pas rendre impossible l’accès à la procédure d’asile. »

      « Nous suivons le dossier et sommes en contact étroit avec le gouvernement grec », nous résume aujourd’hui Adalbert Jahnz. Boris Cheshirkov l’un des porte-parole du HCR, rappelle surtout à Mediapart que « 85 % des personnes qui arrivent aujourd’hui en Grèce sont des réfugiés et ont un profil éligible à l’asile ».

      Pour justifier son mur flottant, le gouvernement de droite affirme s’inspirer d’un projet terrestre ayant déjà vu le jour en 2012 : une barrière anti-migrants de 12,5 kilomètres de barbelés érigée entre la bourgade grecque de Nea Vyssa (nord-est du pays) et la ville turque d’Édirne, dans la région de l’Évros.

      L’UE avait à l’époque refusé le financement de cette clôture de près de 3 millions d’euros, finalement payée par l’État grec. Huit ans plus tard, le gouvernement salue son « efficacité » : « Les flux [de migrants] ont été réduits à [cette] frontière terrestre. Nous pensons que le système flottant pourrait avoir un impact similaire », a déclaré le ministre de la défense sur Skaï.

      Or pour la géographe Cristina Del Biaggio, maîtresse de conférences à l’université de Grenoble Alpes, ce mur de l’Évros n’a diminué les arrivées que « localement et temporairement » : « Il a modifié les parcours migratoires en les déplaçant vers le nord-est, à la frontière avec la Bulgarie. »

      En réponse, le voisin bulgare a érigé dans la foulée, en 2014, sa propre clôture anti-migrants à la frontière turque. Les arrivées se sont alors reportées sur les îles grecques du Dodécanèse, puis de nouveau dans la région de l’Évros. « En jouant à ce jeu cynique du chat et de la souris, le durcissement des frontières n’a que dévié (et non pas stoppé) les flux dans la région », conclut Cristina Del Biaggio.

      Selon elle, la construction d’une barrière flottante à des fins de contrôle frontalier serait une première. Le fait que ce « projet pilote » émane du ministère de la défense « est symbolique », ajoute Filippa Chatzistavrou, chercheuse en sciences politiques à l’université d’Athènes. « Depuis 2015, la Défense s’implique beaucoup dans les questions migratoires et c’est une approche qui en dit long : on perçoit les migrants comme une menace. »

      Théoriquement, « c’est le ministère de l’immigration qui devrait être en charge de ces projets, a reconnu le ministre de la défense. Mais il vient tout juste d’être recréé… ». Le gouvernement de droite conservatrice l’avait, de fait, supprimé à son arrivée en juillet dernier (avant de faire volte-face), en amorce d’autres réformes dures en matière d’immigration. En novembre, en particulier, une loi sur la procédure d’asile a été adoptée au Parlement, qui prolonge notamment la durée possible de rétention des demandeurs et réduit leurs possibilités de faire appel. Une politique qui n’a pas empêché la hausse des arrivées en Grèce.

      Porte-parole du HCR à Lesbos, Astrid Castelin observe l’île sombrer désormais « dans la haine des réfugiés et l’incertitude ». Reflet de la catastrophe en cours, le camp de Moria, en particulier, n’en finit pas de s’étaler dans les collines d’oliviers. « On y compte plus de 18 000 personnes, dont beaucoup d’enfants de moins de 12 ans, pour 3 000 places, s’inquiète ainsi Astrid Castelin. La municipalité ne peut plus ramasser l’ensemble des déchets, les files d’attente pour les douches ou les toilettes sont interminables. » Le 3 février, la police a fait usage de gaz lacrymogènes à l’encontre de 2 000 migrants qui manifestaient pour leurs droits.

      L’habitant de Lesbos déjà cité, lui, note qu’on parle davantage sur l’île de l’apparition de « milices d’extrême droite qui rôdent près de Moria, qui demandent leurs cartes d’identité aux passants » que du projet de barrage flottant. Le 7 février, en tout cas, la police grecque a annoncé avoir interpellé sept personnes soupçonnées de projeter une attaque de migrants.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/110220/grece-un-mur-flottant-pour-contrer-l-arrivee-de-migrants

  • Why ’stronger borders’ don’t work

    Thousands of people die annually trying to cross borders. It’s often argued stronger borders and more checks would deter people from making dangerous crossings. But how accurate is this? Maya Goodfellow explores what the current border regime means for people seeking asylum

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2020/jan/21/why-stronger-borders-dont-work
    #fermeture_des_frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #walls_don't_work #dissuasion #frontières #problème #solution #vidéo #externalisation #vulnérabilité #danger #péril #militarisation_des_frontières #ressources_pédagogiques #pull_factor #facteur_pull #stéréotypes #préjugés #pull-factor #audition #voies_légales #réinstallation

    Cette carte


    #cartographie #visualisation #frontières_intérieures #Schengen (fin de -)
    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Hoping To Survive, by #Razieh_Gholami, Afghanistan, 2019

    ‘The journey to safety is hard. Europe doesn’t want refugees. We thought we had arrived to safety but Europe is trying to make us struggle more and send us back to danger’

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2019/dec/25/we-never-chose-this-refugees-use-art-to-imagine-a-better-world-in-pictu
    #dessin #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #refoulement #push-back #refoulements #Europe #frontières_extérieures #fermeture_des_frontières

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Fermeture des frontières du #Nigeria : un émissaire de la Cédéao au Bénin

    Depuis le 20 août 2019, le Nigeria a décidé de fermer toutes ses frontières. Une situation qui pèse sur les commerçants béninois. Le président de la Task Force de la Cédéao pour la #libre_circulation, le général Salou Djibo, s’est rendu à la frontière entre les deux pays.

    Depuis le 20 août, le Nigeria, pays membre de la Cédéao qui promeut la libre circulation des personnes et des biens, a décidé de fermer toutes ses frontières, officiellement pour lutter contre l’entrée sur son territoire des produits interdits comme le riz, l’essence de la #contrebande, les voitures d’occasion. Une mesure qui devrait être prolongée jusqu’au 31 janvier 2020 sur décision du chef de l’État nigérian.

    La Cédéao est venue s’informer des conséquences de cette fermeture. Salou Djibo a réuni dans la salle de conférence du poste-frontalier Sèmè-Kraké toute l’administration qui gère le flux des passagers des véhicules : douane, police et les représentants des camionneurs bloqués ici depuis deux mois et demi.

    Salou Djibo et ses accompagnateurs ont posé des questions précises au receveur de la douane et au commissaire de Kraké. Des questions qui avaient l’air d’une petite enquête pour confirmer ou infirmer tout ce que le Nigeria reproche au Bénin.

    Plus qu’un avocat, le receveur de la douane a laissé entendre que le Bénin était irréprochable en matière de respect des réglementations. Salou Djibo a écouté, pris des notes. Puis, il a confié à RFI qu’il allait maintenant faire un rapport et rendre compte à qui de droit.

    Plus de 1 000 camions bloqués

    L’impact sur les recettes de cette fermeture n’a pas encore été officiellement chiffré. Le Bénin n’a publié aucun chiffre. Mais le volume des échanges avec le Nigeria est si important que chacun devine le manque à gagner. La douane à #Kraké, par exemple, n’a prélevé aucune recette depuis deux mois et demi, alors que les recettes mensuelles avoisinent les 300 millions de francs CFA d’habitude.

    Quant aux produits qui viennent du Nigeria et qui sont mis en consommation sur le marché béninois, ces produits augmentent. Pusieurs camionneurs ont d’ailleurs déclaré au président Salou Djibo que la situation n’était plus tenable. Ils n’ont plus de réserves pour se nourrir et se soigner. Certains de leurs apprentis sont en prison pour avoir commis de petits vols pour survivre. « Ça ne va pas, sauvez-nous ! », ont-ils demandé aux émissaires. Salou Djibo leur a répondu de faire preuve d’un peu de patience. Actuellement, plus d’un milliern de camions sont bloqués et immobilisés sur les parcs à la frontière Sèmè-Kraké.

    Comme si son pays subissait une injustice, le ministre béninois des affaires étrangères, Aurélien Agbenonci espère aussi un dénouement rapide. « Notre pays n’a pas changé de posture. Nous n’avons pris aucune mesure qui puisse constituer une entrave à la circulation des personnes, des biens. La main des Béninois reste tendue pour explorer les voies et moyens pour surmonter rapidement cette crise. »

    Les conséquences au Nigeria

    En fermant ses frontières, le Nigeria voulait notamment stimuler la production locale de #riz et réduire ses importations. Mais deux mois plus tard, ces objectifs n’ont pas réellement été atteints. Il faut beaucoup plus qu’une fermeture de frontière pour dynamiser un secteur qui n’est pas très compétitif, estime le professeur de géopolitique et consultant en développement Emmanuel Igah, qui explique que pour le moment, la mesure n’a pas encore produit les effets escomptés.

    Résultat de cette mesure, le prix du riz a augmenté de près de 10% entre début aout et fin septembre. Ainsi que le prix de nombreux autres produits alimentaires, qui ne peuvent plus être importés, explique l’économiste Leopold Ghins.

    « Le #Ghana exporte beaucoup au Nigeria, de l’huile de palme, du café, du cacao, de la bière, du beurre. Au niveau du Bénin, il y a aussi d’autres céréales exportées au Nigeria, le manioc par exemple. Et au niveau du Niger, ça va plutôt être du bétail, les vaches, les produits laitiers, etc. Tous ces produits vont devenir plus chers sur le marché nigérian. »

    Selon ces chercheurs, le marché nigérian n’était pas préparé à cette fermeture soudaine de la frontière et n’était pas suffisamment approvisionné ce qui a provoqué une forte inflation. Le problème, ajoutent-ils, c’est qu’il faudra beaucoup plus que trois mois supplémentaires pour développer une production locale.

    http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20191104-fermeture-frontieres-nigeria-emissaire-cedeao-benin-seme-krake
    #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #Benin

    • Sommet de la Cédéao, 21.12.2019

      La libre circulation des biens et des personnes en panne

      Toujours sur le plan économique, la conférence des Chefs d’Etat de la #CEDEAO s’est penchée sur la situation des échanges commerciaux au niveau de la sous-région. Malgré les efforts, la situation reste encore peu reluisante et la question de la fermeture des frontières terrestres nigérianes s’est invitée à l’ordre du jour de cette 56e session. Les Chefs d’Etat ont appelé au respect des règles et des normes communautaires et, afin de solutionner le problème, un comité composé du Burkina, de la Côte d’ivoire et du Togo, en plus des pays membres concernés (Nigeria, Bénin et Niger), a été chargé d’assurer une sorte de médiation pour permettre la libre circulation des biens et des services dans l’espace communautaire. Il travaillera pour ce faire, avec la Task Force de la Cédéao sur la question, laquelle est dirigée par l’ancien chef d’Etat nigérien Salou Djibo.

      https://www.actuniger.com/politique/15716-sommet-de-la-cedeao-2-milliards-de-dollars-contre-le-terrorisme-une

  • L’UE veut sophistiquer la surveillance de ses frontières boisées…

    La Commission Européenne veut améliorer la détection des passages à ses frontières densément boisées, difficiles à surveiller par des patrouilles.
    Le projet de recherche sur la sécurité FOLDOUT (through FOliage Detection in the inner and OUTermost regions of the EU) doit tester une combinaison de différentes technologies avec des caméras, des radars, des détecteurs de mouvement, des capteurs électromagnétiques et des microphones.

    Y participent : Autriche, France (Thales), Bulgarie, Finlande, Lituanie, Pologne. Il coute 8 millions d’euros. Les tests commencent en 2021 (frontières bulgaro-turc, puis greco-turc, finlandaise et guyanaise).

    […]
    Die Grenzabschnitte werden zunächst mit konventionellen Systemen überwacht, darunter Kameras, akustische oder Bewegungsdetektoren. Dabei soll etwa „verdächtiger Autoverkehr“ festgestellt werden. Die verschiedenen Sensoren sind in einem gemeinsamen Gehäuse verbaut. Die Behörden wollen sich außerdem die mitgeführten Handys von Geflüchteten zunutze machen. Wird ein Telefon in einer bestimmten Funkzelle festgestellt, erfolgt eine Ortung des Geräts.
    Geostationäre Beobachtung aus 20 Kilometer Höhe
    Anschließend kann eine Kaskade weiterer Maßnahmen in Gang gesetzt werden, darunter die Beobachtung aus dem All und aus der Luft. Dabei sollen auch Radarsatelliten eingesetzt werden, deren Bilder Laub durchdringen können. Werden Personen geortet, können diese mit Drohnen aufgespürt werden. Auch die unbemannten Luftfahrzeuge befördern kleine Radarsensoren oder Wärmebildkameras. Am Ende erfolgt der Zugriff durch die zuständige Grenzpolizei.
    FOLDOUT könnte auch zur dauerhaften Überwachung einer bestimmten Region genutzt werden. Dabei würde die Überwachungstechnik an „stratosphärische Plattformen“ montiert, wie sie von einigen Rüstungsfirmen derzeit entwickelt werden. Die geostationären Anlagen fliegen in rund 20 Kilometer Höhe und bieten daher eine deutlich höhere Auflösung als die Erdbeobachtung per Satellit. Der an FOLDOUT beteiligte Konzern Thales vermarktet ein solches System unter dem Namen „Stratobus“.
    […]

    https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Grenze-zur-Tuerkei-EU-Kommission-will-Gefluechtete-mit-Laubdurchdringung-aufsp
    https://foldout.eu

    #Union_Européenne #frontière #forteresse #surveillance #FOLDOUT #circulation

  • Border line : a journey through the Irish heart of the Brexit crisis – video | UK news | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2019/dec/09/the-irish-border-line-a-journey-along-edge-of-brexit-crisis-video

    Un joli reportage de 15 minutes sur la frontière entre l’Ulster et l’Irlande au prisme du Brexit

    In the weeks leading up to the general election triggered by the Brexit crisis, Phoebe Greenwood and Ekaterina Ochagavia have driven the length of the border that has proved one of the most contentious issues in the Brexit debate. We hear from the people living along it, and what they think is at stake in the election

    Phoebe Greenwood Ekaterina Ochagavia , Mick Browne, James Armstrong, Marina Costa and Katie Lamborn, Source: The Guardian

    Mon 9 Dec 2019

    #irlande #irlande_du_nord #royaume-uni #brexit #frontières

  • The Effects of Immigration on the Economy: Lessons from the 1920s Border Closure

    In the 1920s, the United States substantially reduced immigrant entry by imposing country-specific quotas. We compare local labor markets with more or less exposure to the national quotas due to differences in initial immigrant settlement. A puzzle emerges: the earnings of existing US-born workers declined after the border closure, despite the loss of immigrant labor supply. We find that more skilled US-born workers – along with unrestricted immigrants from Mexico and Canada – moved into affected urban areas, completely replacing European immigrants. By contrast, the loss of immigrant workers encouraged farmers to shift toward capital-intensive agriculture and discouraged entry from unrestricted workers.

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w26536
    #fermeture_des_frontières #migrations #économie #histoire #USA #Etats-Unis #travail #marché_du_travail

  • Council of Ministers amendments on the green line code in violation of the EC Regulation

    On 27.11.2019, the Council of Ministers decided, without any consultation with either the stakeholders concerned in Cyprus or with the European Union/ Commission, to proceed to the amendment of the Code for the implementation of the Regulation of the European Council (866/2004/ΕC) on the Green Line. According to this decision:

    All people passing through the line (including Cypriot citizens, hitherto not checked) will be checked.
    Unaccompanied minors not escorted by parents will not be allowed to cross unless they have written authorisation by their parents.
    No third-country nationals (TCN) with temporary residence permit, except family members of Cypriot or other European citizens, and with long-term residence permit, will be allowed to pass through the line.
    The passage of people will be permitted for humanitarian grounds, medical reasons, etc
    In addition, the Council of Ministers has decided to submit bills to the House of Representatives for imposing administrative fines (in monetary terms) to people using ports and airports in the areas not under the control of the government, without clarifying as to whether these fines will be imposed on everyone or only on TCN.

    KISA is of the opinion that the government should have informed both Cypriot society as well as the EC for the proposed amendments to the Code for the implementation of the green line Regulation. It is not coincidental that the EC has already expressed the need for its approval of any amendments.

    KISA believes that the decision to restrict and/or prohibit the crossing of legally residing migrants through the green line constitutes prohibited discrimination and is not permitted by the Council Regulation, which renders it a direct violation of the Regulation itself.

    From a legal point of view, the government does have the right to impose universal checks of identity verification of persons passing through the line. However, as it has decided to apply the Regulation strictly 15 years later, it should do so after the setting up of the necessary infrastructe and required staff increases at the checkpoints so as to ensure people’s smooth movement. The immediate implementation of the above checks, without all the above, constitutes disproportionate restrictions and obstacles to the free movement of people through the line.

    KISA also condemns the government’s attempt to connect, by using misleading and populist rhetoric, the amendments with the management of the rising number of asylum applications, irregular migration and security for domestic audience and impressing the public as, according to point 2 (d) of the decision, «third-country nationals … are not permitted to pass through the line … unless they apply for asylum». The proposed measures that the government has connected with the increasing refugee flows to Cyprus, due to the continuing wars in the area, cannot objectively speaking bring about the objectives pursued by the government (reduction of the refugee flows), as no one can restrict the right to asylum, which is a fundamental right according to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

    Instead of the government asking for EU’s assistance and support to enable it to meet the severe pressures on the asylum system and the reception of asylum seekers in Cyprus, it will waste European and national resources on the green line checks and undue hassle of legally residing migrants as well as Cypriots at the checkpoints.

    KISA is of the opinion that the new policy entails serious risks to the Cyprus question as, on the one hand, it hinders communication and contact between the areas controlled and not under the control of the government and, on the other, it turns the green line into a hard border, which leads to deepening the division of our country, when the objective of the Regulation is to facilitate free movement of people and cooperation between the two communities.

    Finally, KISA points out that the inclusion of the Ministry of Defence in the Ministerial Committee for migration and asylum formalises the securitisation policy on migration and asylum, a policy that has contributed substantially to harbouring racism and the rise of extreme right and neo-nazi organisations in Europe.

    KISA in cooperation with other civil society organisations intends to do all it can, including through reports/complaints to European and international organisations and agencies, against these new measures.

    https://kisa.org.cy/ministerial-amendments-on-the-green-line-code-in-violation-of-the-ec-regula
    #Chypre #green_line #fermeture_des_frontières #frontières #contrôles_systématiques #libre_circulation #Chypre_du_Nord

    –----------------------

    Traduction en français:

    Une décision du conseil des ministres de la République prise de manière unilatérale sans consulter les institutions européennes visant à amender la manière dont les contrôles sont exercées aux points de passage officiels de la Ligne Verte entre la République de Chypre et la république auto-proclamée turque de Chypre Nord selon un règlement européen adopté en 2004 au moment de l’entrée du pays dans l’Union européenne.

    Jusqu’à présent les citoyen.nes européen.nes et les Chypriotes pouvaient franchir la #ligne_verte et exercer leur droit à la libre circulation, ainsi que les ressortissant.es de pays non-membres de l’UE disposant d’un droit au séjour y compris touristes en court séjour) délivré par la République de Chypre.

    Désormais toutes les personnes passant par la ligne (y compris les citoyens chypriotes, jusqu’à présent non contrôlés) seront contrôlées. Le passage de personnes sera autorisé pour des raisons humanitaires, médicales, etc.

    De plus,

    Les #mineurs_non_accompagnés qui ne sont pas escortés par leurs parents ne seront pas autorisés à traverser sans l’autorisation écrite de leurs parents
    Aucun ressortissant de pays tiers (RTC) titulaire d’un permis de séjour temporaire, à l’exception des membres de la famille de Chypriotes ou d’autres citoyens européens, et titulaire d’un permis de séjour de longue durée, ne sera autorisé à franchir cette ligne.

    « En outre, le Conseil des ministres a décidé de soumettre à la Chambre des représentants des projets de loi visant à imposer des amendes administratives (en termes monétaires) aux usagers des ports et aéroports dans les zones non contrôlées par le gouvernement, sans préciser si ces amendes seront imposées à tous ou seulement aux resortissant.es d’Etats non-membres de l’UE ».

    Selon le gouvernement, ces interdictions de passage par la ligne verte n’affecteront pas les demandeurs d’asile ainsi que le rapporte cet article du Cyprus Mail. Le parti communiste AKEL a dénoncé la mise en place d’une frontière dure (hard border).

    KISA souligne que, juridiquement, de tels contrôles systématiques et sans discrimination aucune sont légaux. L’ONG poursuit en critiquant l’absence d’infrastructure et de personnel pour ce faire, alors que le règlement autorise de tels contrôles depuis son édiction, il y a 15 ans de cela, et interprète ceci comme une décision qui restreint la mobilité de manière disproportionnée qui met en danger la liberté de circulation. KISA condamne le lien fait explicitement par le gouvernement entre l’augmentation du nombre de demandeurs d’asile, de personnes migrantes en situation irrégulière, de préoccupations sécuritaires à Chypre et la nécessité de cette décision. L’association constate que demander du soutien à l’UE pour mieux accueillir ces personnes auraient été plus judicieux que de renforcer des contrôles sur la ligne verte, une démarche coûteuse, populiste et qui met à mal les efforts de coopération entre les deux communautés de chaque côté de la ligne entamés ces dernières années.

    Pour rappel, les points de passage de la ligne verte ont été ouverts en 2004 au moment de l’entrée de l’île dans l’UE. La République de Chypre n’exerce sa souveraineté que sur une partie de l’île, mais tou.tes les Chypriotes, qu’ils/elles soient Chypriotes turcs ou grecs, sont des citoyen.nes européen.nes.
    Cette décision unilatérale donne un signal peut prometteur aux (énièmes) négociations de paix en vue d’une solution engagées sous l’égide de l’ONU et relancées à Berlin le mois dernier.

    ping @reka

  • Conférence - La tentation du mur

    Trente ans après la chute du mur de Berlin, que reste-t-il des #murs_frontaliers dans le monde ? Quel constat peut-on dresser alors que les murs redéfinissent les lignes frontalières à travers le monde, durcissant des frontières autrefois poreuses et ouvertes ?
    #Élisabeth_Vallet, directrice de l’Observatoire de géopolitique de la Chaire Raoul-Dandurand, a répondu à ces questionnements lors d’une conférence organisée dans le cadre des journées académiques allemandes à l’UQAM, le 11 novembre 2019

    https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/conf%C3%A9rence-la-tentation-du-mur/id1483631088?i=1000457926931&l=fr
    #murs #frontières #conférence #audio #podcast #barrières_frontalières #fermeture_des_frontières

  • Les visas : #inégalités et #mobilités à géométrie variable

    L’année 2019 a été marquée par l’expansion, avant tout médiatique, du #no-fly_movement. En août dernier, le fait que la jeune activiste du climat #Greta_Thunberg choisisse le bateau pour rallier l’ONU a suscité d’innombrables commentaires, la traversée Plymouth-New York évoquant l’époque des grandes émigrations européennes vers le Nouveau Monde.

    Or, depuis une trentaine d’années, des centaines de milliers de voyageurs, souvent aussi jeunes que la militante suédoise, sont privés de la possibilité de prendre l’avion. Chaque année, ils/elles sont contraints de traverser mers et continents, en bateaux et à pieds, car des barrières de papiers et des contrôles multiples les empêchent d’approcher des aéroports. L’accès aux vols internationaux demeure un privilège de riches, auquel seuls les riches ont le choix de renoncer. Jusqu’aux années 1980, rallier l’Europe depuis l’Afrique, l’Asie du Sud-Est ou le Moyen-Orient n’était pas une odyssée : la mobilisation financière des proches suffisait à financer l’achat de billets d’avion qui, bien que coûteux, n’atteignaient pas les sommes faramineuses aujourd’hui réclamées pour monter sur un rafiot ou à l’arrière d’un camion. L’obligation de détenir un visa, qui n’est jamais accordé aux personnes dites « à risque migratoire », est ainsi la principale cause de l’hécatombe qui s’abat sur celles et ceux qui tentent de mettre en oeuvre leur droit à émigrer.

    Faire converger les luttes ou se mobiliser pour une mondialisation soutenable et égalitaire passe donc par un renversement des flux aéronautiques : la décroissance des trajets nord-sud restera un repli européocentré si elle ne s’accompagne pas d’un accès sans discrimination aux lignes qui permettent d’aller du sud vers le nord. Des visas pour tou·te·s, ou plus de visas du tout, pour que chacun·e puisse librement choisir de partir ou de rester, sans être illégalisé·e ni mis·e en péril.


    http://www.migreurop.org/article2941.html
    #visas #migrations #frontières #mobilité #fermeture_des_frontières #cartographie #visualisation #faire_monde #immobilité

    Pour télécharger la note en pdf :
    http://www.migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/note_10_fr.pdf

    En anglais :
    Visas : inequalities & two-speed mobility schemes
    http://www.migreurop.org/article2946.html

  • EU aid and development funding has provided €215 million for border security in Morocco since 2001

    Since 2001, almost €215 million has been provided to Morocco by the EU to finance border security projects. Human rights abuses against migrants and refugees committed by Moroccan authorities call into question whether financial support from the EU to Moroccan border security should continue.

    http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-347-eu-morocco-aid-border-security.pdf

    Initial EU funding efforts worth some €68 million took place between 2001 and 2010 and, despite an interlude in which financial support was concerned with reform of the country’s migration policy, in 2018 funding for border security returned with a vengeance, with €140 million promised to Morocco - half of which comes from the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

    The strengthening of the EU-Morocco relationship on migration control has coincided with a crackdown on migrant presence in the north of Morocco, during which at least 8,000 people have been arrested and internally displaced to the south by the Moroccan police.

    People on the move have often faced violence at the hands of the Moroccan authorities in the name of enforcing the country’s migration policy. Nevertheless, the European Commission is reticent to acknowledge that it may have contributed in some way to operations by the Moroccan security forces in which human rights have been violated - an official told Statewatch that Morocco “advocates for a humanistic approach that considers human rights and integration as its first priority.”

    There is little publicly-available information on the results of these funding programmes and the evaluation report for just one project is publicly available. However, the activities foreseen for each project - contained in documents released to Statewatch - indicate that development aid has been used to increase the capacity of Moroccan state institutions to control the country’s land and sea borders, to exchange and coordinate information with both African and European partners. It seems like that the projects currently being implemented will continue in this vein.

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-morocco-borders.htm
    #Maroc #externalisation #externalisation_des_frontières #asile #migrations #développement #aide_au_développement #coopération_au_développement #fermeture_des_frontières #frontières

    ping @isskein @karine4

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur développement et migrations :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768702

  • Denmark starts border checks at crossings to Sweden

    Danish police on Tuesday began performing border checks at the country’s crossings with Sweden, moves that followed a series of shootings and explosions around Copenhagen that Danish authorities say were carried out by people crossing the waterway between the Scandinavian neighbors.

    The checks were conducted on trains and vehicles crossing the Oresund Bridge over the narrow waterway that separates Copenhagen, Denmark’s largest city, and Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city. Checks were also carried out at ferry ports.

    Police spokesman Jens Jespersen told The Associated Press that officers at the Oresund Bridge vehicle checkpoint had “a particular focus on cross-border crime involving explosives, weapons and drugs.” He also said authorities were stopping cars to have “a peak at who is inside.”

    “It gives us a pretty good picture of who is coming over,” he said.

    For years, Danes and Swedes have been able to cross without needing a passport. Now a passport is needed for Swedes entering Denmark — at least for the next six months.

    That requirement and the checkpoints come after violence that includes 13 explosions in Copenhagen since February, as well as a shooting in June that killed two Swedish citizens.

    The spiraling violence is believed to be gang related, stemming from disputes over drugs, money, protection and retaliation. An estimated 200 people in Malmo belong to about a dozen gangs.

    On Saturday, a shooting in Malmo killed a 15-year-old boy and critically wounded another. Police said the teenagers who were shot were well-known to authorities in Malmo and officials vowed to crack down even further on organized crime. No one has been arrested.

    Lilian Gustavsson, a 67-year-old Swedish woman who was about to embark on the train to Malmo from Copenhagen’s international airport, said she understood why the Danes were carrying out the checks.

    “I believe this will mean a little travel delay for everyone,” she said. “I fear we might get stuck, but better that than having criminals crossing.”

    As part of Monday’s checks, all vehicles coming from Sweden on the Orseund Bridge were led to a rest area on the Danish side. They then went through a large white tent where officers checked the driver, passengers and the car. Police scanned vehicle license plates, Jespersen said, “so if a (vehicle) is known in the system, we can pull it aside.”

    During the roughly four-hour check Monday, no one was pulled aside, he said. He declined to give details as to when police would carry out further checks but said “a good guess would be two or three times a week.”

    https://apnews.com/45659f17ec2e44eb8160ec4efeb10c21
    #fermeture_des_frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Schengen (fin de -) #frontières #Danemark #Suède #migrations #asile #réfugiés

    ping @reka

  • No Go World. How Fear Is Redrawing Our Maps and Infecting Our Politics

    War-torn deserts, jihadist killings, trucks weighted down with contraband and migrants—from the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands to the Sahara, images of danger depict a new world disorder on the global margins. With vivid detail, #Ruben_Andersson traverses this terrain to provide a startling new understanding of what is happening in remote “danger zones.” Instead of buying into apocalyptic visions, Andersson takes aim at how Western states and international organizations conduct military, aid, and border interventions in a dangerously myopic fashion, further disconnecting the world’s rich and poor. Using drones, proxy forces, border reinforcement, and outsourced aid, risk-obsessed powers are helping to remap the world into zones of insecurity and danger. The result is a vision of chaos crashing into fortified borders, with national and global politics riven by fear. Andersson contends that we must reconnect and snap out of this dangerous spiral, which affects us whether we live in Texas or Timbuktu. Only by developing a new cartography of hope can we move beyond the political geography of fear that haunts us.

    https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520294608/no-go-world
    #livre #peur #géographie_politique #marges #désordre #inégalités #pauvres #riches #pauvreté #richesse #drones #fermeture_des_frontières #insécurité #danger #chaos #militarisation_des_frontières #espoir
    ping @cede @karine4 @isskein

  • Eritrean refugees defy border closures only to find hardship in Ethiopia

    The long-dormant border crossings re-opened with such fanfare between Eritrea and Ethiopia last year as a symbol of warming relations are all now closed – but that isn’t stopping a steady flow of Eritrean refugees from fleeing across the heavily militarised frontier.

    According to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, around 300 people continue to cross each day, using remote paths to avoid arrest by Eritrean border guards. They are prima facie refugees, typically escaping compulsory national service, repression, and joblessness, or looking to reunite with family members who have already made the journey.

    New arrivals join roughly 170,000 Eritrean refugees already in Ethiopia, staying in overcrowded camps, or living in nearby host communities. Younger, more mobile men and women typically head to the capital, Addis Ababa, to look for work, taking advantage of Ethiopia’s liberal employment policies for refugees.

    Finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet in Ethiopia, many Eritrean refugees are choosing to move on, seeking better opportunities in Europe – or even further afield in the Americas – to support their families.

    Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, but relations between the two governments soured, leading to a war from 1998 to 2000 in which 100,000 people died. Eritrea’s closed economy and the harshness of a regime that has remained on a war footing created a generation of exiles – some 460,000 people had fled the country by the end of 2016 out of a population of 5.3 million.

    The peace agreement signed in July 2018 between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki ended almost two decades of frozen conflict – and won Abiy a Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month. The accord was meant to usher in trade and development, and revive the historical ties between the two nations. But, as progress towards normalising relations has stalled, the four frontier posts thrown open under the agreement have shut, with the last one, Assab-Bure, closing in May.

    “No proper explanation was given, but most probably the [Eritrean] regime fears the risk of losing control over the command economy and further acceleration of the mass exodus,’’ said Nicole Hirt, a researcher on Eritrea with the German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    Safety, but little work

    The Ethiopian government’s “open-camp” policy means refugees don’t have to stay in camps and can work or continue with their education.

    But most Eritreans here have no proof of their academic qualifications. The Eritrean government doesn’t issue them to those who haven’t completed national service or can’t show evidence of an exemption.

    That complicates the search for work, as Eritrean refugees have to compete in an economy that is struggling to deliver jobs to an already large pool of unemployed youth.

    In the densely-populated Mebrat Hail suburb of Addis Ababa, many apartment buildings are home to Eritreans who arrived after the peace agreement was signed.

    The influx of people looking for work and accommodation led to a jacking up of rents – adding to the struggle of new refugees trying to make a fresh start in Ethiopia.

    “Rent is becoming very expensive in Addis Ababa and, even when you can find a job, you can barely pay the bills,’’ said Abinet, a young Eritrean working as a taxi driver.

    Rent on a one-bedroom flat is between $150 and $200 – a large amount of money to find each month.

    Faven, who was a laboratory technician in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, came to Addis Ababa to join her family. She is now working in a small shop earning $34 a month. “Not even enough to pay my rent,” she said.
    No way back

    Compulsory national service is the “primary driver behind the mass exodus of thousands of young Eritreans each month who brave dangerous foreign journeys and callous governments to reach safety abroad”, Human Rights Watch has noted.

    Mickel, 22, fled the country after doing three years in the military – leaving him now marooned.

    “I’m afraid to return. I will end up in jail, or worse [if I do],” he told The New Humanitarian. “I don’t have a passport and I cannot move freely.”

    Attendance at Sa’wa, Eritrea’s national defence training centre, is compulsory for every high school student. Conscription can be indefinite. Human rights groups have repeatedly documented “slavery-like” conditions during military training at Sa’wa, including torture and sexual violence.

    “I wake up in the night and I feel the government is coming to take me.”

    "We are prisoners of our dreams in Sa’wa. We are not free. That’s why I ran away,” said a 27-year-old former physics teacher, who taught at Sa’wa before escaping.

    Filomon, a teenager, said he constantly worries he could be kidnapped in Addis Ababa by Eritrean secret police and taken back to Asmara – a fear heightened by the reopening of the Eritrean embassy in July last year.

    “I wake up in the night and I feel the government is coming to take me. I still feel they can arrest me at anytime,” Filomon told TNH. “I don’t feel safe here.”
    Travelling on

    For many Eritreans, life in Ethiopia is a frustrating state of limbo.

    Those who can, make plans to leave the country. For example, Robel, 27, is waiting for his application for a family reunification visa to the UK to be processed. In the meantime, his brother sends him money each month.

    Others contemplate more difficult journeys, north to Sudan and then the Mediterranean route to Europe via Libya – although that is tempered by the well-known dangers.

    “We are aware of the risk and we all know what’s happening there,’’ a young Eritrean woman said in reference to Libya, where migrants can face detention, extortion, and torture at the hands of militia, even before attempting the perilous sea crossing to Europe.

    It is difficult to gauge how many Eritreans are journeying on from Ethiopia, but according to UNHCR, it is a significant number, with many of them unaccompanied minors.

    Apart from the well-trodden journey north to Sudan, new routes are emerging – or being re-explored.

    For those who can afford it, Latin America is a growing destination – with the hope of then making it on from there to the United States or Canada – according to the UN’s migration agency, IOM.

    “Nothing is impossible if you have money,” said Ghebre, who arrived in Addis a few months ago but is already dreaming of a better life abroad, and who preferred to only give one name.

    Forged travel documents that can get you to Colombia, Ecuador, or Panama are available from smugglers in Uganda for $3,500 per person, TNH was told by several Eritreans in Addis Ababa. It is then a treacherous overland trek to Mexico.

    Getting through Mexico, though, is a major hurdle. A report this month by the Mixed Migration Centre noted that some 4,779 Africans were apprehended in Mexico from January through July of 2019 – almost a fourfold increase over the same period the previous year. Among those were Eritreans, according to IOM.

    Between 1,500 and 3,000 Africans are currently stranded in the southern city of Tapachula – although the Mexican authorities say they are on pace to triple the number of African migrants being processed this year, up from 2,100 in 2017.

    An unknown number of migrants are also camped on Mexico’s northern border – stalled by the tough new US immigration policies. In a one week period earlier this year, the US Border patrol at Del Rio stopped more than 500 African migrants – some with children – who had taken the risk to cross undocumented.

    Even if Eritreans do make it to the United States, there has been an “alarming uptick” in deportations by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, which specifically targets them, according to news reports.

    The US Department of Homeland Security has also imposed visa restrictions on Eritreans, in direct retaliation for Asmara’s perceived non-cooperation over the deportation of its citizens – a move that in reality punishes the migrants rather than the government.

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/10/21/Eritrean-refugees-Ethiopia-border-closures
    #fermeture_des_frontières #ouverture_des_frontières #paix #processus_de_paix #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_érythréens #Erythrée #Ethiopie #Addis_Abeba #travail

  • Using Fear of the “Other,” Orbán Reshapes Migration Policy in a Hungary Built on Cultural Diversity

    In summer 2015, more than 390,000 asylum seekers, mostly Muslim, crossed the Serbian-Hungarian border and descended on the Keleti railway station in Budapest. For Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party, the arrival of these asylum seekers was not a humanitarian issue but a Muslim invasion threatening the national security, social cohesion, and Christian identity of the Hungarian nation. In the four years since this episode, the fear of the “other” has resulted in a string of anti-immigrant actions and policies.

    For example, barbed wire fences were constructed to deter asylum seekers from entering Hungarian territory. Transit zones on the same Serbian-Hungarian border followed, and since the end of March 2017, anyone applying for asylum in Hungary can only do so from a transit zone and is detained there for the duration of the asylum procedure. Conditions there have been grim. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) contends rejected asylum seekers inside the transit zones are denied food, to the point of starvation.

    Furthermore, the Orbán government is fighting anti-immigrant battles not just at the border, but also in Brussels. Under the EU burden-sharing scheme, Hungary was supposed to accept 1,294 refugees. However, the prime minister said that while Hungarians have “no problems” with the local Muslim community, any EU plan to relocate asylum seekers, including many Muslims, would destroy Hungary’s Christian identity and culture. In his attempt to quash admissions, Orbán signaled that his party may split with Europe’s main conservative group and join an anti-immigrant, nationalist bloc in the EU Parliament led by Italy’s Matteo Salvini. Finally, Hungary’s latest anti-immigrant law criminalizes assistance to unauthorized migrants by civil-society organizations and good Samaritans.

    These anti-immigrant sentiments are relatively new. Given Hungary’s geopolitical location, immigration and emigration have been a reality since the birth of the country. At times, Hungary has been quite a multicultural society: for example, during the Habsburg Empire, Hungarians coexisted with Germans, Slavs, Italians, Romanians, and Jews originating in Germany, Poland, and Russia. Later, in the aftermath of World War II, significant population movements greatly modified the ethnic map of Eastern and Central Europe, and many ethnic Hungarians ended up in neighboring countries, some of whom would return later.

    Yet, it is strange to write about multicultural Hungary in 2019. Despite population movements in the postwar and communist eras and significant refugee arrivals during the Yugoslav wars in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the country has only recently been grappling with the arrival of migrants and asylum seekers from beyond Europe. Now several years out from the 2015-16 European migrant and refugee crisis, the Orbán administration continues to pursue policies to limit humanitarian and other arrivals from beyond Europe, while welcoming those of Hungarian ancestry. Hungarian civil society has attempted to provide reception services for newcomers, even as the number of asylum seekers and refugees has dwindled: just 671 asylum seekers and 68 refugees were present in Hungary in 2018, down from 177,135 and 146, respectively, in 2015.

    This article examines historical and contemporary migration in Hungary, from its multicultural past to recent attempts to criminalize migration and activities of those who aim to help migrants and asylum seekers.

    Immigrants and Their Reception in Historic Hungary

    In the 11th century, the Carpathian Basin saw both organized settlement of certain peoples and a roaming population, which was in reaction to certain institutional changes in the medieval Hungarian kingdom. Historians note that newcomers came to historic Hungary searching for a better life: first across the entire Carpathian Basin and later in the Danube Valley. In the 12th century, Hungarian King Géza II invited Saxons to settle in Transylvania and later, when the Teutonic Knights were expelled from Burzenland (in modern-day Romania), they were welcomed in Brasov. The aftermath of the Tartar invasion in 1241 was followed by settlement of immigrants from Slovakia, Poland, and Russia. Ethnic minority groups fleeing Bulgaria settled between the Duna and Tisza rivers, while Romanians found new homes in Transylvania. King Bela IV erected new cities populated predominantly by German, Italian, and Jewish immigrants hailing from Central Europe and Germany.

    The 15th century saw a large settlement of Southern Slavs. The desertification of Transdanubia (the part of Hungary west of the Danube River) was remedied with a settlement of Croats and large groups of Serbians. When the medieval Kingdom of Hungary fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1526, some of the Southern Slavs moved to the parts under the Ottoman occupation voluntarily, while those who participated in the conquest were dispatched by the Ottoman rulers. At the same time, large number of ethnic Hungarians fled north and settled in the area of contemporary Slovakia.

    The next large group, of Germans, arrived in the 18th century during the Habsburg dynasty. The German settlement was part of the Habsburg population policy aimed at filling the void left by the Hungarians who perished during Ottoman rule, especially in the southern territories, around Baranya County and the Banat region. Germans also settled in Pest, Vecees, Buda, Esztergom, and the Pilis Mountains. By 1790, an estimated 70,000 ethnic Germans lived in Southern Hungary.

    While German immigrants were largely welcomed in 18th century Hungary, the same cannot be said about Romanians. During the reign of Empress Maria Theresa, Hungarian nobility voiced serious concerns about the rapid increase of the Romanian population. The nobles thought Romanians would ruin Transylvania.

    The Habsburg administration did not want to repeat the mistakes of the Ottomans and decided to control population movement along the Serbian border. A census conducted in the 13 villages of the Tisza region and 24 villages along the Maros river identified 8,000 border guards on duty. Despite these precautions, large-scale emigration from Serbia continued during the Habsburg era, with approximately 4,000 people crossing over to Hungary.

    Jews were the largest immigrant group in Hungary in the 19th century. Some came from the western territories of the Habsburg Empire—Germany, Bohemia, and Moravia—while others fled persecution in Russia. The arrival of Jews to the Hungarian territory was viewed favorably by Emperor Franz Josef I and Hungarian liberal politicians. Well-heeled Jewish families acquired noble status and rose in the aristocratic ranks, and many became patrons of the arts. At the beginning of World War I, an estimated 1 million Jews lived within the boundaries of what is present-day Hungary. However, the early appreciation of the contributions of the Jewish people did not last. Anti-Semitic sentiments flared up, culminating in the notorious Tiszaeszlár affair, in which Jews were accused of kidnapping and murdering Christian children in order to use their blood as part of religious rituals. Later, the violent repression known as the White Terror (1919-21) victimized many Jews, who were blamed by the right-wing camp for the severe sanctions placed on Hungary under the Treaty of Trianon in the aftermath of World War I.

    Refugees During and After World War II

    During World War II, Hungary was well disposed towards refugees, especially from Poland. Prime Minister Pál Teleki gave refugee status to some 70,000 Polish soldiers and nearly 40,000 civilians when Hitler invaded Poland. Ninety-one refugee camps for military personnel and 88 camps for civilians were established. A joint effort by Hungarian and international aid organizations and the Red Cross resulted in the establishment of the Committee for Hungarian-Polish Refugee Affairs. As the war escalated, most Polish officers and soldiers departed Hungary to join the Polish Home Army fighting Germany alongside Britain and France. In late 1940, a group of French refugees arrived in Hungary. By 1942, there were 600 French refugees in the country.

    The immediate post-WWII period—with its ensuing peace treaties, evictions, and forced settlements—resulted in considerable population movements, significantly modifying the ethnic map in Eastern and Central Europe. Some 200,000 ethnic Germans were evicted from Hungary, and 73,000 Slovaks left as part of what was described as a “population exchange.” Judit Juhász estimated that in the three years following the end of the war more than 100,000 people left Hungary. At the same time, 113,000 ethnic Hungarians were resettled in Hungary from Czechoslovakia, 125,000 from Transylvania, 45,500 from Yugoslavia, and 25,000 from the Soviet Union. Technically, ethnic Hungarians coming to Hungary were not considered migrants, but rather returning citizens.

    When the communist regime took over in 1947, the borders were closed and the government prohibited migration. Illegal departure from the country and failure to return from abroad became a crime. The borders opened briefly in 1956 when nearly 200,000 people fled Hungary during the uprising against the communist government. Most went to nearby Austria, but 38,000—mainly students and scientists—were airlifted to the United States, in a mobilization sponsored by the U.S. government and National Academy of Sciences. Their integration into American society was relatively easy due to their young age and high educational attainment. The Hungarian government tried to encourage the refugees to return by offering them amnesty, but only about 147 decided to return to Hungary from the United States.

    Migration in the Post-Socialist Period

    Although Hungary allowed some refugees to settle in its territory—Greeks after World War II, Chileans after the fall of the Allende government, and Kurds during the Iran-Iraq war—the country did not witness a large number of asylum seekers until the late 1980s, just months before the fall of communism in Hungary in 1989. Starting in mid-1987, ethnic Hungarians, discriminated by the Ceausescu regime, fled Romania to seek refuge in Hungary. By the beginning of 1988, some 40,000 Romanian citizens, primarily of Hungarian ancestry, arrived. By the fall of the same year, the number doubled, an exodus the author witnessed firsthand.

    For the most part, the central government left the responsibility for assisting refugees to private and municipal authorities. The Hungarian Red Cross opened a special information bureau in Budapest and mounted a national relief appeal called Help to Help. Twelve million forints (the equivalent of approximately US $250,000 at the time) were raised, including 1 million from foreign donations. Assistance programs were established in Budapest and in Debrecen, a town on the border with Romania, where most of the refugees came first. Local Red Cross chapters, municipal and county agencies, and local churches—especially the Hungarian Reformed Church—were also involved in the relief program. The assistance included cash grants, job placements, and Hungarian language training for ethnic Romanians. Clothing, blankets, dishes, and utensils were also provided. When the author visited Debrecen in 1988, most refugees were kept in school dormitories as housing in socialist Hungary was scarce.

    At the time, there was no formal procedure to separate refugees from other migrants. Many of the service providers interviewed by the author indicated that ethnic Hungarians and Baptist Romanians were persecuted and therefore were bona fide refugees, while all others were fleeing because of deteriorating economic conditions. The majority fleeing Romania were skilled workers and professionals. Very few ethnic Hungarian peasants from Transylvania migrated to Hungary, and neither did the cultural leaders of the Hungarian community in Romania. Additionally, the sudden arrival of asylum seekers and migrants from Romania was followed by a considerable return of ethnic Hungarians and ethnic Romanians to Romania.

    Refugees from the Yugoslav Wars

    In the summer of 1991, war broke out on Hungary’s southern border between Croatia and Serbia. Hungarian border guards faced large groups of civilians fleeing the fighting. Most were from the Baranyi triangle, an area of Croatia near Vukovar. More than 400,000 refugees fled to countries outside the former Yugoslavia’s borders. Germany admitted the largest number, 200,000, followed by Hungary, with 60,000. However, by late 1994 the refugee population registered in Hungary had dwindled to fewer than 8,000 people. The situation changed in 1995. New ethnic cleansing and renewed combat in Bosnia sent more refugees to Hungary in the spring and summer of 1995, and the Hungarian government reopened a refugee camp that had been long closed.

    The total number of refugees registered in Hungary between 1988 and 1995 reached more than 130,000 people and transformed the country from a refugee-producing country to a refugee-receiving country. However, up until the 2015-16 European refugee and migrant crisis, 75 percent of immigrants and refugees who entered the country post-1988 were ethnic Hungarians. This phenomenon has significantly influenced the development of Hungarian refugee law and policy.

    Refugee and Asylum Law since 1989

    The 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees constitutes the foundation of Hungarian refugee law. Hungary became a party to the Refugee Convention in early 1989—the first East bloc country to do so—and it also ratified the 1967 Protocol. Although its accession to the Refugee Convention signaled that Hungary was willing to accept the international definition of refugee, Hungary conditioned its ratification on a narrow definition of those who qualify as refugees, recognizing only those who fear persecution in Europe. According to Maryellen Fullerton, “known as the geographic reservation, this provision allows Hungary to limit its obligations under the Convention to a small (and totally European) subset of all the refugees in the world.”

    Refugees who came to Hungary in the late 1980s and in the 1990s entered a country “with an undeveloped refugee policy and a patchwork of legislation and government decrees concerning refugees and migrants,” according to Fullerton. Legal scholars indicate that the government’s attempt to establish a modern refugee system was affected by a powerful preference for protecting refugees of Hungarian ancestry. This preference has permeated both existing law and the administration of the refugee system, resulting in a de facto law of return. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with wanting to protect fellow co-ethnics—many countries, including Israel, Germany, France, and Poland, among others, have similar laws—what seems objectionable is the desire to accomplish this goal by misusing the refugee process. Ethnic Hungarians who entered Hungary seeking refuge were not only channeled into the refugee system but were also eligible for Hungarian citizenship within one year, and all the rights that citizenship accords, while others who needed refuge were mainly provided temporary protection status. They received food, shelter, and other necessities, although in recent years these too are becoming scarce, but they lacked any substantial legal protection.

    Since joining the European Union in 2004, Hungary has broadly transposed the relevant EU asylum-related directives into national legislation. In June 2007, the Law on Asylum was adopted and the Office of Immigration and Nationality became responsible for asylum and statelessness determination procedures, the provision of reception services, and (very) limited integration services to asylum seekers and refugees, respectively. Three years later, in December 2010, amendments to the legislation relevant to asylum seekers and refugees were enacted. The maximum length of administrative detention from six to 12 months and the detention of up to 30 days of families with children were introduced. While the minimum standards of refugee protection were implemented—at least on paper in the early 2000s—xenophobic attitudes towards refugees, especially Muslims, are on the rise and the protection for asylum seekers and refugees is virtually nonexistent. At the same time, support for ethnic Hungarian refugees such as those from Venezuela, is flourishing.

    Weaponizing Xenophobia: No to Muslim Refugees

    During the 2015-16 European migrant and refugee crisis, the European Union asked Hungary to find homes for 1,294 refugees. Rather than accepting the EU decision, the Hungarian government spent approximately 28 million euros on a xenophobic anti-immigrant campaign. The government called on voters to defend Christian values and Hungarian national identity in order to stop Hungary from becoming a breeding ground for terrorism. The fear that Muslim women will bear many children and the local population will be outnumbered, somehow diluted or “discolored” by Muslims and multiculturalism was palpable in pro-government media. By the end of 2015, a total of 391,384 refugees and asylum seekers entered Hungary through its southern border, most intent on transiting the country to get elsewhere in Europe. This means that the government spent around 70 euros per refugee on a campaign of intolerance, in a country where the monthly welfare check is around the same amount. Undoubtedly this amount could have been used more effectively either to provide transitional assistance to refugees or to facilitate integration of asylum seekers who wanted to settle in Hungary. Attracting migrants to stay would been in line with Fidesz’s strategic goal to stop the long-declining Hungarian birth rate and the aging of the Hungarian society.

    Instead, Hungary decided to go a step further and in September 2015 amended its Criminal Code to make unauthorized crossing of the border closure (fence), damaging the border closure, and obstruction of the construction works related to the border closure punishable by three to ten years imprisonment. The Act on Criminal Proceedings was also amended with a new fast-track provision to bring the defendant to trial within 15 days after interrogation, or within eight days if caught in flagrante. With these new provisions, the Hungarian government declared a “state of crisis due to mass migration,” during which these criminal proceedings are conducted prior to all other cases. Between September 2015 and March 2016, 2,353 people were convicted of unauthorized border crossing. These people generally remained in immigration detention pending removal to Serbia, which Hungary deemed a safe country to which asylum seekers could return. HHC argued that Serbia could not be regarded as safe third country as it recognized virtually no asylum seekers. Applications for a stay of proceedings referring to the nonpenalization principle of the 1951 Convention were systematically dismissed on the grounds that “eligibility for international protection was not a relevant issue to criminal liability.” In order to gain the public’s support for criminalizing migration and rejecting the European Union’s request to admit a few hundred refugees, the Hungarian government organized a national referendum.

    The Referendum

    On October 2, 2016, the citizens of Hungary were asked a simple question: “Do you want the European Union to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of the National Assembly?”

    Voter turnout was only 39 percent, far short of the 50 percent participation required to make the referendum valid under Hungarian law. Never one to let facts get in the way of politics, Orbán, whose eurosceptic Fidesz party has more support than all opposition parties combined, said in a televised speech:

    “The European Union’s proposal is to let the migrants in and distribute them in mandatory fashion among the Member States and for Brussels to decide about this distribution. Hungarians today considered this proposal and they rejected it. Hungarians decided that only we Hungarians can decide with whom we want to live. The question was ‘Brussels or Budapest’ and we decided this issue is exclusively the competence of Budapest.”

    Orbán decided that the 3.3 million Hungarians who voted “no” in the referendum spoke for all 10 million Hungarians. After his speech, there were fireworks over the Danube river in the colors of the Hungarian flag.

    In order to prevent the European Union from sending refugees to Hungary, Orbán proposed a constitutional amendment to reflect “the will of the people.” It was presented to the Parliament on October 10, 2016, but the bill was rejected by a narrow margin. The far-right Jobbik party, which contends that some of the new arrivals pose a national security threat, sealed the bill’s rejection by boycotting the vote. However, it held out a lifeline to Orbán by indicating that it would support the ban if Orbán scrapped a separate investor visa scheme under which foreigners could effectively buy the right to live in Hungary (and move freely within the Schengen area) in exchange for buying at least 300,000 euros in government bonds with a five-year maturity. Some 10,000 Chinese utilized this scheme, at this writing, to move to Hungary, as did smaller numbers of affluent investors from Russia and the Middle East.

    The Orbán government feared that the referendum alone would not deter potential asylum seekers from trying to enter Hungary. In order to ensure that the situation from the summer of 2015 would not be repeated, the government begun to further strengthen the borders and to close existing refugee camps.

    Border Hunters

    In 2016, the Hungarian police started recruiting 3,000 “border hunters” to join some 10,000 police and soldiers patrolling a 100-mile-long, four-meter-high, razor-wire-topped fence erected on Hungary’s southern borders with Serbia and Croatia to keep refugees out. The recruitment posts were scattered all over Budapest, including the Keleti railway station that became a de facto refugee camp for tens of thousands of people fleeing violence in the Middle East in 2015. Today, the thousands of police and border hunters deal with fewer than 200 refugees who reach Hungary’s southern border with Serbia every day.

    The border hunters must have a high school diploma and receive six months of training. They earn approximately HUF 200,000 (US $709) a month, and receive other perks: housing and clothing allowances, and discount on travel and cell phones. During a recruiting fair in early October 2016, a pack of teenagers ogled a display of machine guns, batons, and riot gear. A glossy flier included a picture of patrols in 4x4s, advanced equipment to detect body heat, night-vision goggles, and migrant-sniffing dogs.

    At a swearing-in ceremony in Budapest for border hunters in spring 2017, Orbán said Hungary had to act to defend itself. The storm has not died, it has only subsided temporarily, he said. There are still millions waiting to set out on their journey in the hope of a better life (in Europe).

    Refugee Camp Closures

    Erecting fences and recruiting border hunters to keep refugees out is one strategy; closing existing refugee camps is another. Beginning in December 2016, Orbán moved to close most refugee camps. The camp in Bicske operated as a refugee facility for more than two decades. In the little museum established by refugees on the premises of the reception center one could see artifacts, coins, and paintings from many parts of the world: several countries in Africa, the Middle East, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, to name a few. However, in December 2016, the camp was shut down as part of the wave of closures. When the author visited the camp a few days before it closed, 75 individuals, hailing from Cuba, Nigeria, Cameroon, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, lived there.

    At the time of the author’s visit, Bicske, which can house as many as 460 refugees, was operating well below capacity. The number of asylum applicants also decreased dramatically. According to HHC data, in October 2016, 1,198 refugees registered for asylum in Hungary compared with 5,812 in April 2016. As of October 2016, there were 529 asylum seekers staying in Hungarian refugee reception facilities: 318 at open reception centers such as Bicske and 211 in detention centers.

    The refugees who the author spoke with, including a couple from Nigeria and a young family from Cuba among others, were no terrorists. Jose and his family fled persecution in Cuba in hopes of reuniting with his elderly mother, who had received permission to stay in Budapest a couple of years earlier. Jose is a computer programmer and said he was confident that he would have no problem finding a job. In addition to his native Spanish, he speaks English, and was also learning Hungarian. The Nigerian couple fled northern Nigeria when Boko Haram killed several members of their family. They told the author mean no harm to anybody; all they want is to live in peace.

    When the camp in Bicske closed, the refugees were relocated to Kiskunhalas, a remote camp in southern Hungary, some 2 ½ hours by train from Budapest. The Bicske camp’s location offered its residents opportunities to access a variety of educational and recreational activities that helped them adjust to life in Hungary. Some refugees commuted to Budapest to attend classes at the Central European University (CEU) as well as language courses provided by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Bicske residents often attended events and met with Hungarian mentors from groups such as Artemisszió, a multicultural foundation, and MigSzol, a migrant advocacy group. Christian refugees were bused to an American church each Sunday morning. Moving the residents to Kiskunhalas has deprived them of these opportunities. The Hungarian government offers very few resources to refugees, both to those in reception facilities awaiting decisions on their cases and those who have received asylum, so it is clear that access to the civil-society organizations helping refugees prepare for their new lives is important.

    Magyar abszurd: Assistance to Venezuelan Refugees of Hungarian Ancestry

    While third-country nationals—asylum seekers or labor migrants—receive virtually no assistance from the government, ethnic Hungarians from faraway places such as Venezuela continue to enjoy a warm welcome as well as financial assistance and access to programs aimed at integrating them speedily.

    Recently, Hungary accepted 300 refugees from Venezuela. The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta led the resettlement effort. The refugees must prove some level of Hungarian ancestry in order to qualify for the resettlement scheme. About 5,000 Hungarians emigrated to Venezuela in the 20th century, mostly after World War II and in 1956.

    By Hungarian law, everyone who can prove Hungarian ancestry is entitled to citizenship. As Edit Frenyó, a Hungarian legal scholar, said, “Of course process is key, meaning political and administrative will are needed for successful naturalization.” According to media reports, the Venezuelan refugees are receiving free airfare, residency and work permits, temporary housing, job placement, and English and Hungarian language courses.

    Apparently, the refugees have been directed not to talk about their reception, perhaps in an effort to bolster the official narrative: an ethnonational story of homecoming, in which they are presented as Hungarians, not refugees or migrants. As Gergely Gulyás, Chancellor of the Republic of Hungary, declared, “We are talking about Hungarians; Hungarians are not considered migrants.” Frenyó posits that the Hungarian government must present the refugees as Hungarians seeking to come home to avert political backlash and to make sure the controversial immigration tax law is not levied on the Malta Order.

    Anti-Refugee Policy and the Role of Civil Society: Views on the Ground

    In contradiction to the government’s anti-refugee policies of recent years, civil-society organizations and civilians offered assistance to refugees who descended on the Keleti railway station in summer 2015. As Migration Aid volunteers recount, volunteers brought toys and sweets for the refugee children and turned the station into a playground during the afternoons. However, when Migration Aid volunteers started to use chalk to draw colorful pictures on the asphalt as a creative means to help children deal with their trauma, the Hungarian police reminded the volunteers that the children could be made liable for the “violation of public order.”

    In contrast to civil society’s engagement with children, the Hungarian government tried to undermine and limit public sympathy towards refugees. Hungarian state television employees were told not to broadcast images of refugee children. Ultimately, the task of visually capturing the everyday life of refugee families and their children, as the only means to bridge the distance between the refugees and the receiving societies, was left to volunteers and Facebook activists, such as the photo blog Budapest Seen. Budapest Seen captured activities at the train station, at the Slovenian and Serbian border, and elsewhere in the country, where both NGO workers and regular citizens were providing much needed water, food, sanitary napkins for women, diapers for babies, and medical assistance.

    Volunteers came in droves also in Debrecen, among them Aida el-Seaghi, half Yemeni and half Hungarian medical doctor, and Christina, a trained psychotherapist, and several dozen others who communicated and organized assistance to needy refugees through a private Facebook page, MigAid 2015.

    There were many other volunteer and civil-society groups, both in Budapest and Debrecen, who came to aid refugees in 2015. Among them, MigSzol, a group of students at the Central European University (CEU), Menedék (Hungarian Association for Migrants), established in January 1995 at the height of the Balkan wars, HHC, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and several others.

    At the time of writing, many of these organizations are no longer operational as a result of the “Stop Soros” bill, passed in June 2018, which criminalizes assistance to irregular migrants, among other things. However, organizations such as the HHC continue to provide legal aid to migrants and refugees. Many volunteers who worked with refugees in 2015 continue their volunteer activities, but in the absence of refugees in Hungary focused their efforts on the Roma or the homeless. In interviews the author conducted in spring 2019, they expressed that they stand ready should another group of asylum seekers arrive in Hungary.

    Acknowledgments

    This article was prepared using funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under grant agreement No. 770330.

    Sources

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    Bimbi, Robert. 2011. Magyar Heat Pumping Magyar Blood: The Dynamics of Immigrant Reception in Post-Socialist Hungary. Doctoral Dissertation. Dallas, Texas: Southern Methodist University.

    Bursten, Martin A. 1958. Escape from Fear. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press.

    Frank, Tibor. 2016. Migration in Hungarian History. Part I. Hungarian Review 7 (1). Available online.

    Fullerton, Maryellen. 1996. Hungary, Refugees, and the Law of Return. International Journal of Refugee Law 8 (4): 499-531.

    Goździak, Elżbieta M. 1989. From East to East: Refugees from Rumania in Hungary. Migration World 5: 7-9.

    Goździak, Elżbieta M. and Péter Márton. 2018. Where the Wild Things Are: Fear of Islam and the Anti-Refugee Rhetoric in Hungary and in Poland. Central and Eastern European Migration Review, 7 (2): 125-51. Available online.

    Gyollai, Daniel and Anthony Amatrudo. 2019. Controlling Irregular Migration: International Human Rights Standards and the Hungarian Legal Framework. European Journal of Criminology 16 (4): 432-51.

    Hungarian Central Statistical Office. 2019. Asylum Seekers in Hungary and Persons Granted International Protection Status (2000-18). Updated March 8, 2019. Available online.

    Juhász, Judit. 2003. Hungary: Transit Country Between East and West. Migration Information Source, November 1, 2003. Available online.

    Kamm, Henry. 1992. Yugoslav Refugee Crisis Europe’s Worst Since 40s. The New York Times, July 24, 1992. Available online.

    Komócsin, Sándor. 2019. Magyar abszurd: menekülteket segít a kormány, de titkolja (Hungarian Absurd: The Government is Helping Refugees, but They Are Hiding). Napi.hu February 21, 2019. Available online.

    Ministry of Human Resources and Department of Aid and Assistance. 2015. Tájékoztató a Pénzbeli és Természetbeni Szociális Ellátásokat Érintő, 2015. Március 1-Jétől Hatályos Változásokról (Information on Changes in Cash and In-kind Social Benefits, Effective March 1, 2015). Official notice, Ministry of Human Resources and Department of Aid and Assistance. Available online.

    Pastor, Peter. 2016. The American Reception and Settlement of Hungarian Refugees in 1956-57. Hungarian Cultural Studies 9: 196-205.

    Patai, Raphael. 1996. The Jews of Hungary: History, Culture, Psychology. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press.

    Puskás, Julianna. 2000. Ties That Bind, Ties That Divide: 100 Years of Hungarian Experience in the United States. New York: Holmes and Meier.

    Simon, Zoltan. 2018. Hungary Should Repeal Immigration Tax, Rights Organizations Say. Bloomberg, December 14, 2018. Available online.

    Szakacs, Gergely. 2019. Hungary Accepts Hundreds of Refugees from Venezuela: Report. U.S. News & World Report. February 21, 2019. Available online.

    Than, Krisztina. 2018. Hungary Could Pass “Stop Soros” Law Within a Month After Re-Electing Viktor Orban’s Anti-Immigrant Government. The Independent, April 9, 2018. Available online.

    UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 2016. Hungary as a Country of Asylum. Observations on Restrictive Legal Measures and Subsequent Practice Implemented between July 2015 and March 2016. UNHCR, Geneva, May 2016. Available online.

    Wallis, Emma. 2019. Starving in Hungary’s Transit Zones. InfoMigrants, April 23, 2019. Available online.

    Wikimedia Commons. 2009. Kingdom of Hungary, 1370-87. Accessed October 8, 2019. Available online.

    Zsoldos, Attila. 2015. Kóborlás az Árpád-kori Magyarországon (Roaming in Hungary in the Age of Árpád). In … in nostra lingua Hringe nominant. Tanulmányok Szentpéteri József 60. születésnapja tiszteletére, eds. Csilla Balogh, et al. Budapest: Kecskeméti Katona József Múzeum.

    https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/orban-reshapes-migration-policy-hungary

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Hongrie #xénophobie #anti-réfugiés #islamophobie #société_civile #solidarité #zones_de_transit #nourriture #camps_de_réfugiés #peur #histoire #milices #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières

    ping @isskein

  • Controversial migrant legislation scrapped in Slovenia

    The Slovenian Constitutional Court has scrapped an article of an immigration law that allowed the country to limit foreigners’ access after a vote in parliament in the event of a migrant crisis.

    The Slovenian Constitutional Court has ruled to scrap a controversial article of an immigration law that allowed strong restrictions on the access of foreigners in the event of particularly intense migrant flows, as were registered in 2015 and 2016.
    The sentence, which was published on Monday, eliminates three paragraphs of the law that would have prevented specific cases from being examined individually.

    The legislation

    The controversial amendment to the immigration law was approved by the country’s National Assembly in January 2017 and came into effect on February 4. Under the amendment, special measures could be approved to limit the access of foreigners after a vote in Parliament.

    Then-interior minister Vesna Gyoerkoes Nidar assured parliament, when the legislation was presented, that it had been written as a measure of last resort if Slovenia were to be unable to apply legislation on international protection in the event of a migrant crisis.

    Over 20 human rights organizations had called for the legislation to be scrapped, saying it went against the principles of the constitution, which rejects discrimination and guarantees equal rights and the principle of non-refoulement, among others.

    28 detained at the border with Croatia

    During the weekend Slovenian police in the district of Koper reported the arrest of 28 migrants who were trying to enter the country from Croatia, according to a police statement. According to the statement, 10 people were apprehended in #Bistrica as they were trying to cross the border illegally, nine in #Koper, six in #Kosina and three in #Piran.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/20197/controversial-migrant-legislation-scrapped-in-slovenia
    #Slovénie #loi #législation #fermeture_des_frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Croatie #Kozina

    Une petite carte de localisation des lieux dans lesquels les personnes ont été arrêtées en Slovénie :

    c’est donc proche de la frontière croate, mais aussi proche de la frontière italienne... donc de la #frontière_sud-alpine
    #Italie #Trieste #Istrie

  • #Libre_circulation des personnes et des biens dans l’espace #CEDEAO : analyse sur la longue fermeture des frontières du Nigeria

    Depuis le 20 août le puissant Nigéria, membre de la communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest a fermé ses frontières pénalisant ainsi les peuples voisins qui vivent des échanges.

    Comment comprendre une telle décision alors que depuis 1975 la CEDEAO a été créée, justement pour briser les barrières et réunir les peuples ?

    https://www.studiokalangou.org/index.php/magazines/11986-libre-circulation-personnes-biens-espace-cedeao-analyse-longue
    #Nigeria #fermeture_des_frontières #frontières #Afrique_de_l'Ouest
    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Dictators as 
Gatekeepers for Europe : 
Outsourcing EU border 
controls to Africa

    The USA is divided around the wall President Trump wants to build along the Mexican border. Europe has long answered this question at its own southern border: put up that wall but don’t make it look like one.

    Today the EU is trying to close as many deals as it can with African states, making it harder and harder for refugees to find protection and more dangerous for labour migrants to reach places where they can earn an income. But this is not the only effect: the more Europe tries to control migration from Africa, the harder it becomes for many Africans to move freely through their own continent, even within their own countries.

    Increasingly, the billions Europe pays for migration control are described as official development assistance (ODA), more widely known as development aid, supposedly for poverty relief and humanitarian assistance. The EU is spending billions buying African leaders as gatekeepers, including dictators and suspected war criminals. And the real beneficiaries are the military and technology corporations involved in the implementation.

    https://darajapress.com/publication/dictators-as-%e2%80%a8gatekeepers-for-europe-%e2%80%a8outsourcing-eu-bo
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #dictature #dictatures #Afrique #contrôles_frontaliers #fermeture_des_frontières #aide_au_développement #coopération_au_développement #développement #livre

    Ajouté à la métaliste autour de l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765340

    Et celle-ci sur le lien migrations et développement :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

    ping @karine4 @isskein @pascaline

    • Op-ed: The Birth Defect of EU Migration Diplomacy

      Prevention of migration to Europe, especially from Africa, was a priority of the previous Commission and, as it looks, likely to remain as such for the new Commission.

      This makes it increasingly difficult for refugees to find protection. And it is becoming increasingly dangerous for migrant workers to reach places where they can seek income. But that is not the only consequence. The more Europe tries to control migration, the more difficult it becomes for many Africans to move freely within their own continent, even within their own country.

      The EU investment is substantial. From the beginning of the millennium until 2015, the figure was around two billion euros. By 2020, at least another 15 billion euros will have been added. The EU will pay for the costs incurred by controlling migration itself: supplying detained refugees, jeeps or ships for the border police, deportations, reception camps. But it gives even more, in a sense as a premium: an extra portion of development aid for the coalition of the willing in matters of border protection.

      Some African states, such as Tunisia, therefore make it a punishable offence to leave for Europe without papers. Some save themselves such a law and imprison migrants just like that – for example Libya. Some set up border posts where there haven’t been any so far – Sudan, for example. Some introduce biometric passports that many of their citizens cannot afford – such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, which charges 185 dollars for one of the new so-called e-passports produced by a Belgian-Arab consortium. Some take back deportees from Europe, even if they are not their own citizens – for example Morocco. Some states block migration routes with soldiers – Egypt, for example. Some allow Frontex and European Police-Officers to come and help with this – Niger, for example. And some close the borders: not only for transit migrants, but also for their own citizens if they want to enter Europe irregularly – Algeria, for example.

      More and more often, the money paid in return for controlling migration is booked as Official Development Assistance (ODA). It is a misappropriation of funds that are there to alleviate poverty and hardship. It also contradicts the sense of development aid because labour migration is a blessing for poor countries. It brings money into the coffers of small traders and farmers. This mixture of development aid and migration control will increase. “Combating the root causes” is the new paradigm of development policy.

      Günter Nooke, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Africa Commissioner, had an idea on what Africa’s future could look like. In October 2018 he proposed that African states should give up parts of their territory against payment so that the EU could settle refugees there: “Perhaps one or the other African head of government is prepared to give up a piece of territorial sovereignty in exchange for a lease and allow free development there for 50 years. Migrants could be settled there in special economic zones, supported by the World Bank or the EU or individual states.” Such statements are hardly beneficial neither in the formal relationship between Europe and Africa nor in broader segments of the public on the African continent.

      But the cordon sanitaire that the EU is trying to weave against undesirable migration is full of holes. The blueprint agreement with Turkey is crumbling. The number of arrivals in the Aegean islands is currently higher than at any other time since the EU-Turkey deal came into force. Boats from Libya keep leaving, arrivals in Morocco increases.

      The massive political pressure that had been built up for the African states to recognise for example the EU „Laissez Passers“ – passport replacement papers that the deportation country can simply issue itself – or otherwise contribute to increasing the deportations of those obliged to leave has had only a limited effect. And last February, the African Union made it clear that it will not accept transit EU asylum camps on African soil.

      Neither the transit regions nor the regions of origin will let themselves be used in the long term as reception camps or assistant EU border guards. The consequence of this is that the EU cannot solve its migration problem outside its own territory on the long run. The old Commission had consistently refused to accept this insight. The new Commission would now have the opportunity not to repeat this mistake.

      https://www.ecre.org/op-ed-the-birth-defect-of-eu-migration-diplomacy

  • Arrival of new customs cars in #Dundalk alarms Border group

    Community group urges Government to be open about future of Border in no-deal Brexit.

    A campaign group representing communities along the Border opposed to Brexit have reacted with concern at the arrival of a fleet of new Revenue customs cars in Dundalk, Co Louth.

    Border Communities Against Brexit posted two photographs online of seven brand new customs patrol cars arriving at a Revenue Commissioners yard in the Border town.

    The publication of the images online triggered alarm among Border residents and criticism of the Government’s response to Brexit on social media.

    The group called on the Government to be more open with communities along the Border about how it intends to manage the new EU border should the UK exit at the end of this month without a deal.

    “This is another example of how the Irish Government are preparing for Brexit,” said a spokesman for the group, referring to the photographs that were posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.

    “Border communities need to be told now in clear and uncertain terms what the Border will look like following a no deal,” he said.

    “It’s certain that the Irish Government will be bound to follow EU rules pertaining to managing a Border with a third country,” he said, referring to the UK’s post-Brexit status.

    “The Taoiseach cannot allow communities to be left behind,” he added, warning that the 1998 Belfast Agreement and the Northern Ireland peace process were “under attack by Brexit.”
    ‘Getting real now’

    The Revenue said it was acquiring 16 new vehicles for its customs fleet, some to replace older vehicle and that the overall size of the fleet would increase to 242 from 229 at the start of last month.

    “These vehicles will be distributed at various locations nationwide based on operational requirements,” said the spokeswoman, who sidestepped a question on whether the additional vehicles in Dundalk were required to deal with changes as a result of Brexit.

    Images of the new cars arriving in Revenue appeared amid heightened concern about the uncertain future of the Border following Brexit after British prime minister Boris Johnson publicly distanced himself from reports that he was proposing new customs clearance centres on either side of the Border.

    Seamus Leheny, policy manager of the Freight Transport Association Northern Ireland, responded to the photos on social media, saying that the “reality of Border checks” were “getting real now.”

    The Government has said that there would have to be checks on goods crossing the Border in the event of a no-deal Brexit but has also said it is still in discussion with the EU on where those checks would take place.

    The Revenue has hired more than 450 people, including some 370 this year, to prepare for Brexit, as part of a phased recruitment of an additional 600 people to deal with the extra work resulting from the UK’s exit.

    Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe provided Revenue with an additional €10 million in last year’s budget for the recruitment of the staff. The uncertainty around the manner and timing of the UK’s departure from the EU and the possibility of a disorderly exit resulted in Revenue accelerating its recruitment plan.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/arrival-of-new-customs-cars-in-dundalk-alarms-border-group-1.4036534
    #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #Brexit #Irlande #Irlande_du_Nord #UK #Angleterre

    ping @mobileborders

  • #Soudan : les #milices #Janjawid garde-frontières ou #passeurs ?

    Dans un communiqué, les #Forces_de_soutien_rapide (#RSF), groupe paramilitaire servant de “garde-frontières” au Soudan, ont annoncé avoir arrêté 138 migrants africains, jeudi 19 septembre. Pour le spécialiste Jérôme Tubiana, cette annonce fait partie d’une stratégie : le Soudan cherche à attirer l’attention de l’Union européenne qui a arrêté de lui verser des fonds.

    Les Forces de soutien rapide (RSF), une organisation paramilitaire soudanaise, ont annoncé avoir arrêté, jeudi 19 septembre, 138 Africains qui souhaitaient pénétrer “illégalement” en Libye. Parmi eux, se trouvaient des dizaines de Soudanais mais aussi des Tchadiens et des Éthiopiens.

    "Le 19 septembre, une patrouille des RSF a arrêté 138 personnes de différentes nationalités qui essayaient de traverser illégalement la frontière avec la Libye", précise le communiqué.

    Une partie de ces migrants ont été incarcérés dans la zone désertique de #Gouz_Abudloaa, situé environ à 100 km au nord de Khartoum, comme ont pu le constater des journalistes escortés sur place par des RSF, mercredi 25 septembre. Dans le communiqué, les RSF assurent également avoir saisi six véhicules appartenant à des passeurs libyens chargés du transit des migrants.

    Le même jour, le Soudan a décidé de fermer ses #frontières avec la Libye et la Centrafrique pour des raisons de sécurité. Dans les faits, le pays souhaite mettre fin aux départs de rebelles soudanais vers la Libye, qui sont parfois rejoints par des migrants.

    Créées en 2013 par l’ex-président soudanais, Omar el-Béchir, les RSF assurent le maintien de l’ordre dans le pays. Trois ans après leur création, elles ont été dotées d’une mission supplémentaire : empêcher les migrants et les rebelles de franchir les frontières nationales. C’est ce que montrent notamment des chercheurs dans un rapport publié par un think tank néerlandais, Clingendael, publié en septembre 2018.

    Les Forces de soutien rapide, véritables gardes-frontières du Soudan

    Si le document pointe une politique soudanaise de surveillance des frontières "en grande partie assignée aux ‘forces de soutien rapide’ (RSF)", derrière cette appellation officielle, se cache une réalité plus sombre. Connue localement sous le nom de Janjawid, cette milice fait notamment l’objet d’une enquête du Conseil militaire de transition, qui dirige le Soudan depuis la destitution, le 11 avril, du président Omar el-Béchir.

    D’après les conclusions de l’enquête, rendues publiques samedi 27 juillet, les RSF auraient frappé et tiré sur des manifestants lors d’un sit-in, le 3 juin, à Khartoum, alors qu’ils étaient venus protester contre la politique d’Omar el-Béchir. Si d’après un groupe de médecins, 127 manifestants ont été tués, le commission d’enquête compte, de son côté, 87 morts. Cette répression violente avait provoqué, dans la foulée, un levé de boucliers à l’échelle internationale.

    Un groupe armé qui a bénéficié de fonds européens

    Certains RSF sont aussi accusés d’avoir commis des exactions dans la région du Darfour, à l’ouest du Soudan. Le rapport précise pourtant que, grâce aux fonds versés par l’Union européenne, ils “sont mieux équipés, mieux financés et déployés non seulement au Darfour, mais partout au Soudan". D’après ce document, "160 millions d’euros ont été alloués au Soudan" entre 2016 et 2017. Et, une partie de cet argent a été versé par Khartoum aux RSF. Leur chef, Hemeti, est d’ailleurs officiellement le numéro 2 du Conseil militaire de transition.

    Fin juillet, l’Union européenne a toutefois annoncé le gel de ses financements au Soudan. "L’Union européenne a pris peur. Elle a considéré que cette coopération avec le Soudan était mauvaise pour son image car, depuis plusieurs années, elle finançait un régime très violent envers les migrants et les civils", explique Jérôme Tubiana, chercheur spécialiste du Soudan et co-auteur du rapport néerlandais.

    Non seulement les passeurs demandent de l’argent aux migrants mais ce ne sont pas les seuls à leur en réclamer. "La milice Janjawid taxe les migrants, elle joue à un double-jeu", dénonce sur RFI, Clotilde Warin, journaliste chercheuse et co-auteure du rapport. "Les miliciens […] qui connaissent très bien la zone frontalière entre le Soudan, le Tchad et le Niger […] deviennent eux-mêmes des passeurs, ils utilisent les voitures de l’armée soudanaise, le fuel de l’armée soudanaise. C’est un trafic très organisé."

    "Les RSF profitent de leur contrôle de la route migratoire pour vendre les migrants à des trafiquants libyens", ajoute, de son côté, Jérôme Tubiana, qui estime que ces miliciens s’enrichissent plus sur le dos des migrants qu’ils ne les arrêtent.

    Annoncer l’arrestation d’un convoi est donc un moyen, pour les RSF, de faire du chantage à l’Europe. "Ils essayent de lui dire que si elle veut moins de migrants sur son territoire, elle doit apporter son soutien aux RSF car, ils sont les seuls à connaître cette région dangereuse", précise Jérôme Tubiana, ajoutant qu’Hemeti, fragilisé, est en recherche de soutiens politiques.

    Un membre des RSF, interrogé dans le cadre de l’enquête néerlandaise, reconnaît lui-même le rôle actif de la milice dans le trafic des migrants. "De temps en temps, nous interceptons des migrants et nous les transférons à Khartoum, afin de montrer aux autorités que nous faisons le travail. Nous ne sommes pas censés prendre l’argent des migrants, [nous ne sommes pas censés] les laisser s’échapper ou les emmener en Libye… Mais la réalité est assez différente…", lit-on dans le rapport.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/19795/soudan-les-milices-janjawid-garde-frontieres-ou-passeurs?ref=tw_i
    #gardes-frontière #para-militaires #paramilitaires #fermeture_des_frontières #maintien_de_l'ordre #contrôles_frontaliers #surveillance_des_frontières #fonds_européen #Hemeti #armée #trafic_d'êtres_humains #armée_soudanaise #externalisation #externalisation_des_frontières

    ping @karine4 @isskein @pascaline

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message804171

    • Une nouvelle de juillet 2019...

      EU suspends migration control projects in Sudan amid repression fears

      The EU has suspended projects targeting illegal migration in Sudan. The move comes amid fears they might have aided security forces responsible for violently repressing peaceful protests in the country, DW has learned.

      An EU spokesperson has confirmed to DW that a German-led project that organizes the provision of training and equipment to Sudanese border guards and police was “halted” in mid-March, while an EU-funded intelligence center in the capital, Khartoum, has been “on hold” since June. The EU made no public announcements at the time.

      The initiatives were paid for from a €4.5 billion ($5 billion) EU fund for measures in Africa to control migration and address its root causes, to which Germany has contributed over €160 million. Sudan is commonly part of migration routes for people aiming to reach Europe from across Africa.

      Critics had raised concerns that working with the Sudanese government on border management could embolden repressive state forces, not least the notorious Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia, which is accused by Amnesty International of war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region. An EU summary of the project noted that there was a risk that resources could be “diverted for repressive aims.”

      Support for police

      A wave of protest swept the country in December, with demonstrators calling for the ouster of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir. Once Bashir was deposed in April, a transitional military council, which includes the commander of the RSF as deputy leader, sought to restore order. Among various incidents of repression, the militia was blamed for a massacre on June 3 in which 128 protesters were reportedly killed.

      While the EU maintains it has provided neither funding nor equipment to the RSF, there is no dispute that Sudanese police, who also stand accused of brutally repressing the protests, received training under the programs.

      Dr. Lutz Oette, a human rights expert at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), told DW: “The suspension is the logical outcome of the change in circumstances but it exposes the flawed assumptions of the process as far as working with Sudan is concerned.”

      Oette said continuing to work with the Sudanese government would have been incompatible with the European Union’s positions on human rights, and counterproductive to the goal of tackling the root causes of migration.

      Coordination center

      The intelligence center, known as the Regional Operational Center in Khartoum (ROCK), was to allow the security forces of nine countries in the Horn of Africa to share intelligence about human trafficking and people smuggling networks.

      A spokesperson for the European Commission told DW the coordination center had been suspended since June “until the political/security situation is cleared,” with some of its staff temporarily relocated to Nairobi, Kenya. Training and some other activities under the Better Migration Management (BMM) program were suspended in mid-March “because they require the involvement of government counterparts to be carried out.” The EU declined to say whether the risk of support being provided to repressive forces had contributed to the decision.

      The spokesperson said other EU activities that provide help to vulnerable people in the country were continuing.

      An official EU document dated December 2015 noted the risk that the provision of equipment and training to security services and border guards could be “diverted for repressive aims” or subject to “criticism by NGOs and civil society for engaging with repressive governments on migration (particularly in Eritrea and Sudan).”

      ’Regular monitoring’

      The BMM program is being carried out by a coalition of EU states — France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom — and aid agencies led by the German development agency GIZ. It includes projects in 11 African countries under the auspices of the “Khartoum process,” an international cooperation initiative targeting illegal migration.

      The ROCK intelligence center, which an EU document shows was planned to be situated within a Sudanese police training facility, was being run by the French state-owned security company Civipol.

      The EU spokesperson said, “Sudan does not benefit from any direct EU financial support. No EU funding is decentralized or channeled through the Sudanese government.”

      “All EU-funded activities in Sudan are implemented by EU member states development agencies, the UN, international organizations and NGOs, who are closely scrutinized through strict and regular monitoring during projects’ implementation,” the spokesperson added.

      A spokesperson for GIZ said: “The participant lists of BMM’s training courses are closely coordinated with the [Sudanese government] National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking (NCCHT) to prevent RSF militiamen taking part in training activities.”

      The GIZ spokesperson gave a different explanation for the suspension to that of the EU, saying the program had been stopped “in order not to jeopardize the safety of [GIZ] employees in the country.” The spokesperson added: “Activities in the field of policy harmonization and capacity building have slowly restarted.”

      https://www.dw.com/en/eu-suspends-migration-control-projects-in-sudan-amid-repression-fears/a-49701408

      #police #Regional_Operational_Center_in_Khartoum (#ROCK) #Better_Migration_Management (#BMM) #processus_de_Khartoum

      Et ce subtil lien entre migrations et #développement :

      Sudan does not benefit from any direct EU financial support. No EU funding is decentralized or channeled through the Sudanese government.

      “All EU-funded activities in Sudan are implemented by EU member states development agencies, the UN, international organizations and NGOs, who are closely scrutinized through strict and regular monitoring during projects’ implementation,” the spokesperson added.

      #GIZ

      Ajouté à la métaliste #migrations et développement :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/733358

  • Le Niger, #nouvelle frontière de l’Europe et #laboratoire de l’asile

    Les politiques migratoires européennes, toujours plus restrictives, se tournent vers le Sahel, et notamment vers le Niger – espace de transit entre le nord et le sud du Sahara. Devenu « frontière » de l’Europe, environné par des pays en conflit, le Niger accueille un nombre important de réfugiés sur son sol et renvoie ceux qui n’ont pas le droit à cette protection. Il ne le fait pas seul. La présence de l’Union européenne et des organisations internationales est visible dans le pays ; des opérations militaires y sont menées par des armées étrangères, notamment pour lutter contre la pression terroriste à ses frontières... au risque de brouiller les cartes entre enjeux sécuritaires et enjeux humanitaires.

    On confond souvent son nom avec celui de son voisin anglophone, le Nigéria, et peu de gens savent le placer sur une carte. Pourtant, le Niger est un des grands pays du Sahel, cette bande désertique qui court de l’Atlantique à la mer Rouge, et l’un des rares pays stables d’Afrique de l’Ouest qui offrent encore une possibilité de transit vers la Libye et la Méditerranée. Environné par des pays en conflit ou touchés par le terrorisme de Boko Haram et d’autres groupes, le Niger accueille les populations qui fuient le Mali et la région du lac Tchad et celles évacuées de Libye.

    « Dans ce contexte d’instabilité régionale et de contrôle accru des déplacements, la distinction entre l’approche sécuritaire et l’approche humanitaire s’est brouillée », explique la chercheuse Florence Boyer, fellow de l’Institut Convergences Migrations, actuellement accueillie au Niger à l’Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey. Géographe et anthropologue (affiliée à l’Urmis au sein de l’IRD, l’Institut de recherche pour le Développement), elle connaît bien le Niger, où elle se rend régulièrement depuis vingt ans pour étudier les migrations internes et externes des Nigériens vers l’Algérie ou la Libye voisines, au nord, et les pays du Golfe de Guinée, au sud et à l’ouest. Sa recherche porte actuellement sur le rôle que le Niger a accepté d’endosser dans la gestion des migrations depuis 2014, à la demande de plusieurs membres de l’Union européenne (UE) pris dans la crise de l’accueil des migrants.
    De la libre circulation au contrôle des frontières

    « Jusqu’à 2015, le Niger est resté cet espace traversé par des milliers d’Africains de l’Ouest et de Nigériens remontant vers la Libye sans qu’il y ait aucune entrave à la circulation ou presque », raconte la chercheuse. La plupart venaient y travailler. Peu tentaient la traversée vers l’Europe, mais dès le début des années 2000, l’UE, Italie en tête, cherche à freiner ce mouvement en négociant avec Kadhafi, déplaçant ainsi la frontière de l’Europe de l’autre côté de la Méditerranée. La chute du dictateur libyen, dans le contexte des révolutions arabes de 2011, bouleverse la donne. Déchirée par une guerre civile, la Libye peine à retenir les migrants qui cherchent une issue vers l’Europe. Par sa position géographique et sa relative stabilité, le Niger s’impose progressivement comme un partenaire de la politique migratoire de l’UE.

    « Le Niger est la nouvelle frontière de l’Italie. »

    Marco Prencipe, ambassadeur d’Italie à Niamey

    Le rôle croissant du Niger dans la gestion des flux migratoires de l’Afrique vers l’Europe a modifié les parcours des migrants, notamment pour ceux qui passent par Agadez, dernière ville du nord avant la traversée du Sahara. Membre du Groupe d’études et de recherches Migrations internationales, Espaces, Sociétés (Germes) à Niamey, Florence Boyer observe ces mouvements et constate la présence grandissante dans la capitale nigérienne du Haut-Commissariat des Nations-Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) et de l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM) chargée, entre autres missions, d’assister les retours de migrants dans leur pays.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlIwqYKrw7c

    « L’île de Lampedusa se trouve aussi loin du Nord de l’Italie que de la frontière nigérienne, note Marco Prencipe, l’ambassadeur d’Italie à Niamey, le Niger est la nouvelle frontière de l’Italie. » Une affirmation reprise par plusieurs fonctionnaires de la délégation de l’UE au Niger rencontrés par Florence Boyer et Pascaline Chappart. La chercheuse, sur le terrain à Niamey, effectue une étude comparée sur des mécanismes d’externalisation de la frontière au Niger et au Mexique. « Depuis plusieurs années, la politique extérieure des migrations de l’UE vise à délocaliser les contrôles et à les placer de plus en plus au sud du territoire européen, explique la postdoctorante à l’IRD, le mécanisme est complexe : les enjeux pour l’Europe sont à la fois communautaires et nationaux, chaque État membre ayant sa propre politique ».

    En novembre 2015, lors du sommet euro-africain de La Valette sur la migration, les autorités européennes lancent le Fonds fiduciaire d’urgence pour l’Afrique « en faveur de la stabilité et de la lutte contre les causes profondes de la migration irrégulière et du phénomène des personnes déplacées en Afrique ». Doté à ce jour de 4,2 milliards d’euros, le FFUA finance plusieurs types de projets, associant le développement à la sécurité, la gestion des migrations à la protection humanitaire.

    Le président nigérien considère que son pays, un des plus pauvres de la planète, occupe une position privilégiée pour contrôler les migrations dans la région. Le Niger est désormais le premier bénéficiaire du Fonds fiduciaire, devant des pays de départ comme la Somalie, le Nigéria et surtout l’Érythrée d’où vient le plus grand nombre de demandeurs d’asile en Europe.

    « Le Niger s’y retrouve dans ce mélange des genres entre lutte contre le terrorisme et lutte contre l’immigration “irrégulière”. »

    Florence Boyer, géographe et anthropologue

    Pour l’anthropologue Julien Brachet, « le Niger est peu à peu devenu un pays cobaye des politiques anti-migrations de l’Union européenne, (...) les moyens financiers et matériels pour lutter contre l’immigration irrégulière étant décuplés ». Ainsi, la mission européenne EUCAP Sahel Niger a ouvert une antenne permanente à Agadez en 2016 dans le but d’« assister les autorités nigériennes locales et nationales, ainsi que les forces de sécurité, dans le développement de politiques, de techniques et de procédures permettant d’améliorer le contrôle et la lutte contre les migrations irrégulières ».

    « Tout cela ne serait pas possible sans l’aval du Niger, qui est aussi à la table des négociations, rappelle Florence Boyer. Il ne faut pas oublier qu’il doit faire face à la pression de Boko Haram et d’autres groupes terroristes à ses frontières. Il a donc intérêt à se doter d’instruments et de personnels mieux formés. Le Niger s’y retrouve dans ce mélange des genres entre la lutte contre le terrorisme et la lutte contre l’immigration "irrégulière". »

    Peu avant le sommet de La Valette en 2015, le Niger promulgue la loi n°2015-36 sur « le trafic illicite de migrants ». Elle pénalise l’hébergement et le transport des migrants ayant l’intention de franchir illégalement la frontière. Ceux que l’on qualifiait jusque-là de « chauffeurs » ou de « transporteurs » au volant de « voitures taliban » (des 4x4 pick-up transportant entre 20 et 30 personnes) deviennent des « passeurs ». Une centaine d’arrestations et de saisies de véhicules mettent fin à ce qui était de longue date une source légale de revenus au nord du Niger. « Le but reste de bloquer la route qui mène vers la Libye, explique Pascaline Chappart. L’appui qu’apportent l’UE et certains pays européens en coopérant avec la police, les douanes et la justice nigérienne, particulièrement en les formant et les équipant, a pour but de rendre l’État présent sur l’ensemble de son territoire. »

    Des voix s’élèvent contre ces contrôles installés aux frontières du Niger sous la pression de l’Europe. Pour Hamidou Nabara de l’ONG nigérienne JMED (Jeunesse-Enfance-Migration-Développement), qui lutte contre la pauvreté pour retenir les jeunes désireux de quitter le pays, ces dispositifs violent le principe de la liberté de circulation adopté par les pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest dans le cadre de la Cedeao. « La situation des migrants s’est détériorée, dénonce-t-il, car si la migration s’est tarie, elle continue sous des voies différentes et plus dangereuses ». La traversée du Sahara est plus périlleuse que jamais, confirme Florence Boyer : « Le nombre de routes s’est multiplié loin des contrôles, mais aussi des points d’eau et des secours. À ce jour, nous ne disposons pas d’estimations solides sur le nombre de morts dans le désert, contrairement à ce qui se passe en Méditerranée ».

    Partenaire de la politique migratoire de l’Union européenne, le Niger a également développé une politique de l’asile. Il accepte de recevoir des populations en fuite, expulsées ou évacuées des pays voisins : les expulsés d’Algérie recueillis à la frontière, les rapatriés nigériens dont l’État prend en charge le retour de Libye, les réfugiés en lien avec les conflits de la zone, notamment au Mali et dans la région du lac Tchad, et enfin les personnes évacuées de Libye par le HCR. Le Niger octroie le statut de réfugié à ceux installés sur son sol qui y ont droit. Certains, particulièrement vulnérables selon le HCR, pourront être réinstallés en Europe ou en Amérique du Nord dans des pays volontaires.
    Une plateforme pour la « réinstallation »
    en Europe et en Amérique

    Cette procédure de réinstallation à partir du Niger n’a rien d’exceptionnel. Les Syriens réfugiés au Liban, par exemple, bénéficient aussi de l’action du HCR qui les sélectionne pour déposer une demande d’asile dans un pays dit « sûr ». La particularité du Niger est de servir de plateforme pour la réinstallation de personnes évacuées de Libye. « Le Niger est devenu une sorte de laboratoire de l’asile, raconte Florence Boyer, notamment par la mise en place de l’Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM). »

    L’ETM, proposé par le HCR, est lancé en août 2017 à Paris par l’Allemagne, l’Espagne, la France et l’Italie — côté UE — et le Niger, le Tchad et la Libye — côté africain. Ils publient une déclaration conjointe sur les « missions de protection en vue de la réinstallation de réfugiés en Europe ». Ce dispositif se présente comme le pendant humanitaire de la politique de lutte contre « les réseaux d’immigration économique irrégulière » et les « retours volontaires » des migrants irréguliers dans leur pays effectués par l’OIM. Le processus s’accélère en novembre de la même année, suite à un reportage de CNN sur des cas d’esclavagisme de migrants en Libye. Fin 2017, 3 800 places sont promises par les pays occidentaux qui participent, à des degrés divers, à ce programme d’urgence. Le HCR annonce 6 606 places aujourd’hui, proposées par 14 pays européens et américains1.

    Trois catégories de personnes peuvent bénéficier de la réinstallation grâce à ce programme : évacués d’urgence depuis la Libye, demandeurs d’asile au sein d’un flux dit « mixte » mêlant migrants et réfugiés et personnes fuyant les conflits du Mali ou du Nigéria. Seule une minorité aura la possibilité d’être réinstallée depuis le Niger vers un pays occidental. Le profiling (selon le vocabulaire du HCR) de ceux qui pourront bénéficier de cette protection s’effectue dès les camps de détention libyens. Il consiste à repérer les plus vulnérables qui pourront prétendre au statut de réfugié et à la réinstallation.

    Une fois évacuées de Libye, ces personnes bénéficient d’une procédure accélérée pour l’obtention du statut de réfugié au Niger. Elles ne posent pas de problème au HCR, qui juge leur récit limpide. La Commission nationale d’éligibilité au statut des réfugiés (CNE), qui est l’administration de l’asile au Niger, accepte de valider la sélection de l’organisation onusienne. Les réfugiés sont pris en charge dans le camp du HCR à Hamdallaye, construit récemment à une vingtaine de kilomètres de la capitale nigérienne, le temps que le HCR prépare la demande de réinstallation dans un pays occidental, multipliant les entretiens avec les réfugiés concernés. Certains pays, comme le Canada ou la Suède, ne mandatent pas leurs services sur place, déléguant au HCR la sélection. D’autres, comme la France, envoient leurs agents pour un nouvel entretien (voir ce reportage sur la visite de l’Ofpra à Niamey fin 2018).

    Parmi les évacués de Libye, moins des deux tiers sont éligibles à une réinstallation dans un pays dit « sûr ».

    Depuis deux ans, près de 4 000 personnes ont été évacuées de Libye dans le but d’être réinstallées, selon le HCR (5 300 autres ont été prises en charge par l’OIM et « retournées » dans leur pays). Un millier ont été évacuées directement vers l’Europe et le Canada et près de 3 000 vers le Niger. C’est peu par rapport aux 50 800 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile enregistrés auprès de l’organisation onusienne en Libye au 12 août 2019. Et très peu sur l’ensemble des 663 400 migrants qui s’y trouvent selon l’OIM. La guerre civile qui déchire le pays rend la situation encore plus urgente.

    Parmi les personnes évacuées de Libye vers le Niger, moins des deux tiers sont éligibles à une réinstallation dans un pays volontaire, selon le HCR. À ce jour, moins de la moitié ont été effectivement réinstallés, notamment en France (voir notre article sur l’accueil de réfugiés dans les communes rurales françaises).

    Malgré la publicité faite autour du programme de réinstallation, le HCR déplore la lenteur du processus pour répondre à cette situation d’urgence. « Le problème est que les pays de réinstallation n’offrent pas de places assez vite, regrette Fatou Ndiaye, en charge du programme ETM au Niger, alors que notre pays hôte a négocié un maximum de 1 500 évacués sur son sol au même moment. » Le programme coordonné du Niger ne fait pas exception : le HCR rappelait en février 2019 que, sur les 19,9 millions de réfugiés relevant de sa compétence à travers le monde, moins d’1 % sont réinstallés dans un pays sûr.

    Le dispositif ETM, que le HCR du Niger qualifie de « couloir de l’espoir », concerne seulement ceux qui se trouvent dans un camp accessible par l’organisation en Libye (l’un d’eux a été bombardé en juillet dernier) et uniquement sept nationalités considérées par les autorités libyennes (qui n’ont pas signé la convention de Genève) comme pouvant relever du droit d’asile (Éthiopiens Oromo, Érythréens, Iraquiens, Somaliens, Syriens, Palestiniens et Soudanais du Darfour).

    « Si les portes étaient ouvertes dès les pays d’origine, les gens ne paieraient pas des sommes astronomiques pour traverser des routes dangereuses. »

    Pascaline Chappart, socio-anthropologue

    En décembre 2018, des Soudanais manifestaient devant les bureaux d’ETM à Niamey pour dénoncer « un traitement discriminatoire (...) par rapport aux Éthiopiens et Somaliens » favorisés, selon eux, par le programme. La représentante du HCR au Niger a répondu à une radio locale que « la plupart de ces Soudanais [venaient] du Tchad où ils ont déjà été reconnus comme réfugiés et que, techniquement, c’est le Tchad qui les protège et fait la réinstallation ». C’est effectivement la règle en matière de droit humanitaire mais, remarque Florence Boyer, « comment demander à des réfugiés qui ont quitté les camps tchadiens, pour beaucoup en raison de l’insécurité, d’y retourner sans avoir aucune garantie ? ».

    La position de la France

    La question du respect des règles en matière de droit d’asile se pose pour les personnes qui bénéficient du programme d’urgence. En France, par exemple, pas de recours possible auprès de l’Ofpra en cas de refus du statut de réfugié. Pour Pascaline Chappart, qui achève deux ans d’enquêtes au Niger et au Mexique, il y a là une part d’hypocrisie : « Si les portes étaient ouvertes dès les pays d’origine, les gens ne paieraient pas des sommes astronomiques pour traverser des routes dangereuses par la mer ou le désert ». « Il est quasiment impossible dans le pays de départ de se présenter aux consulats des pays “sûrs” pour une demande d’asile », renchérit Florence Boyer. Elle donne l’exemple de Centre-Africains qui ont échappé aux combats dans leur pays, puis à la traite et aux violences au Nigéria, en Algérie puis en Libye, avant de redescendre au Niger : « Ils auraient dû avoir la possibilité de déposer une demande d’asile dès Bangui ! Le cadre législatif les y autorise. »

    En ce matin brûlant d’avril, dans le camp du HCR à Hamdallaye, Mebratu2, un jeune Érythréen de 26 ans, affiche un large sourire. À l’ombre de la tente qu’il partage et a décorée avec d’autres jeunes de son pays, il annonce qu’il s’envolera le 9 mai pour Paris. Comme tant d’autres, il a fui le service militaire à vie imposé par la dictature du président Issayas Afeworki. Mebratu était convaincu que l’Europe lui offrirait la liberté, mais il a dû croupir deux ans dans les prisons libyennes. S’il ne connaît pas sa destination finale en France, il sait d’où il vient : « Je ne pensais pas que je serais vivant aujourd’hui. En Libye, on pouvait mourir pour une plaisanterie. Merci la France. »

    Mebratu a pris un vol pour Paris en mai dernier, financé par l’Union européenne et opéré par l’#OIM. En France, la Délégation interministérielle à l’hébergement et à l’accès au logement (Dihal) confie la prise en charge de ces réinstallés à 24 opérateurs, associations nationales ou locales, pendant un an. Plusieurs départements et localités françaises ont accepté d’accueillir ces réfugiés particulièrement vulnérables après des années d’errance et de violences.

    Pour le deuxième article de notre numéro spécial de rentrée, nous nous rendons en Dordogne dans des communes rurales qui accueillent ces « réinstallés » arrivés via le Niger.

    http://icmigrations.fr/2019/08/30/defacto-10
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Europe #UE #EU #sécuritaire #humanitaire #approche_sécuritaire #approche_humanitaire #libre_circulation #fermeture_des_frontières #printemps_arabe #Kadhafi #Libye #Agadez #parcours_migratoires #routes_migratoires #HCR #OIM #IOM #retour_au_pays #renvois #expulsions #Fonds_fiduciaire #Fonds_fiduciaire_d'urgence_pour_l'Afrique #FFUA #développement #sécurité #EUCAP_Sahel_Niger #La_Valette #passeurs #politique_d'asile #réinstallation #hub #Emergency_Transit_Mechanism (#ETM) #retours_volontaires #profiling #tri #sélection #vulnérabilité #évacuation #procédure_accélérée #Hamdallaye #camps_de_réfugiés #ofpra #couloir_de_l’espoir

    co-écrit par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765325

  • Niger : Has Securitisation Stopped Traffickers ?

    In the past five years there has been an increase in border controls and foreign military presence in Niger; paradoxically this has only diversified and professionalised the criminal networks operating there. In fact, this development was to be expected. Sustained law enforcement against smugglers removes the weaker players while allowing those with greater means and connexions to adapt, evolve and in some cases even monopolise criminal markets. As such, although Western-supported goals of curtailing irregular migration in Niger have been reached in the short term, criminal networks continue to thrive with devastating consequences for the wider Sahel region. Recorded migrant deaths in northern Niger have hit record highs and illicit flows of drugs and arms through the country continue to fuel conflicts. To address the country’s chronic lack of security and underdevelopment, innovative approaches that prioritise the fight against criminal networks while considering the negative socio-economic impacts of interventions must be developed.

    The economic, social and security landscape of Niger has undergone four milestone events, which have all led to changes in the country’s criminal networks. These included the criminalisation of the migration industry in May 2015; the clampdown on the Djado goldfield in February 2017; the ensuing multiplication of armed actors and growing banditry, which had already increased after the outbreak of the conflicts in Libya in 2011 and northern Mali in 2012; and the militarisation of Niger since 2014.

    The EU-backed enforcement of law 2015-036 criminalising migrant smuggling in mid-2016 delivered a first, considerable blow to northern Niger’s informal economy. Transporting foreign migrants to Libya, a practice that had become a source of livelihood for thousands of people in northern Niger, was outlawed overnight. Dozens of passeurs (migrant smugglers) and coxeurs (middlemen who gather migrants for passeurs) were arrested and hundreds of vehicles were seized in a crackdown that shocked the system.

    The second blow, which was closely linked to the first, was the closure of the Djado goldfield in February 2017. Up until its closure, the gold economy had been a vital back-up for ex-passeurs. Many had repurposed their activities towards the transport of artisanal miners to and from northern Niger’s gold mines to compensate for lost revenue from the outlawing of migrant smuggling. Many passeurs also invested in artisanal gold extraction. The goldfield was officially shut down for security reasons, as it had become a key hub for the operations of armed bandits. However, the fact that it was also a key stopover location for migrants travelling north was perhaps more influential in the government’s decision-making.

    Many analysts have attributed the rise in banditry and convoy hijackings over the past two years to these two economic blows. While it is difficult to determine whether the actors involved in these attacks are the same as those previously involved in the migration industry, it is clear that the lack of economic opportunities have pushed some to seek alternative sources of revenue.

    Although the migration industry initially shrank, it has now partially recovered (albeit still very far from 2015/2016 levels) with the transport of Nigerien migrants who are increasingly seeking seasonal work in Libya. But although a majority of passeurs have repurposed their activities towards the tolerated practice of transporting Nigeriens to Libya, many passeurs are still ready to transport foreign migrants, who pay up to eight times what local Nigeriens pay. To do so, smuggling networks have become both more professional and clandestine. Passeurs also take more dangerous and remote routes through the desert that avoid security forces. This has posed a significant risk to migrants, who are increasingly vulnerable to death from unexpected breakdowns in the desert. The number of recorded migrant deaths increased from 71 in 2015 to 427 in 2017.

    Currently, the number of active drivers is close to that before the peak of migration in 2015/2016. But the number of migrants who can afford the journey has lessened. In some reported cases, the price for the Agadez-Sebha journey has increased five-fold since 2016. Passeurs incur higher costs primarily as a result of longer, more clandestine routes that require more fuel. They must also pay higher fees to coxeurs, whose role in gathering migrants for passeurs has become central since migrants have been more difficult to find in Agadez. Prior to 2016, migrants could easily reach the town with commercial bus companies. Today, these undergo stringent checks by Nigerien police. Even migrants from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), who have the right to visa-free travel to Niger with valid documentation, are having to pay higher bribes to security forces to reach Agadez through commercial transportation.

    To compensate for this lack of more lucrative foreign migrants, many passeurs have turned to the smuggling of synthetic opioids (especially Tramadol), the demand for which has boomed across the Sahel-Sahara in recent years.[1] Smugglers can sell Tramadol purchased from Nigeria for up to 15 times the price in Libya, transporting the drugs along the Chadian border through Niger.

    These developments have mostly been undeterred by the increased militarisation of Niger since 2014, which saw the posting of French and American security forces in key strategic locations in the north (with bases in Madama, Dirkou, Agadez, Aguelal) and south (in the Tillabéri and Diffa regions). While their primary concern has been the fight against terrorist networks in the Sahel, French security forces in Madama have also specifically targeted arms and high-value narcotics trafficking (albeit prioritising those suspected of having links to terrorist networks). The increased scrutiny of French troops on key trafficking crossroads is seen as a key factor in making the trans-Sahelian cocaine route less attractive for conveying drugs from Latin America to destination markets in Europe and the Middle East, with traffickers increasingly favouring maritime routes instead.

    The increased targeting of drug convoys by armed groups is also a key factor behind the reduced use of the trans-Sahel cocaine route. These groups, which have multiplied in northern Mali, southern Libya and north-western Chad since the Libyan revolution in 2011 and Malian rebellion in 2012, have increasingly shifted their business model towards armed robbery and the hijacking of convoys that transit northern Niger. One such group includes armed men mostly composed of Chadian military defectors, who have used the Djado area (600 km north-east of Agadez) as a base to target convoys trafficking drugs, arms and goods but also artisanal miners traveling to and from gold mines (such as the Tchibarakaten goldfield).[2] The Forces Armées Nigériennes, whose capacity is limited in northern Niger’s difficult terrain, have so far failed to overrun the group.

    Nevertheless, recent cocaine seizures, including a record seizure of 789 kilograms of cocaine in March 2019 in Guinea-Bissau, suggest that the route is still being used, boosted by increasing cocaine production in Colombia in recent years. In fact, trafficking routes seem to have simply pushed outwards to areas bordering Algeria and Chad, avoiding the patrolling and surveillance activity taking place out of the French outpost of Madama.[3] However, this route shift may be temporary. France’s withdrawal from its temporary base in Madama since May (although officially announced in July) has reduced its oversight over the Toummo crossing and Salvador Pass, both key trafficking gateways to Libya. In reaction to France’s withdrawal from Madama, one passeur interviewed by phone boasted: ‘maintenant on opère comme des rois [now we operate like kings]’.[4]

    Niger’s stability relies on a fragile economic, political and social equilibrium that is threatened by the current approaches to achieving Western priorities of reduced terrorism and irregular migration. The EU and its member states successfully addressed the latter by disrupting the business model of passeurs and raising the costs of migration. But while the EU must be commended for initiating projects to compensate for passeurs’ lost income, these have not yielded the results that had been hoped for. Many passeurs accuse the local non-governmental organisation in charge of dispensing funds of having been nepotistic in its fund allocation. Only a fraction of passeurs received EU support, leaving many to be forced back into their old activities.

    If support is not effectively delivered in the long term, current approaches to reducing irregular migration and terrorism may be undermined: poverty and unemployment fuel the very elements that securitisation hopes to tackle.

    Currently, strategies to tackle smuggling and illicit flows have targeted easily-replaceable low-level actors in criminal economies. Yet to have a longer-lasting impact, actors higher up in the value chain would need to be targeted. Criminal culture in Niger is as much a top-down issue as it is a bottom-up one. The participation of the Nigerien political elite in trans-Sahelian illicit economies is strong. Their business interests are as much a catalyst of flows as the widespread poverty and lack of economic opportunities that push so many into criminal endeavours. This involvement is well-known and recognised by international partners behind the scenes, yet it is not prioritised, perhaps for fear of impeding on strategic counterterrorism and anti-irregular migration goals. Meanwhile, the illicit flows of arms, drugs, goods, and people continue to foster instability in the wider region.

    References

    [1] Micallef, M. Horsley R. & Bish, A. (2019) The Human Conveyor Belt Broken – assessing the collapse of the human-smuggling industry in Libya and the central Sahel, The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, March 2019.

    [2] Micallef, M., Farrah, R. & Bish, A. (forthcoming) After the Storm, Organized Crime across the Sahel-Sahara following the Libyan Revolution and Malian Rebellion, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.

    [3] Micallef, M., Farrah, R. & Bish, A. (forthcoming) After the Storm, Organized crime across the Sahel-Sahara following the Libyan Revolution and Malian rebellion, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.

    [4] Telephone interview with Tebu passeur based in Dirkou, July 2019.

    https://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/niger-has-securitisation-stopped-traffickers-23838
    #Niger #trafiquants #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #smugglers #smuggling #migrations #réseaux_criminels #asile #réfugiés #criminalisation #économie #économie_informelle #passeurs #saisonniers_nigériens #prix #Sebha #Agadez #pauvreté #chômage #travail #Tramadol #drogue #trafic_de_drogue
    ping @karine4 @pascaline

  • #Frontex : A harder border, sooner

    European leaders have already agreed to a massive boost for the border protection agency, Frontex. The incoming head of the European Commission, #Ursula_von_der_Leyen, wants to bring forward the expansion.

    Europe needs more people guarding its borders and sooner rather than later. Soon after she was elected in July, the European Commission’s next president, Ursula von der Leyen, declared that the reform of Europe’s border and coast guard agency should be brought forward three years, to 2024. The former German defense minister repeated the call during a visit this week to Bulgaria which shares a border with Turkey and counts Frontex as an ally.

    Expansion plans

    The European Commission announced in September 2018, two years after Frontex came into being as a functioning border and coast guard agency, that the organization would be expanded. Then president, Jean-Claude Juncker, proposed that 8,400 more border guards be recruited, in addition to the existing 1,500. “External borders must be protected more effectively,” Juncker said.

    In May this year, the European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitiris Avramopoulos, confirmed that 10,000 armed guards would be deployed by 2027 to patrol the EU’s land and sea borders and significantly strengthen the existing force.

    The EU guards would intercept new arrivals, stop unauthorized travel and accelerate the return of people whose asylum claim had failed, according to the IPS news agency. The guards would also be able to operate outside Europe, with the consent of the third country governments.

    “The agency will better and more actively support member states in the area of return in order to improve the European Union’s response to persisting migratory challenges,” Avramopoulos said.

    What does Frontex do?

    Frontex was set up in 2004 to support the EU control its external land, air and sea borders. In 2016 it was overhauled and in 2018 received a budget of 320 million euros. The agency coordinates the deployment of border guards, boats and helicopters where they are needed to tackle “migratory pressure.”

    Frontex assesses how ready each EU member state is to face challenges at its external borders. It coordinates a pool of border guards, provided by member states, to be deployed quickly at the external borders.

    The agency’s other main functions are to help with forced returns of migrants and organize voluntary departures from Europe. It also collects and shares information related to migrant smuggling, trafficking and terrorism.

    Misguided approach

    While the Frontex approach of strengthening border controls has been welcomed by many of Europe’s leaders, some say this law-and-order solution does not work. Instead, civil society, human rights groups and other critics say hardening borders simply forces migrants to switch to new and often more dangerous routes.

    As Frontex itself said earlier this year, there is no longer a “burning crisis” of migration in Europe (https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/18486/improved-chances-of-asylum-seekers-in-germany-entering-job-market?ref=), as the number of migrants and refugees reaching the continent has dropped dramatically. Yet the risks of dying in the attempt to reach Europe, especially in the Mediterranean, have risen for the past four consecutive years. Part of Frontex’ mandate is to save lives at sea, but critics (https://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_back_to_frontex_europes_misguided_migration_policy) say its raison d’etre is the protection of borders, not the protection of lives.

    Abuse claims

    In August, media reports claimed that Frontex border guards had tolerated violence against migrants and were themselves responsible for inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. Frontex denied that any of its officers had violated human rights (https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/18676/frontex-denies-involvement-in-human-rights-violations). A spokesperson for the European Commission, Mina Andreeva, said the allegations would be followed up.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/19415/frontex-a-harder-border-sooner
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #UE #EU #fermeture_des_frontières #renvois #expulsions #machine_à_expulser #déboutés #externalisation #externalisation_des_frontières #frontières_extérieures #retours_volontaires

    ping @karine4 @isskein @reka