position:coast guard

  • This Senseless Government #Shutdown Is Harming Coast Guard Families | U.S. Naval Institute
    https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2019-01/senseless-government-shutdown-harming-coast-guard-families

    By Admiral Thad Allen, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)

    Today, with the government shutdown in its third week, it is beyond troubling that Coast Guard men and women are being unnecessarily subjected to financial hardship while enduring the operational, mission-related circumstances that are accepted as part of their compact with their country.
    […]
    I am the son of a Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer and brother of a Coast Guard spouse. Our family’s life has revolved around the service my parents revered. A part of the “Greatest Generation”, they emerged from the depression and World War II to raise a family that moved frequently and fearlessly. They were tough and resilient.

    I will turn 70 shortly and have had 47 addresses in my life. And while my parents and later my wife and I treated each new transfer as an adventure, there were tests and challenges. In the early 1950s my father got a no-notice transfer from Mobile, Alabama to Ketchikan, Alaska after it became clear our family was not a good fit in the segregated South. My father left immediately but it took our family months to catch up. We arrived in Ketchikan from a nearby island that had an airport, making the final leg by Coast Guard small boat with our luggage. Despite these and other challenges my mother and father believed until the day they died that the Coast Guard was the best thing that ever happened to our family.
    […]

    I never believed it would be necessary to remind the leaders of all branches of government of their constitutional responsibilities, but it appears they have subordinated the “general welfare” of their fellow citizens to parochial interests. While this political theater ensues, there are junior Coast Guard petty officers, with families, who are already compensated at levels below the national poverty level, who will not be paid during this government shutdown. There is no reasonable answer as to why these families have to endure this hardship in the absence of a national emergency. These leaders should ponder how they would tell a spouse at Arlington that his or her survivor benefits might be at risk—again, for no reason. I’m glad my mother and father are not alive to see it.


  • Employer Sues Glassdoor Over Identity of Anonymous Former Employee | Clear View Post
    https://clearviewpost.com/employer-sues-glassdoor-over-identity-of-anonymous-former-employee

    Think anonymous reviews in crowd-sourced forums like Yelp and Glassdoor are protected by the First Amendment?

    A former employee who posted a critical review of New York oil barge operator Bouchard Transportation is about to find out.

    So far, Bouchard is winning.

    A California judge in June sided with Bouchard and ordered the job search site Glassdoor to reveal the name of the anonymous former employee who wrote in a 2015 review that the company had “no safety culture.

    Bouchard and its president, Morton Bouchard III, say they need the person’s name to pursue a defamation lawsuit. The company’s complaint states that Bouchard has “diligently worked to ensure that BTC (Bouchard Transportation Company) has a reputation for operating safely.

    But in new arguments filed in November, the former employee, known in court records as John Doe 1, claims that his comments were constitutionally protected opinion.

    Doe also claims that events over the past three years support his criticism.

    Among the events was the explosion of Bouchard’s Barge 255 off the coast of Texas in 2017, killing the vessel’s two deckhands. Testimony about Bouchard’s safety culture figured in a two-week public hearing in 2018 into the cause of the accident held by the U.S. Coast Guard.

    Further reading: Bouchard Transportation Lawsuit: Safety Record Not Relevant in Deadly Explosion Investigation
    Bouchard was so concerned about the impact of the testimony on its reputation that the company filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Houston midway through the Coast Guard inquiry seeking unsuccessfully to shut down the hearings.

    Doe’s lawyer, First Amendment lawyer Henry Kaufman of New York City, in a petition filed in November to stop Doe’s unmasking, asked the judge to consider what he called “Bouchard’s bad faith claims about their allegedly fine reputation for safety and environmental concern.

    A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2019, in the Superior Court of California in Marin County.

    With the number and popularity of online anonymous review forums growing, courts across the country increasingly are being asked to balance the public’s right to free speech under the First Amendment with the right of business to challenge statements that it claims are defamatory.

    Case law on the protection of anonymous reviewers’ identities is an evolving work in progress.

    The U.S. Supreme Court repeatedly has held that anonymous speech is protected speech.

    Under our Constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent. Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority,” the court wrote in the 1995 case of McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission.

    In the modern era of online publication, internet companies rather than pamphleteers increasingly are having to fight to protect the identities of their writers.

    Glassdoor offers tips on its website on writing a review to avoid defamation.

    You are entitled to post your anonymous opinions about your company or C-suite executives on Glassdoor and your speech should be protected under the First Amendment. However, you should be aware that statements of provable facts are subject to legal claims of defamation if your company and/or executives allege your statements are false,” Glassdoor’s website states.

    A key issue is whether the reviewer posts opinions or statements of fact which can be proven true or false.

    #opinion_anonyme
    #anonymat


  • Le porte container Yantian Express (Hapag-Lloyd ) en feu avec ses 7500 containers à 1000 Km de la cote est du Canada

    https://gcaptain.com/hapag-lloyd-containership-yantian-express-on-fire-off-east-coast-of-canada
    https://www.hapag-lloyd.com/en/press/releases/2019/01/containers-caught-fire-on-board-the-yantian-express.html

    A fire has broke out aboard a Hapag-Lloyd containership in the North Atlantic off the east coast of Canada.

    In a statement posted to its website, Hapag-Lloyd said the fire started January 3 in one container on the deck of the Yantian Express and has spread to additional containers.

    Efforts to extinguish the fire were launched immediately but were suspended due to a significant deterioration of weather conditions.

    At the time of the update, the ship was located approximately 650 nautical miles off the coast of Canada.

    The crew of 8 officers and 15 seafarers are unharmed, Hapag-Lloyd said.

    The ship was sailing from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Halifax, via the Suez Canal, where it was expected to arrive on January 4, according to AIS ship tracking data. 

    The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday afternoon that it is coordinating the response efforts to ensure the safety of the crew.

    Another commercial vessel, Happy Ranger, was just 20 miles from the position of the Yantian Express and has diverted to provide assistance. A commercial tugboat is also en route.

    The Coast Guard said it is monitoring the situation. 

    The 7,510 TEU vessel 320-meters-long and is flagged in German flag. The ship operates in the East Coast Loop 5 (EC5) service. It was built in 2002.

    “It is still too early to make a precise estimate of any damage to the vessel or its cargo. Hapag-Lloyd is closely cooperating with all relevant authorities,” Hapag-Lloyd said.

    Both the Yantian Express and Happy Ranger are participating in the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) program. 

    “Thanks to the participation of mariners in the AMVER system, we were able to coordinate a quick response,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Badal, operations unit watchstander at the Fifth District command center. “This system is crucial to coordinating nearby vessels to provide assistance when an emergency arises far from Coast Guard assets.”

    No pollution or injuries have been reported. 


  • And Yet We Move - 2018, a Contested Year

    Alarm Phone 6 Week Report, 12 November - 23 December 2018

    311 people escaping from Libya rescued through a chain of solidarity +++ About 113,000 sea arrivals and over 2,240 counted fatalities in the Mediterranean this year +++ 666 Alarm Phone distress cases in 2018 +++ Developments in all three Mediterranean regions +++ Summaries of 38 Alarm Phone distress cases

    Introduction

    “There are no words big enough to describe the value of the work you are doing. It is a deeply human act and it will never be forgotten. The whole of your team should know that we wish all of you health and a long life and the best wishes in all the colours of the world.” These are the words that the Alarm Phone received a few days ago from a man who had been on a boat in the Western Mediterranean Sea and with whom our shift teams had stayed in touch throughout the night until they were finally rescued to Spain. He was able to support the other travellers by continuously and calmly reassuring them, and thereby averted panic on the boat. His message motivates us to continue also in 2019 to do everything we can to assist people who have taken to the sea because Europe’s border regime has closed safe and legal routes, leaving only the most dangerous paths slightly open. On these paths, over 2,240 people have lost their lives this year.

    While we write this report, 311 people are heading toward Spain on the rescue boat of the NGO Proactiva Open Arms. The travellers called the Alarm Phone when they were on a boat-convoy that had left from Libya. Based on the indications of their location, Al-Khums, the civil reconnaissance aircraft Colibri launched a search operation in the morning of the 21st of December and was able to spot the convoy of three boats which were then rescued by Proactiva. Italy and Malta closed their harbours to them, prolonging their suffering. Over the Christmas days they headed toward their final destination in Spain. The successful rescue operation of the 313 people (one mother and her infant child were flown out by a helicopter after rescue) highlights the chain of solidarity that activists and NGOs have created in the Central Mediterranean Sea. It is a fragile chain that the EU and its member states seek to criminalise and tear apart wherever they can.

    Throughout the year of 2018, we have witnessed and assisted contested movements across the Mediterranean Sea. Despite violent deterrence policies and practices, about 113,000 people succeeded in subverting maritime borders and have arrived in Europe by boat. We were alerted to 666 distress situations at sea (until December 23rd), and our shift teams have done their best to assist the many thousands of people who saw no other option to realise their hope for a better future than by risking their lives at sea. Many of them lost their lives in the moment of enacting their freedom of movement. Over 2,240 women, men, and children from the Global South – and probably many more who were never counted – are not with us anymore because of the violence inscribed in the Global North’s hegemonic and brutal borders. They were not able to get a visa. They could not board a much cheaper plane, bus, or ferry to reach a place of safety and freedom. Many travelled for months, even years, to get anywhere near the Mediterranean border – and on their journeys they have lived through hardships unimaginable for most of us. But they struggled on and reached the coasts of Northern Africa and Turkey, where they got onto overcrowded boats. That they are no longer with us is a consequence of Europe’s racist system of segregation that illegalises and criminalises migration, a system that also seeks to illegalise and criminalise solidarity. Many of these 2,240 people would be alive if the civil rescuers were not prevented from doing their work. All of them would be alive, if they could travel and cross borders freely.

    In the different regions of the Mediterranean Sea, the situation has further evolved over the course of 2018, and the Alarm Phone witnessed the changing patterns of boat migration first hand. Most of the boats we assisted were somewhere between Morocco and Spain (480), a considerable number between Turkey and Greece (159), but comparatively few between Libya and Italy (27). This, of course, speaks to the changing dynamics of migratory escape and its control in the different regions:

    Morocco-Spain: Thousands of boats made it across the Strait of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea, or the Atlantic and have turned Spain into the ‘front-runner’ this year with about 56,000 arrivals by sea. In 2017, 22,103 people had landed in Spain, 8,162 in 2016. In the Western Mediterranean, crossings are organised in a rather self-organised way and the number of arrivals speaks to a migratory dynamism not experienced for over a decade in this region. Solidarity structures have multiplied both in Morocco and Spain and they will not be eradicated despite the wave of repression that has followed the peak in crossings over the summer. Several Alarm Phone members experienced the consequences of EU pressure on the Moroccan authorities to repress cross-border movements first hand when they were violently deported to the south of Morocco, as were several thousand others.

    Turkey-Greece: With about 32,000 people reaching the Greek islands by boat, more people have arrived in Greece than in 2017, when 29,718 people did so. After arrival via the sea, many are confined in inhumane conditions on the islands and the EU hotspots have turned into rather permanent prisons. This desperate situation has prompted renewed movements across the Turkish-Greek land border in the north. Overall, the number of illegalised crossings into Greece has risen due to more than 20,000 people crossing the land border. Several cases of people experiencing illegal push-back operations there reached the Alarm Phone over the year.

    Libya-Italy/Malta: Merely about 23,000[1] people have succeeded in fleeing Libya via the sea in 2018. The decrease is dramatic, from 119,369 in 2017, and even 181,436 in 2016. This decrease gives testament to the ruthlessness of EU deterrence policies that have produced the highest death rate in the Central Mediterranean and unspeakable suffering among migrant communities in Libya. Libyan militias are funded, trained, and legitimated by their EU allies to imprison thousands of people in camps and to abduct those who made it onto boats back into these conditions. Due to the criminalisation of civil rescuers, a lethal rescue gap was produced, with no NGO able to carry out their work for many months of the year. Fortunately, three of them have now been able to return to the deadliest area of the Mediterranean.

    These snapshots of the developments in the three Mediterranean regions, elaborated on in greater detail below, give an idea of the struggles ahead of us. They show how the EU and its member states not only created dangerous maritime paths in the first place but then reinforced its migrant deterrence regime at any cost. They show, however, also how thousands could not be deterred from enacting their freedom of movement and how solidarity structures have evolved to assist their precarious movements. We go into 2019 with the promise and call that the United4Med alliance of sea rescuers has outlined: “We will prove how civil society in action is not only willing but also able to bring about a new Europe; saving lives at sea and creating a just reception system on land. Ours is a call to action to European cities, mayors, citizens, societies, movements, organisations and whoever believes in our mission, to join us. Join our civil alliance and let us stand up together, boldly claiming a future of respect and equality. We will stand united for the right to stay and for the right to go.”[2] Also in the new year, the Alarm Phone will directly engage in this struggle and we call on others to join. It can only be a collective fight, as the odds are stacked against us.

    Developments in the Central Mediterranean

    In December 2018, merely a few hundred people were able to escape Libya by boat. It cannot be stressed enough how dramatic the decrease in crossings along this route is – a year before, 2,327 people escaped in December, in 2016 even 8,428. 2018 is the year when Europe’s border regime ‘succeeded’ in largely shutting down the Central Mediterranean route. It required a combination of efforts – the criminalisation of civil search and rescue organisations, the selective presence of EU military assets that were frequently nowhere to be found when boats were in distress, the closure of Italian harbours and the unwillingness of other EU member states to welcome the rescued, and, most importantly, the EU’s sustained support for the so-called Libyan coastguards and other Libyan security forces. Europe has not only paid but also trained, funded and politically legitimised Libyan militias whose only job is to contain outward migratory movements, which means capturing and abducting people seeking to flee to Europe both at sea and on land. Without these brutal allies, it would not have been possible to reduce the numbers of crossings that dramatically.

    The ‘Nivin case’ of November 7th exemplifies this European-Libyan alliance. On that day, a group of 95 travellers reached out to the Alarm Phone from a boat in distress off the coast of Libya. Among them were people from Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Eritrea. Italy refused to conduct a rescue operation and eventually they were rescued by the cargo vessel Nivin. Despite telling the rescued that they would be brought to a European harbour, the crew of the Nivin returned them to Libya on November 10th. At the harbour of Misrata, most of the rescued refused to disembark, stating that they would not want to be returned into conditions of confinement and torture. The people, accused by some to be ‘pirates’, fought bravely against forced disembarkation for ten days but on the 20th of November they could resist no longer when Libyan security forces stormed the boat and violently removed them, using tear gas and rubber bullets in the process. Several of the protestors were injured and needed treatment in hospital while others were returned into inhumane detention camps.[3]

    Also over the past 6 weeks, the period covered in this report, the criminalisation of civil rescue organisations continued. The day that the protestors on the Nivin were violently removed, Italy ordered the seizure of the Aquarius, the large rescue asset operated by SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières that had already been at the docs in France for some time, uncertain about its future mission. According to the Italian authorities, the crew had falsely labelled the clothes rescued migrants had left on the Aquarius as ‘special’ rather than ‘toxic’ waste.[4] The absurdity of the accusation highlights the fact that Italy’s authorities seek out any means to prevent rescues from taking place, a “disproportionate and unfounded measure, purely aimed at further criminalising lifesaving medical-humanitarian action at sea”, as MSF noted.[5] Unfortunately, these sustained attacks showed effect. On the 6th of December, SOS Med and MSF announced the termination of its mission: “European policies and obstruction tactics have forced [us] to terminate the lifesaving operations carried out by the search and rescue vessel Aquarius.” As the MSF general director said: “This is a dark day. Not only has Europe failed to provide search and rescue capacity, it has also actively sabotaged others’ attempts to save lives. The end of Aquarius means more deaths at sea, and more needless deaths that will go unwitnessed.”[6]

    And yet, despite this ongoing sabotage of civil rescue from the EU and its member states, three vessels of the Spanish, German, and Italian organisations Open Arms, Sea-Watch and Mediterranea returned to the deadliest area of the Mediterranean in late November.[7] This return is also significance for Alarm Phone work in the Central Mediterranean: once again we have non-governmental allies at sea who will not only document what is going on along the deadliest border of the world but actively intervene to counter Europe’s border ‘protection’ measures. Shortly after returning, one of the NGOs was called to assist. Fishermen had rescued a group of travellers off the coast of Libya onto their fishing vessel, after they had been abandoned in the water by a Libyan patrol boat, as the fishermen claimed. Rather than ordering their rapid transfer to a European harbour, Italy, Malta and Spain sought out ways to return the 12 people to Libya. The fishing boat, the Nuestra Madre de Loreto, was ill-equipped to care for the people who were weak and needed medical attention. However, they were assisted only by Proactiva Open Arms, and for over a week, the people had to stay on the fishing boat. One of them developed a medical emergency and was eventually brought away in a helicopter. Finally, in early December, they were brought to Malta.[8]

    Around the same time, something rare and remarkable happened. A boat with over 200 people on board reached the Italian harbour of Pozzallo independently, on the 24th of November. Even when they were at the harbour, the authorities refused to allow them to quickly disembark – a irresponsible decision given that the boat was at risk of capsizing. After several hours, all of the people were finally allowed to get off the boat. Italy’s minister of the interior Salvini accused the Maltese authorities of allowing migrant boats to move toward Italian territory.[9] Despite their hardship, the people on the Nuestra Madre de Loreto and the 200 people from this boat, survived. Also the 33 people rescued by the NGO Sea-Watch on the 22nd of December survived. Others, however, did not. In mid-November, a boat left from Algeria with 13 young people on board, intending to reach Sardinia. On the 16th of November, the first body was found, the second a day later. Three survived and stated later that the 10 others had tried to swim to what they believed to be the shore when they saw a light in the distance.[10] In early December, a boat with 25 people on board left from Sabratha/Libya, and 15 of them did not survive. As a survivor reported, they had been at sea for 12 days without food and water.[11]

    Despite the overall decrease in crossings, what has been remarkable in this region is that the people escaping have more frequently informed the Alarm Phone directly than before. The case mentioned earlier, from the 20th of December, when people from a convoy of 3 boats carrying 313 people in total reached out to us, exemplifies this. Detected by the Colibri reconnaissance aircraft and rescued by Proactiva, this case demonstrates powerfully what international solidarity can achieve, despite all attempts by EU member states and institutions to create a zone of death in the Central Mediterranean Sea.
    Developments in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    Over the past six weeks covered by this report, the Alarm Phone witnessed several times what happens when Spanish and Moroccan authorities shift responsibilities and fail to respond quickly to boats in distress situations. Repeatedly we had to pressurise the Spanish authorities publicly before they launched a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation. And still, many lives were lost at sea. On Moroccan land, the repression campaign against Sub-Saharan travellers and residents continues. On the 30th of November, an Alarm Phone member was, yet again, arrested and deported towards the South of Morocco, to Tiznit, along with many other people. (h https://alarmphone.org/en/2018/12/04/alarm-phone-member-arrested-and-deported-in-morocco/?post_type_release_type=post). Other friends in Morocco have informed us about the deportation of large groups from Nador to Tiznit. Around the 16th of December, 400 people were forcibly removed, and on the 17th of December, another 300 people were deported to Morocco’s south. This repression against black residents and travellers in Morocco is one of the reasons for many to decide to leave via the sea. This has meant that also during the winter, cross-Mediterranean movements remain high. On just one weekend, the 8th-9th of December, 535 people reached Andalusia/Spain.[12]

    Whilst people are constantly resisting the border regime by acts of disobedience when they cross the borders clandestinely, acts of resistance take place also on the ground in Morocco, where associations and individuals are continuously struggling for the freedom of movement for all. In early December, an Alarm Phone delegation participated at an international conference in Rabat/Morocco, in order to discuss with members of other associations and collectives from Africa and Europe about the effects of the outsourcing and militarisation of European borders in the desire to further criminalise and prevent migration movements. We were among 400 people and were impressed by the many contributions from people who live and struggle in very precarious situations, by the uplifting atmosphere, and by the many accounts and expressions of solidarity. Days later, during the international meeting in Marrakesh on the ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’, the Alarm Phone was part of a counter-summit, protesting the international pact on migration which is not meant to reduce borders between states, but to curtail the freedom of movement of the many in the name of ‘legal’ and ‘regulated’ migration. The Alarm Phone delegation was composed of 20 activists from the cities of Tangier, Oujda, Berkane, Nador and Fes. One of our colleagues sums up the event: “We have expressed our ideas and commitments as Alarm Phone, solemnly and strongly in front of the other organisations represented. We have espoused the vision of freedom of movement, a vision without precedent. A vision which claims symbolically all human rights and which has the power to help migrants on all continents to feel protected.” In light of the Marrakesh pact, several African organisations joined together and published a statement rejecting “…the wish to confine Africans within their countries by strengthening border controls, in the deserts, at sea and in airports.”[13]

    Shortly after the international meeting in Marrakesh, the EU pledged €148 million to support Morocco’s policy of migrant containment, thus taking steps towards making it even more difficult, and therefore more dangerous for many people on the African continent to exercise their right to move freely, under the pretext of “combating smuggling”. Making the journeys across the Mediterranean more difficult does not have the desired effect of ending illegalised migration. As the routes to Spain from the north of Morocco have become more militarised following a summer of many successful crossings, more southern routes have come into use again. These routes, leading to the Spanish Canary Islands, force travellers to overcome much longer distances in the Atlantic Ocean, a space without phone coverage and with a heightened risk to lose one’s orientation. On the 18th of November, 22 people lost their lives at sea, on their way from Tiznit to the Canary Islands.[14] Following a Spanish-Frontex collaboration launched in 2006, this route to the Canary Islands has not been used very frequently, but numbers have increased this year, with Moroccan nationals being the largest group of arrivals.[15]
    Developments in the Aegean Sea

    Over the final weeks of 2018, between the 12th of November and the 23rd of December, 78 boats arrived on the Greek islands while 116 boats were stopped by the Turkish coastguards and returned to Turkey. This means that there were nearly 200 attempts to cross into Europe by boat over five weeks, and about 40 percent of them were successful.[16] Over the past six weeks, the Alarm Phone was involved in a total of 19 cases in this region. 6 of the boats arrived in Samos, 3 of them in Chios, and one each on Lesvos, Agathonisi, Farmkonisi, and Symi. 4 boats were returned to Turkey (3 of them rescued, 1 intercepted by the Turkish coastguards). In one distress situation, a man lost his life and another man had to be brought to the hospital due to hypothermia. Moreover, the Alarm Phone was alerted to 2 cases along the Turkish-Greek land border. While in one case their fate remains uncertain, the other group of people were forcibly pushed-back to Turkey.

    Thousands of people still suffering in inhuman conditions in hotspots: When we assist boats crossing the Aegean Sea, the people are usually relieved and happy when arriving on the islands, at least they have survived. However, this moment of happiness often turns into a state of shock when they enter the so-called ‘hotspots’. Over 12,500 people remain incarcerated there, often living in tents and containers unsuitable for winter in the five EU-sponsored camps on Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kos, and Leros. In addition to serious overcrowding, asylum seekers continue to face unsanitary and unhygienic conditions and physical violence, including gender-based violence. Doctors without Borders has reported on a measles outbreak in Greek camps and conducted a vaccination campaign.[17] Amnesty International and 20 other organizations have published a collective call: “As winter approaches all asylum seekers on the Aegean islands must be transferred to suitable accommodation on the mainland or relocated to other EU countries. […] The EU-Turkey deal containment policy imposes unjustified and unnecessary suffering on asylum seekers, while unduly limiting their rights.”

    The ‘humanitarian’ crisis in the hotspots is the result of Greece’s EU-backed policy of containing asylum seekers on the Aegean islands until their asylum claims are adjudicated or until it is determined that they fall into one of the ‘vulnerable’ categories listed under Greek law. But as of late November, an estimated 2,200 people identified as eligible for transfer are still waiting as accommodation facilities on the mainland are also severely overcrowded. Those who are actually transferred from the hotspot on Lesvos to the Greek mainland are brought to far away camps or empty holiday resorts without infrastructure and without a sufficient number of aid workers.

    Criminalisation along Europe’s Eastern Sea Border: A lot has been written about the many attempts to criminalise NGOs and activists carrying out Search and Rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Much less publicly acknowledged are the many cases in which migrant travellers themselves become criminalised for their activist involvement, often for protesting against the inhuman living conditions and the long waiting times for the asylum-interviews. The case of the ‘Moria 35’ on Lesvos was a case in point, highlighting how a few individual protesters were randomly selected by authorities to scare others into silence and obedience. The Legal Centre Lesvos followed this case closely until the last person of the 35 was released and they shared their enquiries with “a 15-month timeline of injustice and impunity” on their website: “On Thursday 18th October, the last of the Moria 35 were released from detention. Their release comes one year and three months – to the day – after the 35 men were arbitrarily arrested and subject to brutal police violence in a raid of Moria camp following peaceful protests, on July 18th 2017.” While the Legal Centre Lesbos welcomes the fact that all 35 men were finally released, they should never have been imprisoned in the first place. They will not get back the 10 to 15 months they spent in prison. Moreover, even after release, most of the 35 men remain in a legally precarious situation. While 6 were granted asylum in Greece, the majority struggles against rejected asylum claims. Three were already deported. One individual was illegally deported without having exhausted his legal remedies in Greece while another individual, having spent 9 months in pre-trial detention, signed up for so-called ‘voluntary’ deportation.[18] In the meantime, others remain in prison to await their trials that will take place with hardly any attention of the media.

    Humanitarian activists involved in spotting and rescue released after 3 months: The four activists, Sarah Mardini, Nassos Karakitsos, Panos Moraitis and Sean Binder, were released on the 6th of December 2018 after having been imprisoned for three months. They had been held in prolonged pre-trial detention for their work with the non-profit organization Emergency Response Center International (ERCI), founded by Moraitis. The charges misrepresented the group as a smuggling crime ring, and its legitimate fundraising activities as money laundering. The arrests forced the group to cease its operations, including maritime search and rescue, the provision of medical care, and non-formal education to asylum seekers. They are free without geographical restrictions but the case is not yet over. Mardini and Binder still face criminal charges possibly leading to decades in prison.[19] Until 15 February the group ‘Solidarity now!’ is collecting as many signatures as possible to ensure that the Greek authorities drop the case.[20]

    Violent Pushbacks at the Land Border: During the last six weeks, the Alarm Phone was alerted to two groups at the land border separating Turkey and Greece. In both situations, the travellers had already reached Greek soil, but ended up on Turkish territory. Human Right Watch (HRW) published another report on the 18th of December about violent push-backs in the Evros region: “Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants […]. The officers in some cases use violence and often confiscate and destroy the migrants’ belongings.”[21] Regularly, migrants were stripped off their phones, money and clothes. According to HRW, most of these incidents happened between April and November 2018.[22] The UNHCR and the Council of Europe’s Committee for Prevention of Torture have published similar reports about violent push backs along the Evros borders.[23]
    CASE REPORTS

    Over the past 6 weeks, the WatchTheMed Alarm Phone was engaged in 38 distress cases, of which 15 took place in the Western Mediterranean, 19 in the Aegean Sea, and 4 in the Central Mediterranean. You can find short summaries and links to the individual reports below.
    Western Mediterranean

    On Tuesday the 13th of November at 6.17pm, the Alarm Phone was alerted by a relative to a group of travellers who had left two days earlier from around Orán heading towards Murcia. They were around nine people, including women and children, and the relative had lost contact to the boat. We were also never able to reach the travellers. At 6.46pm we alerted the Spanish search and rescue organization Salvamento Maritimo (SM) to the distress of the travellers. For several days we tried to reach the travellers and were in contact with SM about the ongoing rescue operation. We were never able to reach the travellers or get any news from the relative. Thus, we are still unsure if the group managed to reach land somewhere on their own, or if they will add to the devastating number of people having lost their lives at sea (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1085).

    On Thursday the 22nd of November, at 5.58pm CET, the Alarm Phone received news about a boat of 11 people that had left Nador 8 hours prior. The shift team was unable to immediately enter into contact with the boat, but called Salvamento Maritimo to convey all available information. At 11.48am the following day, the shift team received word from a traveler on the boat that they were safe (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1088).

    At 7.25am CET on November 24, 2018, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a boat of 70 people (including 8 women and 1 child) that had departed from Nador 3 days prior. The shift team was able to reach the boat at 7.50am and learned that their motor had stopped working. The shift team called Salvamento Maritimo, who had handed the case over to the Moroccan authorities. The shift team contacted the MRCC, who said they knew about the boat but could not find them, so the shift team mobilized their contacts to find the latest position and sent it to the coast guard at 8.55am. Rescue operations stalled for several hours. At around 2pm, the shift team received news that rescue operations were underway by the Marine Royale. The shift team remained in contact with several people and coast guards until the next day, when it was confirmed that the boat had finally been rescued and that there were at least 15 fatalities (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1087).

    On Friday the 7th of December 2018, we were alerted to two boats in distress in the Western Mediterranean Sea. One boat was brought to Algeria, the second boat rescued by Moroccan fishermen and returned to Morocco (see for full report: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1098).

    On Saturday, the 8th of December 2018, we were informed by a contact person at 3.25pm CET to a boat in distress that had left from Nador/Morocco during the night, at about 1am. There were 57 people on the boat, including 8 women and a child. We tried to establish contact to the boat but were unable to reach them. At 4.50pm, the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo (SM) informed us that they were already searching for this boat. At 8.34pm, SM stated that this boat had been rescued. Some time later, also our contact person confirmed that the boat had been found and rescued to Spain (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1099).

    On Monday the 10th of December, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to three boats in the Western Med. Two had left from around Nador, and one from Algeria. One boat was rescued by the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo, one group of travellers returned back to Nador on their own, and the boat from Algeria returned to Algeria (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1101).

    On Wednesday the 12th of December the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted two boats in the Western Med, one carrying seven people, the other carrying 12 people. The first boat was rescued by the Spanish search and rescue organization Salvamento Maritimo (SM), whilst the second boat was intercepted by the Moroccan Navy and brought back to Morocco, where we were informed that the travellers were held imprisoned (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1102).

    On December 21st, 2018, we were informed of two boats in distress in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The first had left from Algeria and was probably rescued to Spain. The other one had departed from Tangier and was rescued by the Marine Royale and brought back to Morocco (for full report, see: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1110).

    On the 22nd of December, at 5.58pm CET, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a boat of 81 people (including 7 women) that had left the previous day from Nador. The motor was not working properly. They informed that they were in touch with Salvamiento Maritimo but as they were still in Moroccan waters, Salvamiento Maritimo said they were unable to perform rescue operations. The shift team had difficulty maintaining contact with the boat over the course of the next few hours. The shift team also contacted Salvamiento Maritimo who confirmed that they knew about the case. At 7.50pm, Salvamiento Maritimo informed the shift team that they would perform the rescue operations and confirmed the operation at 8.15pm. We later got the confirmation by a contact person that the people were rescued to Spain (see: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1111).

    On the 23rd of December 2018, at 1.14am CET, the Alarm Phone received an alert of a boat with 11 men and 1 woman who left from Cap Spartel at Saturday the 22nd of December. The Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to this rubber boat in the early hours of Sunday the 23rd of December. The shift team informed the Spanish Search and Rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo (SM) at 4:50am CET about the situation and provided them with GPS coordinates of the boat. SM, however, rejected responsibility and shifted it to the Moroccan authorities but also the Moroccan Navy did not rescue the people. Several days later, the boat remains missing (see for full report: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1112).
    Aegean Sea

    On Saturday the 17th of November the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to two boats in the Aegean Sea. The first boat returned back to Turkey, whilst the second boat reached Samos on their own (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1086).

    On the 19th of November at 8.40pm CET the shift team was alerted to a boat of 11 travelers in distress near the Turkish coast on its way to Kos. The shift team called the Turkish Coastguard to inform them of the situation. At 9.00pm, the Coastguard called back to confirm they found the boat and would rescue the people. The shift team lost contact with the travelers. At 9.35pm, the Turkish coast guard informed the shift team that the boat was sunk, one man died and one person had hypothermia and would be brought to the hospital. The other 9 people were safe and brought back to Turkey (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1090).

    On the 20th of November at 4.07am CET, the shift team was alerted to a boat with about 50 travelers heading to Samos. The shift team contacted the travelers but the contact was broken for both language and technological reasons. The Alarm Phone contacted the Greek Coastguard about rescue operations. At 7.02am, the shift team was told that a boat of 50 people had been rescued, and the news was confirmed later on, although the shift team could not obtain direct confirmation from the travelers themselves (see:http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1089).

    On the 23rd of November at 7.45pm CET, the Alarm Phone was contacted regarding a group of 19 people, (including 2 women, 1 of whom was pregnant, and a child) who had crossed the river Evros/ Meric and the Turkish-Greek landborder 3 days prior. The shift team first contacted numerous rescue and protection agencies, including UNHCR and the Greek Police, noting that the people were already in Greece and wished to apply for asylum. Until today we remained unable to find out what happened to the people (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1091).

    On the 26th of November at 6:54am CET the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a group of 30 people (among them 7 children and a pregnant woman) who were stranded on the shore in southern Turkey, close to Kas. They wanted us to call the Turkish coastguard so at 7:35am we provided the coastguard with the information we had. At 8:41am we received a photograph from our contact person showing rescue by the Turkish coastguard (see: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1092).

    On the 29th of November at 4am CET the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a boat carrying 44 people (among them 19 children and some pregnant women) heading towards the Greek island of Samos. Shortly afterwards the travellers landed on Samos and because of their difficulties orienting themselves we alerted the local authorities. At 9:53am the port police told us that they had rescued 44 people. They were taken to the refugee camp (see: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1093).

    On Monday, the 3rd of December 2018, the Alarm Phone was alerted at 5.30am CET to a boat in distress south of Chios, with 43 people on board, among them 14 children. We were able to reach the boat at 5.35am. When we received their position, we informed the Greek coastguards at 7.30am and forwarded an updated GPS position to them ten minutes later. At 8.52am, the coastguards confirmed the rescue of the boat. The people were brought to Chios Island. On the next day, the people themselves confirmed that they had all safely reached Greece (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1095).

    On Tuesday the 4th of December 2018, at 6.20am CET, the Alarm Phone was alerted to a boat in distress near Agathonisi Island. There were about 40 people on board. We established contact to the boat at 6.38am. At 6.45am, we alerted the Greek coastguards. The situation was dangerous as the people on board reported of high waves. At 9.02am, the Greek coastguards confirmed that they had just rescued the boat. The people were brought to Agathonisi (see for full report: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1096).

    On Wednesday the 5th of December 2018, at 00:08am CET, the Alarm Phone was alerted by a contact person to a boat in distress near Chios Island, carrying about 50 people. We received their GPS position at 00.17am and informed the Greek coastguards to the case at 00.30am. At 00.46am, we learned from the contact person that a boat had just been rescued. The Greek authorities confirmed this when we called them at 00.49am. At around 1pm, the people from the boat confirmed that they had been rescued (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1097).

    On Friday the 7th of December 2018, the Alarm Phone was contacted at 5.53am CET by a contact person and informed about a group of 19 people who had crossed the Evros river to Greece and needed assistance. We assisted them for days, but at some point contact was lost. We know that they were returned to Turkey and thus suspect an illegal push-back operation (see for full report: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1109).

    On Thursday the 13th of December the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to two boats in the Aegean sea. In both cases we were not able to reach the travellers, but we were in contact with both the Turkish and Greek coast guard and were in the end able to confirm that one boat had arrived to Lesvos on their own, whilst the others had been rescued by Turkish fishermen (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1100).

    On the 17th of December, 2018, at 6.39am, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a boat of 60 travellers. Water was entering the boat, and so the travelers were in distress. Though the shift team had a difficult time remaining in contact with the boat, they contacted the Greek Coastguard to inform them of the situation and the position of the boat. Although the team was not able to remain in contact with the travelers, they received confirmation at 8.18am that the boat had been brought to Greece (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1103).

    On the 18th of December at 2.11am CET, the Alarm Phone was alerted to two boats. The first, of 29 travellers, had landed on the island of Symi and needed help to exit the place of landing. The second was a boat of 54 travellers (including 16 children, and 15 women) that was rescued by the Greek Coastguard later (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1104).

    On the 21st of December, our shift teams were alerted to 2 boats on the Aegean. The first boat was directed to Chios Island and was likely rescued by the Greek Coastguard. The second boat was in immediate distress and after the shift team contacted the Greek Coastguard they rescued the boat (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1105).

    On the 23rd of December 2018 at 6am CET, the Alarm Phone received information about a boat in distress heading to Samos with around 60 travellers (including 30 children and 8 women, 4 pregnant). The shift team made contact with the boat and was informed that one of the women was close to giving birth and so the situation was very urgent. The shift team then called the Greek Coast Guard. At 8.07am, the shift team received confirmation that the boat had been rescued (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1106).
    Central Mediterranean

    On Monday the 12th of November at 6.57pm, the Alarm Phone was called by a relative, asking for help to find out what had happened to his son, who had been on a boat from Algeria towards Sardinia, with around 11 travellers on the 8t of November. Following this, the Alarm Phone was contacted by several relatives informing us about missing people from this boat. Our shift teams tried to gain an understanding of the situation, and for days we stayed in contact with the relatives and tried to support them, but it was not possible to obtain information about what had happened to the travellers (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1094).

    On November 23rd at 1.24pm CET, the Alarm Phone shift team was called by a boat of 120 travelers that was in distress and had left the Libyan coast the night before. The shift team remained in touch with the boat for several hours, and helped recharge their phone credit when it expired. As the boat was in distress, and there were no available NGO operations near the boat, the shift team had no choice but to contact the Italian Coast Guard, but they refused to engage in Search and Rescue (SAR) activities, and instead told the Libyan Coastguard. The boat was intercepted and returned to Libya (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1107).

    On December 20th, 2018, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to two cases in the Central Mediterranean Sea. The first was a boat of 20 people that was intercepted and brought back to Libya. The second concerned 3 boats with 300 people in total, that were rescued by Open Arms and brought to Spain (for full report see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1108).

    https://alarmphone.org/en/2018/12/27/and-yet-we-move-2018-a-contested-year/?post_type_release_type=post


  • Greece seizes big drugs haul from Syrian freighter sailing for Libya | Reuters
    https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN1OD1RK


    Cargo ship “Noka” is seen moored following an operation of the Hellenic Coast Guard, in which cannabis and super-strength amphetamine pills worth more than 100 million euros were confiscated, at the port of Ierapetra on the island of Crete, Greece. December 5, 2018. Hellenic Coast Guard /Handout via REUTERS

    Greece has seized drugs worth more than 100 million euros ($113 million) after intercepting a Syrian ship sailing for Libya, the coast guard said on Friday.

    Officials found about six tonnes of processed cannabis and 3 million super-strength “Captagon” amphetamine pills hidden aboard the Syrian-flagged “Noka”, it said in a statement.

    The freighter, with a crew of 11, was en route from the Syrian port of Latakia to Benghazi when it was intercepted by Greek authorities off the southeastern coast of Crete on Dec. 5.

    The Noka was escorted to Heraklion port on the Greek island on Dec. 8, where the authorities unloaded its entire cargo.


  • U.S. Coast Guard to Tackle MC20 Oil Spill Containment Fourteen Years After the Leak Likely Began – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/u-s-coast-guard-to-tackle-mc20-oil-spill-containment-fourteen-years-after-

    The U.S. Coast Guard has partially assumed federal control over the operation to contain an oil dishcarge from the site of MC20 platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that has likely been leaking since the platform toppled back in 2004.

    The platform, owned by Taylor Energy, LLC, was located in Mississippi Canyon Block 20, approximately 11 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It toppled in September 2004 during Hurricane Ivan after storm surge triggered an underwater mudslide. The incident left the platform well conductor pipes buried in more than 100 feet of mud and sediment, impacting 25 of 28 connected wells. The spill went unnoticed for years until 2008 when it was identified as the source of daily sheen reports.

    Now more fourteen years after the hurricane, crude oil continues to discharge from the site and surface on the Gulf waters.

    IN 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimated that oil continues to leak at a rate of approximately 1 to 55 barrels of oil per day. Satellite imagery and overflights have shown oil slicks on the surface varying in size, sometimes ranging up to 30 miles in length.

    Even still, the specific source, or sources of the discharge at the MC20 site are not fully known.

    Federal officials have directed Taylor Energy, as the Responsible Party, to remove the platform deck, remove sub-sea debris, decommission the oil pipeline, attempt to contain the leaking oil, and plug nine of the 25 impacted wells that were deemed highest risk.

    Following several scientific studies conducted over several years by federal and industrial experts, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) issued Taylor Energy an administrative order back in October requiring it to propose a final viable plan to install a containment system. Last month, however, the FOSC ultimately issued Taylor Energy a Notice of Federal Assumption, and assumed authority for containing the oil.
    […]
    As the Responsible Party, Taylor Energy, which is now defunct, is required to pay for oil spill recovery and response costs under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA). It also has a continuing legal obligation to respond to the ongoing oil discharge and also must comply with the Coast Guard Administrative Orders.


  • Le 5 octobre 2018, l’Union européenne a signé un accord sur la coopération en matière de gestion des frontières entre l’#Albanie et l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes (#Frontex).

    On 5 October 2018, the European Union signed an agreement with Albania on cooperation on border management between Albania and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). The agreement was signed on behalf of the EU by Herbert Kickl, Minister of the Interior of Austria and President of the Council, and Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, and on behalf of Albania Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj.

    This agreement allows the European Border and Coast Guard Agency to coordinate operational cooperation between EU member states and Albania on the management of the EU’s external borders. The European Border and Coast Guard will be able to take action at the external border involving one or more neighbouring member states and Albania. This can include intervention on Albanian territory, subject to Albania’s agreement.

    The activities included by the agreement are aimed at tackling illegal migration, in particular sudden changes in migratory flows, and cross-border crime, and can involve the provision of increased technical and operational assistance at the border. For each operation, a plan has to be agreed between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Albania.

    http://www.europeanmigrationlaw.eu/fr/articles/actualites/controle-des-frontieres-accord-cooperation-albanie-corps-europe
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #réfugiés #contrôles_frontaliers #EU #UE

    ping @daphne @marty @albertocampiphoto


  • As the World Abandons Refugees, UNHCR’s Constraints Are Exposed

    The U.N. refugee agency lacks the funding, political clout and independence to protect refugees in the way that it is supposed to, says former UNHCR official and refugee policy expert #Jeff_Crisp.

    Over the past three years, the world has been confronted with a number of major new refugee emergencies – in Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and Venezuela, as well as the Central American region. In addition, existing crises in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Syria have gone unresolved, making it impossible for large exiled populations to return to their own country. As a result, the global refugee population has soared to more than 25 million, the highest figure ever recorded.

    This means that the role of the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, which is supposed to protect and find solutions for this growing population, is more important than ever. But is it up to the task? The proliferating crises have stretched it to the limit. Funding, most of which comes from a dozen key donor states, has not kept up with the rising numbers the agency is expected to support. In April, UNHCR said it had received just $2.3 billion of the $8.2 billion it needed for its annual program.

    Things look unlikely to improve. UNHCR is losing the support of the United States, traditionally the organization’s most important government partner, whether under Republican or Democrat administrations. Since Donald Trump’s election, the country has slashed the number of refugees it admits through its resettlement program. In his final years in office, Barack Obama had raised the annual quota to 110,000 refugees. That is now down to 45,000 and may yet be reduced to 25,000.

    There is also the prospect that the Trump administration will demonstrate its disdain for the U.N. and limited interest in the refugee issue by reducing its funding to the agency, as it has already done with UNRWA, a separate agency that supports Palestinian refugees. Given that the U.S. currently contributes almost 40 percent of the UNHCR budget, even a modest reduction in its support will mean serious cuts in expenditure.

    The agency therefore has little choice but to look for alternative sources of funding and diplomatic support, especially from the European Union and its member states. But that may come at a price. One of the E.U.’s top priorities is to halt the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers who have transited through nearby countries such as Libya, Morocco and Turkey. Populist political parties throughout much of the E.U. are reaping the electoral benefits of taking a hard line on the issue of refugees and migration. Several European governments have shown little hesitation in violating the international refugee laws they have signed in their desperation to seal Europe’s borders.

    The E.U. thus looks to UNHCR for two things: first, the expertise and operational capacity of an organization that has years of experience in responding to mass movements of people; and second, the legitimacy that E.U. policies can acquire by means of close association with an agency deemed by its founding statute to be “entirely non-political and humanitarian.” In this context, it should come as no surprise that E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has been at pains to point out that the E.U. and UNHCR “work together” and have a “close partnership” – and that the E.U. remains “the strongest supporter of UNHCR.”

    But this partnership (which involved $436 million in funding from Brussels alone in 2017) also involves an important element of compromise on the part of UNHCR. In the Mediterranean, for example, the E.U. is funding the Libyan coast guard to intercept and return any refugees who try to leave the country by boat. Those people are subsequently confined to detention centers where, according to Amnesty International, they are at risk of torture, forced labor, extortion and murder at the hand of smugglers, bandits or the Libyan authorities.

    The U.N. high commissioner for human rights has publicly chastised the E.U. for its failure to improve the situation of migrants in Libya. By contrast, UNHCR has kept very quiet about the E.U.’s role in the process of interception, return and detention, despite the fact that these actions violate a fundamental principle of refugee protection: that no one should be returned to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened.

    This reveals a fundamental tension in the organization’s character. Ostensibly, UNHCR enjoys a high degree of independence and moral authority. As part of the U.N. system, it is treated with more respect by states and other actors than NGOs doing similar work. It has regular access to heads of state, government leaders, regional organizations, the U.N. security council and the secretary-general himself (who was previously UNHCR chief).

    But in practice, the autonomy enjoyed by UNHCR is at best a relative one. Almost 90 percent of the agency’s funding is provided by states, much of it earmarked for specific programs, projects and countries. UNHCR’s governing board consists entirely of states.

    The organization can operate in a country only if it has the agreement of the government, which also has the ability to shape the scope of UNHCR’s operational activities, as well as the partners it works with. In countries such as Ethiopia, Pakistan, Sudan and Syria, for example, the organization is obliged to work with government departments whose priorities may well be different from those of UNHCR.

    Almost 90 percent of the agency’s funding is provided by states, much of it earmarked for specific programs, projects and countries. UNHCR’s governing board consists entirely of states.

    The tensions at the heart of UNHCR seem unlikely to diminish. Throughout the world, governments are closing their borders to refugees and depriving them of basic rights. Exiled populations are being induced to repatriate against their will and to countries that are not safe. As epitomized by the E.U.’s deal with Turkey, asylum seekers have become bargaining chips in interstate relations, used by political leaders to extract financial, political and even military concessions from each other.

    Given the constitutional constraints imposed on the organization, UNHCR’s options are now limited. It can try (as it has done for many years) to diversify its funding base. It could assume a more assertive stance with states that violate refugee protection principles – and in doing so risk the loss of its already diminished degree of diplomatic support. And it can hope that the recently completed Global Compact on Refugees, a nonbinding declaration of principles that most U.N. member states are expected to sign, will have some effect on the way that governments actually treat refugees.

    A final option available to UNHCR is to be more transparent about its limitations, to moderate the relentless self-promotion of its branding and marketing campaign and give greater recognition to the efforts that refugees are making to improve their own lives. In that respect, UNHCR’s favourite hashtag, “We Stand #WithRefugees,” could usefully be changed to “Refugees Are #StandingUpForThemselves.”

    #UN #ONU #HCR #UNHCR #crise #indépendance #fonds #financement #it_has_begun


  • US to transfer Coast Guard ships to #Ukraine amid Russia tensions - CNNPolitics
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/25/politics/us-transfer-coast-guard-ships-ukraine/index.html


    La photo représente le WPB 1326 Monomoy, de même classe que les Drummond et Cushing, ceux-ci portant les numéros de coque 1323 et 1321.

    The US Coast Guard plans to transfer two former 110-foot Coast Guard ships to Ukraine during a ceremony on Thursday in Baltimore.

    Coast Guard Vice Adm. Michael McAllister and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko are expected to attend the transfer ceremony.

    The transfer of the two armed Coast Guard cutters come as tensions between Ukraine and Russia in the Sea of Azov have increased in recent weeks, with Kiev and the US accusing Moscow of interfering with Ukrainian shipping in the region.

    The United States condemns Russia’s harassment of international shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement late last month.

    Russia has delayed hundreds of commercial vessels since April and in recent weeks has stopped at least 16 commercial ships attempting to reach Ukrainian ports,” she added.

    A US defense official told CNN that the cutters Drummond and Cushing were purchased by Ukraine from the Pentagon’s Excess Defense Articles program.
    PUBLICITÉ
    The Island-class cutters are typically armed with a 25 mm machine gun mount and four .50-caliber machine guns.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island-class_patrol_boat

    #poussière_navale

    Note : le fait d’armes du Drummond est d’avoir patrouillé dans le Détroit de Floride et d’y avoir intercepté (au moins) 550 immigrants cubains illégaux depuis 2004 (source : WP)…


  • Vu sur Twitter :

    M.Potte-Bonneville @pottebonneville a retweeté Catherine Boitard

    Vous vous souvenez ? Elle avait sauvé ses compagnons en tirant l’embarcation à la nage pendant trois heures : Sarah Mardini, nageuse olympique et réfugiée syrienne, est arrêtée pour aide à l’immigration irrégulière.

    Les olympiades de la honte 2018 promettent de beaux records

    M.Potte-Bonneville @pottebonneville a retweeté Catherine Boitard @catboitard :

    Avec sa soeur Yusra, nageuse olympique et distinguée par l’ONU, elle avait sauvé 18 réfugiés de la noyade à leur arrivée en Grèce. La réfugiée syrienne Sarah Mardini, boursière à Berlin et volontaire de l’ONG ERCI, a été arrêtée à Lesbos pour aide à immigration irrégulière

    #migration #asile #syrie #grèce #solidarité #humanité

    • GRÈCE : LA POLICE ARRÊTE 30 MEMBRES D’UNE ONG D’AIDE AUX RÉFUGIÉS

      La police a arrêté, mardi 28 août, 30 membres de l’ONG grecque #ERCI, dont les soeurs syriennes Yusra et Sarah Mardini, qui avaient sauvé la vie à 18 personnes en 2015. Les militant.e.s sont accusés d’avoir aidé des migrants à entrer illégalement sur le territoire grec via l’île de Lesbos. Ils déclarent avoir agi dans le cadre de l’assistance à personnes en danger.

      Par Marina Rafenberg

      L’ONG grecque Emergency response centre international (ERCY) était présente sur l’île de Lesbos depuis 2015 pour venir en aide aux réfugiés. Depuis mardi 28 août, ses 30 membres sont poursuivis pour avoir « facilité l’entrée illégale d’étrangers sur le territoire grec » en vue de gains financiers, selon le communiqué de la police grecque.

      L’enquête a commencé en février 2018, rapporte le site d’information protagon.gr, lorsqu’une Jeep portant une fausse plaque d’immatriculation de l’armée grecque a été découverte par la police sur une plage, attendant l’arrivée d’une barque pleine de réfugiés en provenance de Turquie. Les membres de l’ONG, six Grecs et 24 ressortissants étrangers, sont accusés d’avoir été informés à l’avance par des personnes présentes du côté turc des heures et des lieux d’arrivée des barques de migrants, d’avoir organisé l’accueil de ces réfugiés sans en informer les autorités locales et d’avoir surveillé illégalement les communications radio entre les autorités grecques et étrangères, dont Frontex, l’agence européenne des gardes-cotes et gardes-frontières. Les crimes pour lesquels ils sont inculpés – participation à une organisation criminelle, violation de secrets d’État et recel – sont passibles de la réclusion à perpétuité.

      Parmi les membres de l’ONG grecque arrêtés se trouve Yusra et Sarah Mardini, deux sœurs nageuses et réfugiées syrienne qui avaient sauvé 18 personnes de la noyade lors de leur traversée de la mer Égée en août 2015. Depuis Yusra a participé aux Jeux Olympiques de Rio, est devenue ambassadrice de l’ONU et a écrit un livre, Butterfly. Sarah avait quant à elle décidé d’aider à son tour les réfugiés qui traversaient dangereusement la mer Égée sur des bateaux de fortune et s’était engagée comme bénévole dans l’ONG ERCI durant l’été 2016.

      Sarah a été arrêtée le 21 août à l’aéroport de Lesbos alors qu’elle devait rejoindre Berlin où elle vit avec sa famille. Le 3 septembre, elle devait commencer son année universitaire au collège Bard en sciences sociales. La jeune Syrienne de 23 ans a été transférée à la prison de Korydallos, à Athènes, dans l’attente de son procès. Son avocat a demandé mercredi sa remise en liberté.

      Ce n’est pas la première fois que des ONG basées à Lesbos ont des soucis avec la justice grecque. Des membres de l’ONG espagnole Proem-Aid avaient aussi été accusés d’avoir participé à l’entrée illégale de réfugiés sur l’île. Ils ont été relaxés en mai dernier. D’après le ministère de la Marine, 114 ONG ont été enregistrées sur l’île, dont les activités souvent difficilement contrôlables inquiètent le gouvernement grec et ses partenaires européens.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Une-ONG-accusee-d-aide-a-l-entree-irreguliere-de-migrants

      #grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #solidarité #délit_de_solidarité

    • Arrest of Syrian ’hero swimmer’ puts Lesbos refugees back in spotlight

      Sara Mardini’s case adds to fears that rescue work is being criminalised and raises questions about NGO.

      Greece’s high-security #Korydallos prison acknowledges that #Sara_Mardini is one of its rarer inmates. For a week, the Syrian refugee, a hero among human rights defenders, has been detained in its women’s wing on charges so serious they have elicited baffled dismay.

      The 23-year-old, who saved 18 refugees in 2015 by swimming their waterlogged dingy to the shores of Lesbos with her Olympian sister, is accused of people smuggling, espionage and membership of a criminal organisation – crimes allegedly committed since returning to work with an NGO on the island. Under Greek law, Mardini can be held in custody pending trial for up to 18 months.

      “She is in a state of disbelief,” said her lawyer, Haris Petsalnikos, who has petitioned for her release. “The accusations are more about criminalising humanitarian action. Sara wasn’t even here when these alleged crimes took place but as charges they are serious, perhaps the most serious any aid worker has ever faced.”

      Mardini’s arrival to Europe might have gone unnoticed had it not been for the extraordinary courage she and younger sister, Yusra, exhibited guiding their boat to safety after the engine failed during the treacherous crossing from Turkey. Both were elite swimmers, with Yusra going on to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

      The sisters, whose story is the basis of a forthcoming film by the British director Stephen Daldry, were credited with saving the lives of their fellow passengers. In Germany, their adopted homeland, the pair has since been accorded star status.

      It was because of her inspiring story that Mardini was approached by Emergency Response Centre International, ERCI, on Lesbos. “After risking her own life to save 18 people … not only has she come back to ground zero, but she is here to ensure that no more lives get lost on this perilous journey,” it said after Mardini agreed to join its ranks in 2016.

      After her first stint with ERCI, she again returned to Lesbos last December to volunteer with the aid group. And until 21 August there was nothing to suggest her second spell had not gone well. But as Mardini waited at Mytilini airport to head back to Germany, and a scholarship at Bard College in Berlin, she was arrested. Soon after that, police also arrested ERCI’s field director, Nassos Karakitsos, a former Greek naval force officer, and Sean Binder, a German volunteer who lives in Ireland. All three have protested their innocence.

      The arrests come as signs of a global clampdown on solidarity networks mount. From Russia to Spain, European human rights workers have been targeted in what campaigners call an increasingly sinister attempt to silence civil society in the name of security.

      “There is the concern that this is another example of civil society being closed down by the state,” said Jonathan Cooper, an international human rights lawyer in London. “What we are really seeing is Greek authorities using Sara to send a very worrying message that if you volunteer for refugee work you do so at your peril.”

      But amid concerns about heavy-handed tactics humanitarians face, Greek police say there are others who see a murky side to the story, one ofpeople trafficking and young volunteers being duped into participating in a criminal network unwittingly. In that scenario,the Mardini sisters would make prime targets.

      Greek authorities spent six months investigating the affair. Agents were flown into Lesbos from Athens and Thessaloniki. In an unusually long and detailed statement, last week, Mytilini police said that while posing as a non-profit organisation, ERCI had acted with the sole purpose of profiteering by bringing people illegally into Greece via the north-eastern Aegean islands.

      Members had intercepted Greek and European coastguard radio transmissions to gain advance notification of the location of smugglers’ boats, police said, and that 30, mostly foreign nationals, were lined up to be questioned in connection with the alleged activities. Other “similar organisations” had also collaborated in what was described as “an informal plan to confront emergency situations”, they added.

      Suspicions were first raised, police said, when Mardini and Binder were stopped in February driving a former military 4X4 with false number plates. ERCI remained unnamed until the release of the charge sheets for the pair and that of Karakitsos.

      Lesbos has long been on the frontline of the refugee crisis, attracting idealists and charity workers. Until a dramatic decline in migration numbers via the eastern Mediterranean in March 2016, when a landmark deal was signed between the EU and Turkey, the island was the main entry point to Europe.

      An estimated 114 NGOs and 7,356 volunteers are based on Lesbos, according to Greek authorities. Local officials talk of “an industry”, and with more than 10,000 refugees there and the mood at boiling point, accusations of NGOs acting as a “pull factor” are rife.

      “Sara’s motive for going back this year was purely humanitarian,” said Oceanne Fry, a fellow student who in June worked alongside her at a day clinic in the refugee reception centre.

      “At no point was there any indication of illegal activity by the group … but I can attest to the fact that, other than our intake meeting, none of the volunteers ever met, or interacted, with its leadership.”

      The mayor of Lesbos, Spyros Galinos, said he has seen “good and bad” in the humanitarian movement since the start of the refugee crisis.

      “Everything is possible,. There is no doubt that some NGOs have exploited the situation. The police announcement was uncommonly harsh. For a long time I have been saying that we just don’t need all these NGOs. When the crisis erupted, yes, the state was woefully unprepared but now that isn’t the case.”

      Attempts to contact ERCI were unsuccessful. Neither a telephone number nor an office address – in a scruffy downtown building listed by the aid group on social media – appeared to have any relation to it.

      In a statement released more than a week after Mardini’s arrest, ERCI denied the allegations, saying it had fallen victim to “unfounded claims, accusations and charges”. But it failed to make any mention of Mardini.

      “It makes no sense at all,” said Amed Khan, a New York financier turned philanthropist who has donated boats for ERCI’s search and rescue operations. To accuse any of them of human trafficking is crazy.

      “In today’s fortress Europe you have to wonder whether Brussels isn’t behind it, whether this isn’t a concerted effort to put a chill on civil society volunteers who are just trying to help. After all, we’re talking about grassroots organisations with global values that stepped up into the space left by authorities failing to do their bit.”


      https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/06/arrest-of-syrian-hero-swimmer-lesbos-refugees-sara-mardini?CMP=shar

      #Sarah_Mardini

    • The volunteers facing jail for rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean

      The risk of refugees and migrants drowning in the Mediterranean has increased dramatically over the past few years.

      As the European Union pursued a policy of externalisation, voluntary groups stepped in to save the thousands of people making the dangerous crossing. One by one, they are now criminalised.

      The arrest of Sarah Mardini, one of two Syrian sisters who saved a number of refugees in 2015 by pulling their sinking dinghy to Greece, has brought the issue to international attention.

      The Trial

      There aren’t chairs enough for the people gathered in Mytilíni Court. Salam Aldeen sits front row to the right. He has a nervous smile on his face, mouth half open, the tongue playing over his lips.

      Noise emanates from the queue forming in the hallway as spectators struggle for a peak through the door’s windows. The morning heat is already thick and moist – not helped by the two unplugged fans hovering motionless in dead air.

      Police officers with uneasy looks, 15 of them, lean up against the cooling walls of the court. From over the judge, a golden Jesus icon looks down on the assembly. For the sunny holiday town on Lesbos, Greece, this is not a normal court proceeding.

      Outside the court, international media has unpacked their cameras and unloaded their equipment. They’ve come from the New York Times, Deutsche Welle, Danish, Greek and Spanish media along with two separate documentary teams.

      There is no way of knowing when the trial will end. Maybe in a couple of days, some of the journalists say, others point to the unpredictability of the Greek judicial system. If the authorities decide to make a principle out of the case, this could take months.

      Salam Aldeen, in a dark blue jacket, white shirt and tie, knows this. He is charged with human smuggling and faces life in jail.

      More than 16,000 people have drowned in less than five years trying to cross the Mediterranean. That’s an average of ten people dying every day outside Europe’s southern border – more than the Russia-Ukraine conflict over the same period.

      In 2015, when more than one million refugees crossed the Mediterranean, the official death toll was around 3,700. A year later, the number of migrants dropped by two thirds – but the death toll increased to more than 5,000. With still fewer migrants crossing during 2017 and the first half of 2018, one would expect the rate of surviving to pick up.

      The numbers, however, tell a different story. For a refugee setting out to cross the Mediterranean today, the risk of drowning has significantly increased.

      The deaths of thousands of people don’t happen in a vacuum. And it would be impossible to explain the increased risks of crossing without considering recent changes in EU-policies towards migration in the Mediterranean.

      The criminalisation of a Danish NGO-worker on the tiny Greek island of Lesbos might help us understand the deeper layers of EU immigration policy.

      The deterrence effect

      On 27 March 2011, 72 migrants flee Tripoli and squeeze into a 12m long rubber dinghy with a max capacity of 25 people. They start the outboard engine and set out in the Mediterranean night, bound for the Italian island of Lampedusa. In the morning, they are registered by a French aircraft flying over. The migrants stay on course. But 18 hours into their voyage, they send out a distress-call from a satellite phone. The signal is picked up by the rescue centre in Rome who alerts other vessels in the area.

      Two hours later, a military helicopter flies over the boat. At this point, the migrants accidentally drop their satellite phone in the sea. In the hours to follow, the migrants encounter several fishing boats – but their call of distress is ignored. As day turns into night, a second helicopter appears and drops rations of water and biscuits before leaving.

      And then, the following morning on 28 March – the migrants run out of fuel. Left at the mercy of wind and oceanic currents, the migrants embark on a hopeless journey. They drift south; exactly where they came from.

      They don’t see any ships the following day. Nor the next; a whole week goes by without contact to the outside world. But then, somewhere between 3 and 5 April, a military vessel appears on the horizon. It moves in on the migrants and circle their boat.

      The migrants, exhausted and on the brink of despair, wave and signal distress. But as suddenly as it arrived, the military vessel turns around and disappears. And all hope with it.

      On April 10, almost a week later, the migrant vessel lands on a beach south of Tripoli. Of the 72 passengers who left 2 weeks ago, only 11 make it back alive. Two die shortly hereafter.

      Lorenzo Pezzani, lecturer at Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London, was stunned when he read about the case. In 2011, he was still a PhD student developing new spatial and aesthetic visual tools to document human rights violations. Concerned with the rising number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, Lorenzo Pezzani and his colleague Charles Heller founded Forensic Oceanography, an affiliated group to Forensic Architecture. Their first project was to uncover the events and policies leading to a vessel left adrift in full knowledge by international rescue operations.

      It was the public outrage fuelled by the 2013 Lampedusa shipwreck which eventually led to the deployment of Operation Mare Nostrum. At this point, the largest migration of people since the Second World War, the Syrian exodus, could no longer be contained within Syria’s neighbouring countries. At the same time, a relative stability in Libya after the fall of Gaddafi in 2011 descended into civil war; waves of migrants started to cross the Mediterranean.

      From October 2013, Mare Nostrum broke with the reigning EU-policy of non-interference and deployed Italian naval vessels, planes and helicopters at a monthly cost of €9.5 million. The scale was unprecedented; saving lives became the political priority over policing and border control. In terms of lives saved, the operation was an undisputed success. Its own life, however, would be short.

      A critical narrative formed on the political right and was amplified by sections of the media: Mare Nostrum was accused of emboldening Libyan smugglers who – knowing rescue ships were waiting – would send out more migrants. In this understanding, Mare Nostrum constituted a so-called “pull factor” on migrants from North African countries. A year after its inception, Mare Nostrum was terminated.

      In late 2014, Mare Nostrum was replaced by Operation Triton led by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, with an initial budget of €2.4 million per month. Triton refocused on border control instead of sea rescues in an area much closer to Italian shores. This was a return to the pre-Mare Nostrum policy of non-assistance to deter migrants from crossing. But not only did the change of policy fail to act as a deterrence against the thousands of migrants still crossing the Mediterranean, it also left a huge gap between the amount of boats in distress and operational rescue vessels. A gap increasingly filled by merchant vessels.

      Merchant vessels, however, do not have the equipment or training to handle rescues of this volume. On 31 March 2015, the shipping community made a call to EU-politicians warning of a “terrible risk of further catastrophic loss of life as ever-more desperate people attempt this deadly sea crossing”. Between 1 January and 20 May 2015, merchant ships rescued 12.000 people – 30 per cent of the total number rescued in the Mediterranean.

      As the shipping community had already foreseen, the new policy of non-assistance as deterrence led to several horrific incidents. These culminated in two catastrophic shipwrecks on 12 and 18 April 2015 and the death of 1,200 people. In both cases, merchant vessels were right next to the overcrowded migrant boats when chaotic rescue attempts caused the migrant boats to take in water and eventually sink. The crew of the merchant vessels could only watch as hundreds of people disappeared in the ocean.

      Back in 1990, the Dublin Convention declared that the first EU-country an asylum seeker enters is responsible for accepting or rejecting the claim. No one in 1990 had expected the Syrian exodus of 2015 – nor the gigantic pressure it would put on just a handful of member states. No other EU-member felt the ineptitudes and total unpreparedness of the immigration system than a country already knee-deep in a harrowing economic crisis. That country was Greece.

      In September 2015, when the world saw the picture of a three-year old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up on a beach in Turkey, Europe was already months into what was readily called a “refugee crisis”. Greece was overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the Syrian war. During the following month alone, a staggering 200.000 migrants crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to reach Europe. With a minimum of institutional support, it was volunteers like Salam Aldeen who helped reduce the overall number of casualties.

      The peak of migrants entered Greece that autumn but huge numbers kept arriving throughout the winter – in worsening sea conditions. Salam Aldeen recalls one December morning on Lesbos.

      The EU-Turkey deal

      And then, from one day to the next, the EU-Turkey deal changed everything. There was a virtual stop of people crossing from Turkey to Greece. From a perspective of deterrence, the agreement was an instant success. In all its simplicity, Turkey had agreed to contain and prevent refugees from reaching the EU – by land or by sea. For this, Turkey would be given a monetary compensation.

      But opponents of the deal included major human rights organisations. Simply paying Turkey a formidable sum of money (€6 billion to this date) to prevent migrants from reaching EU-borders was feared to be a symptom of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude pervasive among EU decision makers. Moreover, just like Libya in 2015 threatened to flood Europe with migrants, the Turkish President Erdogan would suddenly have a powerful geopolitical card on his hands. A concern that would later be confirmed by EU’s vague response to Erdogan’s crackdown on Turkish opposition.

      As immigration dwindled in Greece, the flow of migrants and refugees continued and increased in the Central Mediterranean during the summer of 2016. At the same time, disorganised Libyan militias were now running the smuggling business and exploited people more ruthlessly than ever before. Migrant boats without satellite phones or enough provision or fuel became increasingly common. Due to safety concerns, merchant vessels were more reluctant to assist in rescue operations. The death toll increased.
      A Conspiracy?

      Frustrated with the perceived apathy of EU states, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) responded to the situation. At its peak, 12 search and rescue NGO vessels were operating in the Mediterranean and while the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) paused many of its operations during the fall and winter of 2016, the remaining NGO vessels did the bulk of the work. Under increasingly dangerous weather conditions, 47 per cent of all November rescues were carried out by NGOs.

      Around this time, the first accusations were launched against rescue NGOs from ‘alt-right’ groups. Accusations, it should be noted, conspicuously like the ones sounded against Mare Nostrum. Just like in 2014, Frontex and EU-politicians followed up and accused NGOs of posing a “pull factor”. The now Italian vice-prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, went even further and denounced NGOs as “taxis for migrants”. Just like in 2014, no consideration was given to the conditions in Libya.

      Moreover, NGOs were falsely accused of collusion with Libyan smugglers. Meanwhile Italian agents had infiltrated the crew of a Save the Children rescue vessel to uncover alleged secret evidence of collusion. The German Jugendrettet NGO-vessel, Iuventa, was impounded and – echoing Salam Aldeen’s case in Greece – the captain accused of collusion with smugglers by Italian authorities.

      The attacks to delegitimise NGOs’ rescue efforts have had a clear effect: many of the NGOs have now effectively stopped their operations in the Mediterranean. Lorenzo Pezzani and Charles Heller, in their report, Mare Clausum, argued that the wave of delegitimisation of humanitarian work was just one part of a two-legged strategy – designed by the EU – to regain control over the Mediterranean.
      Migrants’ rights aren’t human rights

      Libya long ago descended into a precarious state of lawlessness. In the maelstrom of poverty, war and despair, migrants and refugees have become an exploitable resource for rivalling militias in a country where two separate governments compete for power.

      In November 2017, a CNN investigation exposed an entire industry involving slave auctions, rape and people being worked to death.

      Chief spokesman of the UN Migration Agency, Leonard Doyle, describes Libya as a “torture archipelago” where migrants transiting have no idea that they are turned into commodities to be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value.

      Migrants intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) are routinely brought back to the hellish detention centres for indefinite captivity. Despite EU-leaders’ moral outcry following the exposure of the conditions in Libya, the EU continues to be instrumental in the capacity building of the LCG.

      Libya hadn’t had a functioning coast guard since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011. But starting in late 2016, the LCG received increasing funding from Italy and the EU in the form of patrol boats, training and financial support.

      Seeing the effect of the EU-Turkey deal in deterring refugees crossing the Aegean Sea, Italy and the EU have done all in their power to create a similar approach in Libya.
      The EU Summit

      Forty-two thousand undocumented migrants have so far arrived at Europe’s shores this year. That’s a fraction of the more than one million who arrived in 2015. But when EU leaders met at an “emergency summit” in Brussels in late June, the issue of migration was described by Chancellor Merkel as a “make or break” for the Union. How does this align with the dwindling numbers of refugees and migrants?

      Data released in June 2018 showed that Europeans are more concerned about immigration than any other social challenge. More than half want a ban on migration from Muslim countries. Europe, it seems, lives in two different, incompatible realities as summit after summit tries to untie the Gordian knot of the migration issue.

      Inside the courthouse in Mytilini, Salam Aldeen is questioned by the district prosecutor. The tropical temperature induces an echoing silence from the crowded spectators. The district prosecutor looks at him, open mouth, chin resting on her fist.

      She seems impatient with the translator and the process of going from Greek to English and back. Her eyes search the room. She questions him in detail about the night of arrest. He answers patiently. She wants Salam Aldeen and the four crew members to be found guilty of human smuggling.

      Salam Aldeen’s lawyer, Mr Fragkiskos Ragkousis, an elderly white-haired man, rises before the court for his final statement. An ancient statuette with his glasses in one hand. Salam’s parents sit with scared faces, they haven’t slept for two days; the father’s comforting arm covers the mother’s shoulder. Then, like a once dormant volcano, the lawyer erupts in a torrent of pathos and logos.

      “Political interests changed the truth and created this wicked situation, playing with the defendant’s freedom and honour.”

      He talks to the judge as well as the public. A tragedy, a drama unfolds. The prosecutor looks remorseful, like a small child in her large chair, almost apologetic. Defeated. He’s singing now, Ragkousis. Index finger hits the air much like thunder breaks the night sounding the roar of something eternal. He then sits and the room quiets.

      It was “without a doubt” that the judge acquitted Salam Aldeen and his four colleagues on all charges. The prosecutor both had to determine the defendants’ intention to commit the crime – and that the criminal action had been initialised. She failed at both. The case, as the Italian case against the Iuventa, was baseless.

      But EU’s policy of externalisation continues. On 17 March 2018, the ProActiva rescue vessel, Open Arms, was seized by Italian authorities after it had brought back 217 people to safety.

      Then again in June, the decline by Malta and Italy’s new right-wing government to let the Aquarious rescue-vessel dock with 629 rescued people on board sparked a fierce debate in international media.

      In July, Sea Watch’s Moonbird, a small aircraft used to search for migrant boats, was prevented from flying any more operations by Maltese authorities; the vessel Sea Watch III was blocked from leaving harbour and the captain of a vessel from the NGO Mission Lifeline was taken to court over “registration irregularities“.

      Regardless of Europe’s future political currents, geopolitical developments are only likely to continue to produce refugees worldwide. Will the EU alter its course as the crisis mutates and persists? Or are the deaths of thousands the only possible outcome?

      https://theferret.scot/volunteers-facing-jail-rescuing-migrants-mediterranean


  • For an open migration policy to end the deaths and crises in the Mediterranean

    The current crisis surrounding migration is not one of numbers – migrants’ crossings of the sea are at their lowest since 2013 – but of policies. The drive towards closure and the politicisation of migration are so strong after years of tension that the frail bodies of a few thousand migrants arriving on European shores are triggering a major political crisis throughout the EU.

    One epicentre of this crisis is in Italy, where Matteo Salvini, the country’s new far-right Interior Minister, is preventing NGOs from disembarking rescued migrants. Such was the case with the 629 people on board the Aquarius.

    Another is Germany, where the governing coalition led by Angela Merkel is at risk as the hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has threatened to turn back refugees at the German borders. The European Council summit on 28 June 2018 promises to be rife with tensions. As EU member states will most probably continue to prove unable to offer a common response to migrants once they have arrived on European shores, they will reinforce the policy they have implemented since 2015: preventing migrants from crossing the sea by outsourcing border control to non-European countries.
    The consensus of closure

    This policy of closure has had horrendous consequences for migrants – such as the subjection to torture of those who are intercepted at sea by the Libyan coast guard, which has been equipped, trained and coordinated by Italy and the EU. Despite this, it has gathered growing consensus. Faced with the politicisation of migration which has fuelled the rise of far-right populist parties across Europe and threatens the EU itself with disintegration, even humanists of the centre left and right ask whether these inhumane policies are not a necessary evil.

    Would it not be better for migrants to “stay home” rather then reach a Europe which has turned its back on them and which they threaten in turn? Whispering or shouting, reluctantly or aggressively, European citizens increasingly wish migrants would simply disappear.

    Powerful forces driving migration, failed policies

    This consensus towards closure is delusional. Policies of closure that are completely at odds with the dynamics of migration systematically fail in their aim of ending the arrivals of illegalised migrants, as the record of the last 30 years demonstrates.

    Ever since the European states consolidated freedom of movement for European citizens in the 1990s all the while denying access to most non-European populations, the arrival of “undesirable” migrants has not stopped, but only been pushed underground. This is because as long as there are strong “push factors” – such as wars and economic crisis, and “pull factors” – such as work and welfare opportunities as well as respect for human rights, and that these continue to be connected by migrants’ transnational networks, state policies have little chance of succeeding in durably stemming the migration they aim to restrict.

    Over the last 30 years, for every route states have succeeded in closing, it has only been a matter of time before migrants opened several new ones. Forced to use precarious means of travel – often controlled by criminal networks, migrants’ lives were put at growing risk. More than 30,000 migrants are recorded to have died at sea since the beginning of the 1990s. A sea which has connected civilisations for millennia has become a mass grave.

    Fear breeds more fear: the vicious cycle

    These policies of closure, often implemented by centre governments allegedly in the aim of preventing the further rise of anti-immigrant sentiments, ultimately contributed to them. Despite the spectacular military means deployed by states to police borders, illegalised migration continued, giving European populations a sense that their states had “lost control” – a feeling that has only been heightened in the wake of the Arab uprisings.

    Migrants’ illegalisation has led to unjustifiable status inequality within European societies, allowing employers to pull salaries down in the sectors in which precaritized migrants are employed. This has lent to working classes the impression that migrants constitute an unfair competition.

    Policies of closure and discrimination thus only generate more fear and rejection of migrants. The parties which have mobilised voters on the basis of this fear have left unaddressed – and in fact diverted attention from – the rising unemployment, social insecurity, and inequality amongst Europe’s “losers of globalisation”, whose resentment has served as a fertile ground for anti-immigrant sentiments.

    In this way, we have become trapped in a vicious cycle that has fuelled the rise of the far-right.
    Towards an open migration policy, de-escalate the mobility conflict

    Over the years, the Mediterranean has become the main frontline of a mobility conflict, which has intensified in the wake of the 2011 Arab uprisings and European debt crisis. Since then, both the factors spurring migrants’ movement towards Europe and those leading to the drive to exclude them have been heightened.

    The lack of solidarity within the EU to respond to arrivals in so-called “frontline states” in southern and eastern Europe have further fuelled it. As long as the same policies continue to be applied, there is no end in sight to the political tensions and violence surrounding migration and the worrying political trends they are nurturing.

    A fundamental paradigm shift is necessary to end this vicious cycle. European citizens and policy makers alike must realise that the question is not whether migrants will exercise their freedom to cross borders, but at what human and political cost.

    State policies can only create a legal frame for human movement to unfold and thereby partly organise it, they cannot block it. Only a more open policy would allow migration to unfold in a way that threatens neither migrants themselves nor European citizens.

    With legal access to Europe, migrants would no longer need to resort to smugglers and risk their lives crossing the sea. No longer policed through military means, migration could appear as a normal process that does not generate fear. States could better detect individuals that might pause a threat among migrants as they would not be pushed underground. Migrants’ legal status would no longer allow employers to push working conditions down.

    Such a policy is however far from being on the European agenda. For its implementation to be even faintly imaginable in the medium term, the deep and entangled roots of the mobility conflict must addressed.
    Beyond the EU’s incoherent and one-sided “global approach”

    Today, the EU claims to address one side of the mobility conflict. Using development aid within its so-called “global approach to migration”, it claims to tackle the “root causes” that spur migration towards Europe. Researchers however have shown that development does not automatically lead to less migration. This policy will further have little effect as long as the EU’s unfair trade policies with the global south are perpetuated – for example concerning agriculture and fishing in Africa.

    In effect, the EU’s policy has mostly resulted in the use of development aid to impose policies of migration control on countries of the global south. In the process, the EU is lending support to authoritarian regimes – such as Turkey, Egypt, Sudan – which migrants are fleeing.

    Finally, when it has not worsened conflicts through its own military intervention as in Libya, the EU has proven unable of acting as a stabilizing force in the face of internationalised civil conflicts. These are bound to multiply in a time of intense competition for global hegemony. A true commitment to global justice and conflict resolution is necessary if Europe wishes to limit the factors forcing too many people onto the harsh paths of exile from their countries and regions, a small share of whom reach European shores.
    Tackling the drivers of migrant exclusion

    Beyond its lack of coherence, the EU’s so-called “global approach” suffers from one-sidedness, focused as it is on migration as “the problem”.

    As a result, it fails to see migration as a normal social process. Furthermore, it does not address the conditions that lead to the social and political drive to exclude them. The fact that today the arrival of a few thousand migrants is enough to put the EU into crisis clearly shows the limits of this approach.

    It is urgent for policy makers – at the national and local levels, but also researchers, cultural producers and social movements – to not only morally condemn racism and xenophobia, but to tackle the deep forces that shape them.

    What is needed is a more inclusive and fair economic system to decrease the resentment of European populations. In addition, a positive vision for living in common in diverse societies must be affirmed, so that the tensions that arise from the encounter between different people and cultures can be overcome.

    Crucially, we must emphasise the commonality of fate that binds European citizens to migrants. Greater equality and solidarity between migrants and European citizens is one of the conditions to defend all workers’ conditions.

    All in the same boat

    Addressing the entangled roots of the mobility conflict is a challenging agenda, one which emerges from the realisation that the tensions surrounding migration cannot be resolved through migration policies only – and by policy makers on their own for that matter.

    It charts a path worth following collectively as it points in the direction of a more open migration policy, but also a more just society. These are necessary to bring an end to the unbearable deaths of migrants at sea and end the vicious cycle of closure, violence, and politicisation of migration.

    Policies of closure have failed to end illegalised migration and only fuelled the rise of the far-right and the disintegration of Europe. If Europe is to stop sinking, it must end the policies that lead to migrants’ mass drowning in the Mediterranean. The NGOs being criminalised and prevented from disembarking migrants in Italy are not only saving migrants, but rescuing Europe against itself. Whether we like it or not, we are all in the same boat.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/charles-heller/for-open-migration-policy-to-end-deaths-and-crises-in-mediterranea

    #tribune #Charles_Heller #solution #alternatives #migrations #asile #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #fermeture #ouverture_des_frontières #décès #morts #mourir_en_mer

    • Une politique migratoire plus ouverte pour moins de morts en Méditerranée

      La fermeture des frontières a coûté la vie à plus de 30 000 migrants qui tentaient de parvenir en Europe. Cette vision politique a favorisé la montée de l’extrême droite qu’elle prétendait combattre. Il est donc temps de changer de paradigme et d’adopter une nouvelle approche.

      Le sommet du Conseil européen du 28 juin n’aura que confirmé ce que tous savaient déjà. Face à la montée des partis d’extrême droite et à la menace de désintégration d’une Union européenne (UE) incapable d’offrir un accueil solidaire aux migrants arrivés sur le sol européen, la seule solution envisageable semble être de les empêcher à tout prix de pouvoir y mettre pied en externalisant le contrôle des migrations (1). Malgré la documentation de nombreux cas de tortures parmi les migrants interceptés par les gardes-côtes libyens financés, équipés, et coordonnés par l’Italie et l’Union européenne, ce soutien a été réitéré (2). Des ONG, qui ont courageusement déployé leurs bateaux pour combler le vide mortel laissé par le retrait des secours étatiques, sont sommées de laisser les Libyens faire le sale boulot, criminalisées, et interdites d’accès aux ports italiens. Chaque jour, la mer charrie son lot de corps sans vie.

      Il serait illusoire de penser que cette énième crise pourra être résolue par les mêmes politiques de fermetures qui échouent depuis plus de trente ans. Celles-ci n’ont pas mis un terme aux arrivées des migrants désignés comme indésirables, mais les ont seulement illégalisées. Tant qu’existeront des facteurs qui poussent les populations du Sud global sur les chemins de l’exil - guerres, crises économiques - et des facteurs d’attraction vers l’Europe - travail, Etat social, respect des droits humains - et que les réseaux transnationaux de migrants relient les continents, les politiques de fermetures ne parviendront pas à réduire durablement les migrations (3). Pour chaque route que les Etats ferment, plusieurs nouvelles voies seront bientôt ouvertes. La liste répertoriant plus de 30 000 migrants morts en mer depuis le début des années 90 ne cessera de s’allonger (4).

      Ces politiques de fermeture, souvent mises en œuvre par des gouvernements prétendant lutter contre la montée de sentiments anti-immigrants, n’ont fait que les renforcer. En dépit des moyens militaires spectaculaires déployés par les Etats pour contrôler les frontières, la migration illégale s’est poursuivie, confortant chez les populations européennes le sentiment que leurs gouvernements avaient « perdu le contrôle ». L’illégalisation des migrants permet aux employeurs de baisser les salaires dans les secteurs où sont employés des migrants précarisés, et des ouvriers en ont tiré la conclusion que les migrants sont une concurrence déloyale. Les partis, qui ont mobilisé les votants sur la base de sentiments anti-immigrés, n’ont offert aucune réponse à la hausse du chômage, de l’insécurité sociale et des inégalités qui ont généré un profond ressentiment parmi les « perdants de la globalisation » en Europe (5). Ceux-ci ont été d’autant plus réceptifs aux discours haineux. Nous sommes ainsi prisonniers d’un cercle vicieux qui a encouragé la montée de l’extrême droite et qui a perpétué les politiques de fermetures.

      Au fil des ans, la Méditerranée est devenue la principale ligne de front d’un conflit de mobilités qui s’est intensifié à la suite des « printemps arabes » de 2011 et de la crise de la dette européenne. Depuis, tant les facteurs qui amènent les migrants à venir vers l’Europe que ceux qui poussent à leur exclusion se sont intensifiés. Le manque de solidarité entre Etats européens a attisé le rejet des migrants. Tant qu’on appliquera les mêmes politiques de fermeture, il n’y aura pas d’issue aux tensions politiques et à la violence qui entourent les migrations, et aux inquiétantes tendances politiques qu’elles nourrissent. Le seul horizon de sortie de cette crise permanente est une politique migratoire ouverte (5).

      Citoyens et dirigeants européens doivent se rendre compte que la question n’est pas de savoir si les migrants vont exercer leur liberté de mouvement en franchissant les frontières, mais quel en sera le coût humain et politique. Les politiques des Etats ne peuvent que créer le cadre légal pour les mouvements humains, donc les organiser en partie, mais en aucun cas les bloquer. S’il existait des voies d’accès légales à l’Europe, les migrants n’auraient plus besoin de recourir aux passeurs et de risquer leur vie. En l’absence d’une gestion militarisée, la migration apparaîtrait pour ce qu’elle est : un processus normal qui n’engendre aucune peur. Les migrants disposant d’un statut légal, les employeurs n’auraient plus les mains libres pour dégrader les conditions de travail. Une telle politique est bien loin d’être à l’agenda européen, et suscite de nombreuses peurs. Pour qu’à moyen terme sa mise en place soit envisageable, il faut s’attaquer aux racines profondes et enchevêtrées du conflit de mobilité.

      Si l’Europe veut limiter les raisons qui poussent de trop nombreux êtres humains sur les chemins de l’exil, elle doit s’engager fermement en faveur d’une justice globale et de la résolution des conflits. C’est-à-dire réformer complètement la prétendue « approche globale de la migration » (6) de l’Union européenne qui, prétextant s’attaquer aux « causes profondes » des migrations, a surtout imposé aux pays du Sud l’externalisation des contrôles migratoires en leur faisant miroiter l’aide au développement. Bien plus, obsédée par la migration comme « problème », elle n’apporte aucune réponse aux conditions qui mènent à l’exclusion des migrants par l’Europe. Un système économique plus juste et inclusif permettrait de désamorcer le ressentiment des populations européennes. Une vision positive de la vie en commun dans des sociétés marquées par la diversité, de vaincre les tensions nées de la rencontre entre peuples et cultures. Il est vital d’insister sur la communauté de destin qui lie les citoyens européens aux migrants : plus d’égalité et de solidarité entre eux est l’une des conditions pour défendre les droits de tous les travailleurs.

      Une politique migratoire ouverte ne suffira ainsi pas à elle seule à surmonter les tensions entourant les migrations, elle devra être accompagnée d’une transformation profonde de notre monde. Mais pour se sauver du naufrage, l’Europe doit urgemment abandonner les politiques de fermeture qui sont la cause des dizaines de milliers de noyades en Méditerranée et ont attisé la montée de l’extrême droite. Les ONG aujourd’hui criminalisées font bien plus que sauver des migrants, elles sauvent l’Europe d’elle-même. Que nous le voulions ou non, nous sommes tous dans le même bateau.

      http://www.liberation.fr/debats/2018/07/03/une-politique-migratoire-plus-ouverte-pour-moins-de-morts-en-mediterranee
      #économie #illégalisation #extrême_droite #populisme #politique_migratoire #capitalisme #libéralisme #fermeture_des_frontières #ouverture_des_frontières #Charles_Heller


  • It’s 34,361 and rising: how the List tallies Europe’s migrant bodycount.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/20/the-list-europe-migrant-bodycount

    30/04/18 2 N.N. (2 men) unknown bodies recovered in Gasr Garabulli (aka Castelverde) (LY) IOM Libya
    30/04/18 1 N.N. (woman) unknown body recovered on Tajoura beach (LY) IOM Libya
    30/04/18 6 N.N. (1 baby; 5 men) unknown bodies recovered in Zuwara (LY) IOM Libya
    30/04/18 1 N.N. (man) Algeria drowned trying to swim across the Kolpa River on Croatian-Slovenian border; 7 intercepted by police IOM Slovenia/TotSloveniaNews
    29/04/18 19 N.N. (1 man) Africa 16 drowned in shipwreck off Cap Falcon, Oran (DZ) on way to Spain; 3 missing, 19 rescued ObsAlgerie/Caminando/EFE/Réf/QUOTI/IOM
    25/04/18 17 N.N. Sub-Saharan Africa 5 drowned afer boat sank between Morocco and Spain near Alboran Island; 12 missing, 17 rescued ElDiario/Caminando/SalvaM/EuroPress
    22/04/18 11 N.N. (1 boy; 10 men) unknown drowned when rubber dinghy overturned in the Mediterranean Sea near Sabratha (LY); 83 rescued MEE/Reu./IOM Libya/JapanTimes
    20/04/18 1 N.N. (boy, 6 months) Eritrea strangled by desperate mother who hanged herself afterwards in Eckolstädt asylum centre (DE) Berliner Ztg/FR-th/OTZ
    20/04/18 1 Snaid Tadese (woman, 19) Eritrea suicide, strangled her baby and hanged herself out of despair in Eckolstädt asylum centre (DE) Berliner Ztg/FR-th/OTZ
    20/04/18 1 N.N. (man, 30) unknown electrocuted when he climbed on roof of freight train in depot outside Thessaloniki (GR) AP/NYTimes/MailOnline
    19/04/18 2 N.N. unknown died in accident in Horasan (TR) when smuggler driving their truck saw control point and panicked HurriyetDN/PrensaLat
    14/04/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown died of cardiac arrest, body found near border fence in Anyera in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta (ES) FaroCeuta/APDHA/CeutaTV/IOM
    13/04/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown died of cardiac arrest, body found near border fence in Anyera in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta (ES) FaroCeuta/APDHA/IOM/CeutaTV
    10/04/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown drowned in the Kolpa River near Črnomelj (SI) on border with Croatia IOM Slovenia/AFP
    09/04/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown drowned in the Kolpa River near Črnomelj (SI) on border with Croatia DELO/IOM Slovenia
    09/04/18 36 N.N. unknown 6 presumed drowned off coast of Houara 20 km south of Tangiers (MA); 30 missing, 10 survived EFE/Caminando/El Diario/IOM
    06/04/18 1 Omar “Susi” (boy, 16) Maghreb deliberately crushed by truck near Port of Ceuta (ES) after driver chased after refugees El Faro de Ceuta/Ceuta Actualidad/IOM
    06/04/18 1 N.N. (woman) unknown drowned, found on Jabonera beach in Tarifa, Cádiz (ES) Diario de Cádiz/IOM/EPress/EFE
    02/04/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown presumed drowned, body found 6 nautical miles northwest of Port of Bouzedjar in Ain Témouchent (DZ) Liberté/Ouest Tribune/IOM
    01/04/18 11 N.N. (1 man) unknown 4 drowned after boat capsized between Tangier (MA) and Tarifa (ES); 7 missing, 1 rescued Watch TheMed/IOM Spain/SalvaM/HinduTimes
    01/04/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown presumed drowned, body found near Habibas Islands off coast of Ain Témouchent (DZ) Réf/DK/OuestT/IOM
    01/04/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown presumed drowned, body found off coast of Al Hoceima (MA) EFE/IOM/YABI
    31/03/18 1 N.N. unknown presumed drowned, body found west of Sbiaat beach in Ain Témouchent (DZ) Réf/DK/OuestT/IOM
    30/03/18 17 N.N. unknown died in vehicle accident in province of Igdir province (TR) near border with Armenia; 33 survivors Reu./LV/IOM
    29/03/18 7 N.N. (7 men) unknown presumed drowned, unspecified location in the Strait of Gibraltar between Morocco and Spain Caminando/IOM
    28/03/18 1 N.N. (boy, 16) Eritrea died in hospital in Lille after jumping from truck on motorway near Port of Calais (FR) CMS/Parisien/VoixDuNord/IOM
    24/03/18 1 N.N. (woman) unknown died of lack of access to medicines in hospital in Turin (IT) after being turned away on Italian-French border CDS/FrSoir/IOM
    22/03/18 1 N.N. (man, 22) Algeria stowaway, got stuck between 2 vehicles at Zeebrugge port (BE) while trying to get to Great Britain CMS
    20/03/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown presumed drowned, body found on shore of Tripoli (LY) IOM Libya
    18/03/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown drowned, body recovered on beach in Rota, Cádiz (ES) GuardiaCivil/EPress/IOM
    17/03/18 2 N.N. unknown died in vehicle acccident on highway near Xanthi (GR) near Bulgarian border; 7 survivors Reu./AP/IOM/ChNewsAsia
    17/03/18 19 N.N. (9 children) Afghanistan, Iraq 16 drowned after migrant boat capsized off coast of Agathonisi (GR); 3 missing, 3 rescued HellCoastG/IOM Greece/Reu./AP/ChNewsAsia
    16/03/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown presumed drowned, body found on beach in Tinajo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (ES) EFE/La Provincia/IOM/VozDeL
    15/03/18 1 Mame Mbaye Ndiaye (man, 35) Senegal died of heart attack after police chased street vendor through Madrid (ES) until he collapsed LocalES/AfricaNews/TeleSur
    14/03/18 1 N.N. unknown went missing during rescue operation in the sea near Tangiers (MA); 9 rescued Watch TheMed
    13/03/18 1 Tesfalidet “Segen” Tesfon (man, 22) Eritrea died of tuberculosis and malnutrition after being rescued from boat; had been trapped in Libya for 18 months Proactiva/IOM/ANSA/Reu./LocalIT/HRW
    12/03/18 1 N.N. (man, ±30) unknown found dead in delta of the Evros River on Turkish-Greek border AP/MENAFN/IOM
    12/03/18 12 N.N. unknown found dead on sinking boat in the Alboran Sea between Morocco and Spain; 22 rescued Caminando Fronteras/IOM
    08/03/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown drowned, body recovered on beach in Rota, Cádiz, (ES) Guardia Civil/EPress/IOM
    06/03/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown drowned in the Evros River near Edirne (TR) near Greek border IOM Turkey/HurriyetDN
    03/03/18 23 N.N. (2 babies; 4 women; 17 men) Sub-Saharan Africa 2 found dead on boat, presumed drowned off coast of Libya; 21 missing, 30 survivors SOSMed/IOM/Reu.
    03/03/18 3 N.N. (2 women; 1 man) unknown drowned, bodies found off coast of Benzú in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta (ES); 2 survivors UNHCR/Caminando Fronteras/IOM/El Periódico
    01/03/18 1 Lamin (man, 20) Sierra Leone died due to lack of medical care in Passau (DE), had previously been deported to Italy despite severe illness Matteo
    28/02/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown found dead by coast guard near Bouzedjar beach in Ain Témouchent (DZ) RadioAlg/IOM
    27/02/18 6 N.N. (4 children; 1 woman; 1 man) unknown died of hypothermia near the Mergasur River (IQ) close to Turkish border; 4 survivors Kurdistan24/DailySabah/IOM/Rudaw
    26/02/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown died of cardiac arrest, body found in Tarifa, Cádiz (ES) EPress/IOM/JuntaAndalucía
    25/02/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown presumed drowned, body found at Levante beach in Cádiz (ES) EPress/AndalucíaInfo/IOM/CostaCádiz
    21/02/18 2 N.N. (1 woman; 1 man) unknown presumed drowned, bodies found 25 nautical miles north of Béni-Saf in Ain Témouchent (DZ) SoirAlgerie/Algérie360/IOM/Réf
    18/02/18 2 N.N. unknown presumed drowned, bodies found 8 nautical miles north of Bouzedjar beach in Ain Témouchent DZ) Réflexion/IOM Algeria
    17/02/18 1 N.N. unknown drowned, body found 10 km off coast of Benabdelmalek Ramdane in Mostaganem (DZ) IOM Algeria/TheHuff
    16/02/18 1 N.N. unknown presumed drowned, body retrieved in Zawiyah (LY) IOM Libya
    16/02/18 1 N.N. unknown presumed drowned, body retrieved in Tripoli (LY) IOM Libya
    16/02/18 1 N.N. unknown presumed drowned, body found on Madagh beach, Aïn El Kerma, west of Oran (DZ) ElW/Réf/IOM
    15/02/18 11 N.N. unknown presumed drowned, bodies retrieved in Zuwara (LY) IOM Libya
    15/02/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown presumed drowned, body found on Bouzedjar beach in Ain Témouchent (DZ) AlgériePresse/QUOTI/Réf/IOM
    15/02/18 2 N.N. (2 men) unknown presumed drowned, bodies found on Andalouses beach, Bousfer, west of Oran (DZ) ElW/Réf/IOM
    14/02/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown presumed drowned, body found on Sbiaat beach in El Messaid, Ain Témouchent (DZ) RadioAlg/QUOTI/Réf/IOM
    14/02/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown presumed drowned, body found on Sassel beach near Ouled Boudjemaa, Ain Témouchent (DZ) RadioAlg/QUOTI/Réf/IOM
    14/02/18 19 N.N. (4 children; 1 woman; 14 men) Somalia, Eritrea died in vehicle accident 60 km southeast of Bani Walid (LY); 159 survivors DTM/NationalAE/Reu./MENAFN/IOM Libya
    13/02/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown drowned, body found at Sidi Mejdoub beach, west of Mostaganem (DZ) Alg24/IOM Algeria
    13/02/18 1 Ayse Abdulrezzak (woman, 37) Turkey drowned when boat sunk in the Evros River on Turkish-Greek border; teacher fleeing crackdown in Turkey Reu./TDEMD/IOMTurkey/TurkeyPurge/TRMinute
    13/02/18 1 Ibrahim Selim (boy, 3) Turkey missing after boat sunk in the Evros River on Turkish-Greek border; was fleeing post-coup crackdown in Turkey Reu./TDEMD/IOM Turkey/TurkeyPurge/TRMinute
    13/02/18 1 Aslı Doğan (woman, 27) Turkey missing after boat sunk in the Evros River on Turkish-Greek border; was fleeing post-coup crackdown in Turkey Reu./TDEMD/IOM Turkey/TurkeyPurge/TRMinute
    13/02/18 1 Fahrettin Dogan (man, 29) Turkey missing after boat sunk in the Evros River on Turkish-Greek border; was fleeing post-coup crackdown in Turkey Reu./TDEMD/IOM Turkey/TurkeyPurge/TRMinute
    13/02/18 1 Ugur Abdulrezzak (man, 39) Turkey missing after boat sunk in the Evros River on Turkish-Greek border; was fleeing post-coup crackdown in Turkey Reu./TDEMD/IOM Turkey/TurkeyPurge/TRMinute
    13/02/18 1 Halil Munir Abdulrezzak (boy, 3) Turkey drowned when boat sunk in the Evros River on Turkish-Greek border; son of teacher fleeing crackdown in Turkey Reu./TDEMD/IOM Turkey/TurkeyPurge/TRMinute
    13/02/18 1 Enes Abdulrezzak (boy, 11) Turkey drowned when boat sunk in the Evros River on Turkish-Greek border; son of teacher fleeing crackdown in Turkey Reu./TDEMD/IOM Turkey/TurkeyPurge/TRMinute
    12/02/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown drowned, body found near Port of Cabopino in Málaga (ES) Hoy/LV/Onda/IOM
    12/02/18 1 N.N. (girl) unknown presumed drowned, unspecified location in the Strait of Gibraltar between Morocco and Spain Caminando/IOM
    11/02/18 5 N.N. unknown drowned, bodies found 22 miles off Cape of Three Forks in Nador (MA); 29 survivors Caminando/EPress/IOM
    11/02/18 1 N.N. unknown drowned, body found off Bahara beach, Ouled Boughalem, 90 km east of Mostaganem (DZ) ElW/AlgériePresse/IOM
    10/02/18 1 N.N. (man) unknown drowned, body found at Zeralda beach, near Algiers (DZ) Alg24/IOMAlgeria
    09/02/18 3 N.N. (3 men) unknown died of hypothermia, 27 miles off Alboran Island in Alboran Sea between Morocco and Spain; 32 survivors SalvaM/Caminando/IOM
    09/02/18 7 N.N. unknown presumed drowned, bodies retrieved in Zuwara (LY) IOM Libya
    08/02/18 1 N.N. unknown drowned, body found off Kaf Lasfer beach, between Sidi Lakhdar and Hadjadj, 36 km east of Mostaganem (DZ) ElW/Réf/IOM


  • Trump Orders Establishment of Space Force as Sixth Military Branch - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/us/politics/trump-space-force-sixth-military-branch.html

    WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Monday that he would direct the Pentagon to establish a sixth branch of the armed forces dedicated to protecting American interests in outer space, an idea that has troubled lawmakers and even some members of his administration, who have cautioned that the action could create unnecessary bureaucratic responsibilities for a military already burdened by conflicts.

    During a speech at a meeting of the National Space Council, Mr. Trump announced plans to protect American interests in space through monitoring commercial traffic and debris, initiatives he said would be “great not only in terms of jobs and everything else, it’s great for the psyche of our country.”

    With his interest in space, Mr. Trump appears to be taking a more protective stance than his modern predecessors, who over the years have wrestled with ways — and with rival governments, including Russia and China — to keep military conflicts in space at bay while still protecting American interests, including commercial operations and the current satellite system.

    “At best this is simply the creation of an additional D.O.D. bureaucracy,” Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, said in an interview, referring to the Department of Defense. “At worst, it is the first step in an accelerated competition between the U.S., China and Russia in the space realm that is going to be more difficult to avert without direct talks about responsible rules of the road.”

    The creation of a sixth branch of the military to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard would require congressional authorization and approval. Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, who is on the Senate Commerce Committee overseeing the nation’s space program — and who once spent six days in space — said that the president’s order lacked the support of the generals who would be required to carry it out.

    #Militarisme #Espace #Fin_des_communs #Etats_Unis #Guerre


  • Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Federica #Mogherini at the European Parliament plenary session on the Progress on the UN Global Compact for safe, regular and orderly migration and UN Global Compact on refugees

    Let me start with a good news, a good story for once; a little, big European achievement of the last few months. You might remember, last December I came to Strasbourg and here, in this hemicycle we talked about detention centres in Libya. I took in front of you, and most of all, in front of all those people who are suffering inside these detention centres in Libya, the commitment to bring back to their homes 15.000 migrants from within the detention centres to their countries or origin, in a safe manner with Assisted Voluntary Returns, made with our assistance, through the IOM [International Organisation for Migration].

    At that moment we had just reached an unprecedented agreement between our European Union, the African Union, and the United Nations, in particular the United Nations’ agencies for migrants and refugees – at our EU-Africa Union Summit in Abidjan. Thanks to this agreement, in the first two months of this year – so January and February - we managed to rescue and free more than 16.000 people from the camps in Libya. In two months, we managed to achieve more than in the previous year and already in 2017, the results were ten times better than the previous year.

    Now, in the detention camps, there are still some 4.000 to 5.000 people. It is far too much and we are going to continue our work with the United Nations and with the African Union to empty the camps. We have managed to bring out from there 16.000 people in two months, I believe we can make it and empty them completely, within the, at maximum, coming next couple of months.

    This has been possible for one reason: we joined forces – first of all within Europe, second with our African partners and friends, and on a global scale, within the UN system. I am glad to start with this positive note - while acknowledging that there is still work to be done -because sometimes we forget to focus on the achievements we managed to build. I think the achievements are important to lead us towards the solution.

    https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/41272/speech-high-representativevice-president-federica-mogherini-european-par
    #Libye #camps #centres_de_détention #détention #asile #migrations #réfugiés #vide #plein

    Commentaire de Marie Martin via la mailing list Migreurop :

    No resettlement from Libya to the EU was mentioned, if anyone has information on this it will be welcome

    #réinstallation

    @reka :
    ça rentre aussi peut-être dans tes réflexions sur la #géographie_du_vide et #géographie_du_plein


  • China’s Military Handed Control of the Country’s Coast Guard - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-26/military-control-of-china-coast-guard-adds-edge-to-sea-disputes

    China’s decision to give its top military body control over the country’s vast coast guard has increased concerns about the risk of miscalculation in the disputed waters of East Asia.

    The ruling Communist Party is transferring authority over Asia’s biggest coast guard fleet to the Central Military Commission from the civilian State Oceanic Administration, as part of a sweeping government overhaul announced last week in Beijing. That will give President Xi Jinping — China’s commander-in-chief — direct control over the ships that the country often relies on to assert territorial claims across the region.


  • Un texte écrit par le grand chef de #Frontex lui-même... #Fabrice_Leggeri, sur les #frontières, évidemment...

    Safeguarding borders for an open Europe

    Freedom of movement is a right enshrined in the European Union’s area of freedom, security and justice. But it is only by protecting the EU’s external borders that this freedom can continue to exist, writes Fabrice Leggeri.
    At the same time, returning to the old system of checking passports and customs papers at every border within the EU would not only damage mutual trust but could do irreparable harm to our economies.

    But even though a recent study by the European Parliament found that the indefinite suspension of the Schengen Area could cost up to €230 billion over a period of 10 years, the concept of the area of freedom, security and justice has taken a series of hard knocks over the last few years.

    This was due in part to the influx of refugees that began with the deterioration of the situation in Syria. Then there were the terror attacks that have taken place on European soil with horrifying frequency have aroused fears for security, a topic that surveys show is high on the list of priorities of EU citizens.

    In seeking remedies, we must not frame migration as a security problem. Indeed, conflating these issues would play into the hands of the very extremists we are struggling to defeat. However, we need stable borders, and for this, we need new and innovative European solutions.

    The recent transformation of Frontex into the European Border and Coast Guard Agency is just such a solution. It allows us to move beyond our former focus on migration and migratory flows to safeguarding the security of the EU’s external borders, including the crucial fight against organised crime.

    It is a tough task. But our increased budget and expanded mandate give us invaluable tools to assess weaknesses in the border control capabilities of member states and address them by making specific recommendations, such as modernising equipment, deploying additional officers to particular sections of the border, providing training to frontline practitioners, or in some places improving the reception and registration facilities for newly arrived migrants.

    With a coastline of almost 66,000 km and land borders of more than 13,000 km, Europe is only as secure as its external borders. And on the basis of our own findings and analysis, we know there are indeed many dangers lurking, from the human traffickers through to the many tonnes of hard drugs and weapons seized with our help on their way into the EU.

    That is why we now have more than 1,700 officers deployed at the EU’s external borders to assist member states. The new mandate has also allowed us to establish a large pool of officers committed by national authorities, who can be rapidly deployed in case of proven threats.

    So Frontex is increasingly moving from a supporting role to coordinating and complementing the work of our partners in the member states, and this trend will strengthen further over the next decade.

    However, we will still remain only one piece of the puzzle. Our colleagues in the European Commission and Parliament are another. And the many remaining pieces are made up of the national border and coast guards, the frontline workers at the EU’s borders and their brave colleagues out on the high seas. It is together with them, and only together, that Frontex forms the European border and coast guard.

    Since its inception in 2004, Frontex has found itself the brunt of criticism, either that the agency is trying to create ‘Fortress Europe’, ignoring the needs of those fleeing war and persecution; or conversely, that it is not being tough enough on protecting the EU’s external borders.

    Of concern to me is not so much that the errors at the root of this critique indicate a lack of understanding of our work, but – far more importantly – of the issues at stake.

    For border security is not a matter of encouraging unfounded suspicions, or indiscriminately excluding those who need our help. In fact, it is quite the reverse.

    By improving our risk analysis, intelligence sharing, and surveillance techniques, we ensure that the needs of people seeking international protection from war or persecution are met, while those who could endanger our security are detected and dealt with appropriately.

    And strengthening our borders is not just about irregular migrants. Since March 2017, everybody crossing the EU’s external borders legally has been checked. And the EU is at an advanced stage of establishing a system similar to the one used in the US, to check that visitors from countries exempt from visa requirements do not pose a threat of any kind during their stay.

    As Frontex continues to expand, there is nonetheless one thing that will not change. Rescuing people in danger is an essential part of our mandate wherever Frontex is active at the EU’s maritime borders.

    Indeed, I would go so far as to say that respect for fundamental rights is an integral component of effective border management. The agency is bound by the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, and Frontex has advanced mechanisms for recording potential or alleged violations.

    Finally, I must make the point that border management is not the answer to all Europe’s challenges, just as it is not an ersatz for migration policy. If we want to put an end to the drowning in the Mediterranean and the deaths in the Sahel, we need to work harder and cooperate more closely to eliminate the root causes of migration, from armed conflict through to famine.

    At the same time (and as reiterated by the European Commission on numerous occasions), we need to offer those in need of international protection legal paths to enter the EU. This would not only save lives but also cut off financing for the criminal smuggling rings currently making a fortune out of the misery of their fellow humans.

    So we are speaking here not just about migration or borders, but about the EU and our own future. Some people took the events of 2015 and the ongoing crisis to claim that the EU has failed as a project and belongs on the rubbish heap of history. I believe the opposite.

    With the creation of the European Border and Coast Guard, the EU has embarked on a new stage of its journey. There is no single country that can safeguard its citizens from internationally organised crime, and at the same time meet its humanitarian obligations to assist those fleeing persecution.

    If protecting our external borders and safeguarding free movement really matters to us, then it is time to speak out for Europe, and for the additional resources needed at the regional and national level to avoid a repeat of 2015. This would serve the interests not just of a few, but of everyone in the EU.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/opinion/safeguarding-borders-for-an-open-europe
    #frontières_extérieures #ouverture_des_frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #liberté_de_mouvement (mais que à l’intérieur de l’Europe c’est une bonne chose, nous suggère #Leggeri)

    Je me suis permise de corriger son titre, sur twitter :

    Wrong. Here is the correct version of your title, Mr @fabriceleggeri: “Opening #borders for safeguarding #Europe

    https://twitter.com/EURACTIV/status/970618491765231616

    cc @isskein

    • Un commentaire sur FB, de Yasha Maccanico :

      Perfect comment, Cristina! ... Frontex should have been disbanded in 2014 because in 10 years since its creation it had undermined everything that is worthwhile about Europe, including freedom of movement, and betrayed the EU to promote the corporate plunder of its resources by security and technology firms. It is currently the agency for the institutionalisation of racism and discrimination, for the systematic violation of human rights, for the funding of dictatorships and authoritarian regimes to entrap their citizens and promote racism against foreigners who may be making their way towards Europe, for the subordination of humanity to procedures to enable its control technologies to function and mistreat human beings who disobey. Its role alongside the Commission in the European Agenda on Migration has been subversive and has successfully pushed Italy and other states towards intolerance and in a nationalist-fascist direction for the purpose of fighting so-called irregular migration. What it terms safeguarding borders means mass murder, the mass detention and abuse of people and the violation of every existing right and legal safeguard to disempower its targets. Leggeri and Avramopoulos need to be held to account for this... every penny (or cent) spent on Frontex and on fighting so-called irregular immigration works against Europe and the EU, degrading both. The economic and ethical cost of what they are doing is enormous...

      https://www.facebook.com/cristina.delbiaggio/posts/10155014609560938?comment_id=10155014873480938


  • #Follow_the_money : What are the EU’s migration policy priorities ?

    Take a closer look at the data, however, and it becomes clear how the EU prioritizes among its many goals. By following the money from the EU we can see which areas the union puts the most emphasis on when it comes to migration policy. The numbers show that stopping migrants along the way is at least equally important as changing the underlying causes of migration.

    For a start, the largest amount of the #Trust_Fund money does not got to where the majority African migrants are coming from. By a large margin, Eritrea, Nigeria and Somalia are the three countries most African asylum seekers came from between 2012 and 2016.

    The greatest amount of money from the EU Emergency Trust Fund, however, goes elsewhere.The biggest single recipients are Niger, Mali, Senegal, Libya, and Ethiopia. Contrast that with Somalia, which ranks 9, Nigeria 10 and Eritrea - the country with the most African asylum applicants to the EU – is 20th out of 26 EUTF recipient countries. In other words, the country most in need of EU funds to fight the root causes of migration is far down on the list of countries actually receiving those funds.

    #Niger #Sénégal #Libye #Ethiopie :


    –-> donc pas les pays d’origine !

    Despite these long-term benefits, humanitarian groups, experts and local media criticized the Trust Fund for focusing too much on tightening border controls and preventing migration instead of addressing the root causes of flight in the countries of origin.

    For a better understanding of what the EU means by “improving migration management” it’s helpful to look at the projects it funds. Libya, for example, is home to the project with the single largest EUTF budget of 90 million euros aimed at “managing mixed migration flows.” The average project for migration management receives 14 million.

    #Libye

    Untangling mixed migration flows is EU jargon for distinguishing between streams of refugees (people each EU country is obliged to protect under the Geneva Convention) and other migrants (which each EU country is free to accept or reject). The easiest way to do so would be to set up registration centers outside the EU to determine eligibility for asylum before migrants set foot in the EU. This idea has been brought up in the past by EU-leaders like the French President Emmanuel Macron.

    #catégorisation #tri #hotspots #Macron

    When we follow the EU money trail, we see that the budget of the European Border and Coast Guard authority #Frontex skyrocketed over the last years. The budget position “Joint Operations” is the largest item on the expenditure list - and quadrupled since 2012 (from 32 million euros to 129 million euros). Since 2016, the budget also included a position on “#Return_Support”. It had a budget of 39 million in 2016 and was increased to 53 million in 2017 (an increase of 30 percent), making it the second biggest position on Frontex’ budget.

    #renvois #expulsions

    http://m.dw.com/en/follow-the-money-what-are-the-eus-migration-policy-priorities/a-42588136?maca=en-Twitter-sharing&xtref=https%253A%252F%252Ft.co%252FKPKKngT4
    #migrations #développement #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UE #EU #Europe #push-factors #facteurs_push #Emergency_Trust_Fund
    cc @isskein

    • Diverting EU aid to stop migrants

      Ahead of Europe’s development ministers meeting in Estonia on 11 September, Global Health Advocates research in Senegal and Niger shows that EU development aid is misused and diverted through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

      Development aid is meant to fund long-term programmes aimed at the eradication of poverty in line with partner countries’ own development priorities. However, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa – a rather new instrument launched hastily by the EU and backed with close to €3 billion in development funds – does exactly the opposite: it prioritises quick fixes driven by Europe’s short-term domestic priorities, with little involvement of local governments let alone civil society actors.

      Findings from the report published today reveal untransparent processes in-country, bypassing most good governance principles. No public calls for proposals, no consultation of local actors, no eligibility guidelines, prioritisation of short term projects and the development of retroactive strategies once most funds are disbursed.

      Fanny Voitzwinkler, Head of the EU Office of Global Health Advocates, says: “Everyone we met in Niamey and Dakar agreed: the EU Trust Fund is first-and-foremost a political communication tool to show citizens the EU is responding fast to the so-called ‘migration crisis‘. Using development aid money as a bargaining chip to leverage African countries’ cooperation on migration tarnishes the image of the EU as a global development actor.”

      Beyond the questionable use of development funds to address what is considered a political emergency in Europe, the EU is literally outsourcing the control of migration to countries such as Libya and Niger, to ensure migrants are no longer able to leave the northern shores of the African continent. Most concerning is that some countries have de facto boosted their domestic security spending over basic social services like health and education.

      The NGO also warns against possible spill over-effects of the EU-driven effort to reduce migratory pressure to Europe. Repressive measures to curb migration are depriving communities of economic opportunities in the Agadez region of Niger without providing viable alternatives in already unstable environments. The EU’s eagerness to rapidly stem migration flows has taken precedence over seeking sustainable solutions for the local population.

      Global Health Advocates is urging the EU to delink its political dialogue on migration from its development agenda, acknowledging that migration is a positive driver of development. In the spirit of European’s core founding values of tolerance, solidarity and respect for human dignity, the EU should actively support and promote a more nuanced narrative on migration and mobility, anchored in facts and reality.

      Ms. Voitzwinkler concludes: “If the EU Trust Fund is not realigned to reflect a genuine partnership between the EU and African countries, promoting policies that can foster a positive development impact of mobility, the EU should stop replenishing the Fund.”


      http://www.ghadvocates.eu/en/diverting-eu-aid-to-stop-migrants

      Pour télécharger le #rapport:

      http://www.ghadvocates.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Misplaced-Trust_FINAL-VERSION.pdf


  • America’s Only Heavy Icebreaker Experienced Flooding, Engine Failure During Annual Antarctic Supply Mission – gCaptain
    http://gcaptain.com/americas-only-polar-icebreaker-experienced-flooding-engine-failure-during-

    The United States’ only operational heavy icebreaker suffered both flooding and engine failure during this year’s icebreaking mission to Antarctica.

    Despite these challenges, however, the USCGC Polar Star completed its Antarctic mission this week in support of National Science Foundation (NSF) after cutting a resupply channel through 15 miles of ice in the Ross Sea and escorting supply vessels to the continent.
    […]
    Built more than 40 years ago, the 399-foot Polar Star is the only operational heavy icebreaker in the U.S. fleet. With a crew of nearly 150 people, it weighs 13,500 tons and uses 75,000 horsepower to break ice up to 21 feet thick.

    The Coast Guard is currently in the process of procuring a single new heavy polar icebreaker, however, construction is not expected to begin until 2019 at the earliest, and the necessary funds have still not been appropriated. Delivery of the vessel is not expected until 2023, based on current estimates.

    If the Polar Star were to suffer a catastrophic mechanical failure, the Nation would not be able to support heavy icebreaker missions like Operation Deep Freeze, and our Nation has no vessel capable of rescuing the crew if the icebreakers were to fail in the ice,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, California.


  • Drug Cartels Deploy New Stealthy Boats To America’s Pacific Shore – gCaptain
    http://gcaptain.com/drug-cartels-deploy-new-stealthy-boats-americas-pacific-shore

    New Low-profile #go-fast_boats represent four of the 23 cases being turned over to federal agents during Thursday’s offload. Remaining cases also involved a fishing vessel and fast open-hulled panga boats with multiple outboard engines. This offload showcases the variety of tactics and methods of conveyance cartels use to evade military and law enforcement detection.

    The Coast Guard will also help offload more than 3,300 pounds of cocaine seized by Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Nanaimo apprehended in international waters off the coast of Central America. 

    The US Coast Guard released the following video to showing the capture of one of these new vessels.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj4UKZ6_OHQ


  • Je pensais avoir archivé sur seenthis un article (au moins) qui montrait qu’une partie des personnes rapatriées (#retours_volontaires), par l’#OIM (#IOM) notamment, du #Niger et de #Libye vers leurs pays d’origine reprenaient la route du Nord aussitôt...
    Mais je ne retrouve plus cet article... est-ce que quelque seenthisien se rappelle de cela ? ça serait super !
    #renvois #expulsions #migrations #réfugiés #retour_volontaire

    J’étais presque sûre d’avoir utilisé le tag #migrerrance, mais apparemment pas...

    • #merci @02myseenthis01, en effet il s’agit d’articles qui traitent du retour volontaire, mais non pas de ce que je cherche (à moins que je n’ai pas loupé quelque chose), soit de personnes qui, une fois rapatriées via le programme de retour volontaires, décident de reprendre la route de la migration (comme c’est le cas des Afghans, beaucoup plus documenté, notamment par Liza Schuster : https://www.city.ac.uk/people/academics/liza-schuster)

    • Libya return demand triggers reintegration headaches

      “This means that the strain on the assistance to integration of the country of origin has been particularly high because of the success, paradoxically of the return operation,” said Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM’s Europe director, on Monday (12 February).

      “We had to try, and we are still trying, to scale up the reintegration assistance,” he said.

      Since November, It has stepped up operations, along with the African Union, and helped 8,581 up until earlier this month. Altogether some 13,500 were helped given that some were also assisted by African Union states. Most ended up in Nigeria, followed by Mali and Guinea.

      People are returned to their home countries in four ways. Three are voluntary and one is forced. The mixed bag is causing headaches for people who end up in the same community but with entirely different integration approaches.

      “The level of assistance and the type of reintegration assistance that these different programmes offer is not the same,” noted Ambrosi.

      https://euobserver.com/migration/140967
      #réintégration

      Et une partie de cet article est consacrée à l’#aide_au_retour par les pays européens :

      Some EU states will offer in-kind support, used to set up a business, training or other similar activities. Others tailor their schemes for different countries of origin.

      Some others offer cash handouts, but even those differ vastly.

      Sweden, according to a 2015 European Commission report, is the most generous when it comes to cash offered to people under its voluntary return programme.

      It noted that in 2014, the maximum amount of the in-cash allowance at the point of departure/after arrival varied from €40 in the Czech Republic and €50 in Portugal to €3,750 in Norway for a minor and €3,300 in Sweden for an adult.

      Anti-migrant Hungary gave more (€500) than Italy (€400), the Netherlands (€300) and Belgium (€250).

      However, such comparisons on cash assistance does not reveal the full scope of help given that some of the countries also provide in-kind reintegration support.

    • For Refugees Detained in Libya, Waiting is Not an Option

      Niger generously agreed to host these refugees temporarily while European countries process their asylum cases far from the violence and chaos of Libya and proceed to their resettlement. In theory it should mean a few weeks in Niger until they are safely transferred to countries such as France, Germany or Sweden, which would open additional spaces for other refugees trapped in Libya.

      But the resettlement process has been much slower than anticipated, leaving Helen and hundreds of others in limbo and hundreds or even thousands more still in detention in Libya. Several European governments have pledged to resettle 2,483 refugees from Niger, but since the program started last November, only 25 refugees have actually been resettled – all to France.

      As a result, UNHCR announced last week that Niger authorities have requested that the agency halt evacuations until more refugees depart from the capital, Niamey. For refugees in Libya, this means their lifeline to safety has been suspended.

      Many of the refugees I met in Niger found themselves in detention after attempting the sea journey to Europe. Once intercepted by the Libyan coast guard, they were returned to Libya and placed in detention centers run by Libya’s U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The E.U. has prioritized capacity building for the Libyan coast guard in order to increase the rate of interceptions. But it is an established fact that, after being intercepted, the next stop for these refugees as well as migrants is detention without any legal process and in centers where human rights abuses are rife.

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/03/12/for-refugees-detained-in-libya-waiting-is-not-an-option

      #limbe #attente

      #réinstallation (qui évidemment ne semble pas vraiment marcher, comme pour les #relocalisations en Europe depuis les #hotspots...) :

      Several European governments have pledged to resettle 2,483 refugees from Niger, but since the program started last November, only 25 refugees have actually been resettled – all to France.

    • “Death Would Have Been Better” : Europe Continues to Fail Refugees and Migrants in Libya

      Today, European policies designed to keep asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Italy are trapping thousands of men, women and children in appalling conditions in Libya. This Refugees International report describes the harrowing experiences of people detained in Libya’s notoriously abusive immigration detention system where they are exposed to appalling conditions and grave human rights violations, including arbitrary detention and physical and sexual abuse.

      https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/libyaevacuations2018

      #rapport

      Lien vers le rapport :

      The report is based on February 2018 interviews conducted with asylum seekers and refugees who had been evacuated by UNHCR from detention centers in Libya to Niamey, Niger, where these men, women, and children await resettlement to a third country. The report shows that as the EU mobilizes considerable resources and efforts to stop the migration route through Libya, asylum seekers, refugees and migrants continue to face horrendous abuses in Libya – and for those who attempt it, an even deadlier sea crossing to Italy. RI is particularly concerned that the EU continues to support the Libyan coast guard to intercept boats carrying asylum seekers, refugees and migrants and bring them back to Libyan soil, even though they are then transferred to detention centers.

      https://static1.squarespace.com/static/506c8ea1e4b01d9450dd53f5/t/5ad3ceae03ce641bc8ac6eb5/1523830448784/2018+Libya+Report+PDF.pdf
      #évacuation #retour_volontaire #renvois #Niger #Niamey

    • #Return_migration – a regional perspective

      The current views on migration recognize that it not necessarily a linear activity with a migrant moving for a singular reason from one location to a new and permanent destination. Within the study of mixed migration, it is understood that patterns of movements are constantly shifting in response to a host of factors which reflect changes in individual and shared experiences of migrants. This can include the individual circumstance of the migrant, the environment of host country or community, better opportunities in another location, reunification, etc.[1] Migrants returning to their home country or where they started their migration journey – known as return migration—is an integral component of migration.

      Return migration is defined by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as the act or process of going back to the point of departure[2]. It varies from spontaneous, voluntary, voluntary assisted and deportation/forced return. This can also include cyclical/seasonal return, return from short or long term migration, and repatriation. Such can be voluntary where the migrant spontaneously returns or assisted where they benefit from administrative, logistical, financial and reintegration support. Voluntary return includes workers returning home at the end of their labour arrangements, students upon completion of their studies, refugees and asylum seekers undertaking voluntary repatriation either spontaneously or with humanitarian assistance and migrants returning to their areas of origin after residency abroad. [3] Return migration can also be forced where migrants are compelled by an administrative or judicial act to return to their country of origin. Forced returns include the deportation of failed asylum seekers and people who have violated migration laws in the host country.

      Where supported by appropriate policies and implementation and a rights-based approach, return migration can beneficial to the migrant, the country of origin and the host country. Migrants who successfully return to their country of origin stand to benefit from reunification with family, state protection and the possibility of better career opportunities owing to advanced skills acquired abroad. For the country of origin, the transfer of skills acquired by migrants abroad, reverse ‘brain drain’, and transactional linkages (i.e. business partnerships) can bring about positive change. The host country benefits from such returns by enhancing strengthened ties and partnerships with through return migrants. However, it is critical to note that return migration should not be viewed as a ‘solution’ to migration or a pretext to arbitrarily send migrants back to their home country. Return migration should be studied as a way to provide positive and safe options for people on the move.
      Return migration in East Africa

      The number of people engaging in return migration globally and in the Horn of Africa and Yemen sub-region has steadily increased in recent years. In 2016, IOM facilitated voluntary return of 98,403 persons worldwide through its assisted voluntary return and re-integration programs versus 69,540 assisted in 2015. Between December 2014 and December 2017, 76,589 refugees and asylum seekers were assisted by humanitarian organisations to return to Somalia from Kenya.

      In contexts such as Somalia, where conflict, insecurity and climate change are common drivers for movement (in addition to other push and pull factors), successful return and integration of refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries is likely to be frustrated by the failure to adequately address such drivers before undertaking returns. In a report titled ‘Not Time To Go Home: Unsustainable returns of refugees to Somalia’,Amnesty International highlights ongoing conflict and insecurity in Somalia even as the governments of Kenya and Somali and humanitarian agencies continue to support return programs. The United Nations has cautioned that South and Central parts of Somalia are not ready for large scale returns in the current situation with over 2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country and at least half of the population in need of humanitarian assistance; painting a picture of returns to a country where safety, security and dignity of returnees cannot be guaranteed.

      In March 2017, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ordered all undocumented migrants to regularize their status in the Kingdom giving them a 90-day amnesty after which they would face sanctions including deportations. IOM estimates that 150,000 Ethiopians returned to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia between March 2017 and April 2018. Since the end of the amnesty period in November 2017, the number of returns to Ethiopia increased drastically with approximately 2,800 migrants being deported to Ethiopia each week. Saudi Arabia also returned 9,563 Yemeni migrants who included migrants who were no longer able to meet residency requirements. Saudi Arabia also forcibly returned 21,405 Somali migrants between June and December 2017.

      Migrant deportations from Saudi Arabia are often conducted in conditions that violate human rights with migrants from Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia reporting violations. An RMMS report titled ‘The Letter of the Law: Regular and irregular migration in Saudi Arabia in a context of rapid change’ details violations which include unlawful detention prior to deportation, physical assault and torture, denial of food and confiscation of personal property. There were reports of arrest and detention upon arrival of Ethiopian migrants who had been deported from Saudi Arabia in 2013 during which the migrants were reportedly tortured by Ethiopian security forces.

      Further to this, the sustainability of such returns has also been questioned with reports of returnees settling in IDP camps instead of going back to their areas of origin. Such returnees are vulnerable to (further) irregular migration given the inability to integrate. Somali refugee returnees from Kenya face issues upon return to a volatile situation in Somalia, often settling in IDP camps in Somalia. In an RMMS research paper ‘Blinded by Hope: Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Ethiopian Migrants’, community members in parts of Ethiopia expressed concerns that a large number of returnees from Saudi Arabia would migrate soon after their return.

      In November 2017, following media reports of African migrants in Libya being subjected to human rights abuses including slavery, governments, humanitarian agencies and regional economic communities embarked on repatriating vulnerable migrants from Libya. African Union committed to facilitating the repatriation of 20,000 nationals of its member states within a period of six weeks. African Union, its member states and humanitarian agencies facilitated the return of 17,000 migrants in 2017 and a further 14,000 between January and March 2018.[4]
      What next?

      Return migration can play an important role for migrants, their communities, and their countries, yet there is a lack of research and data on this phenomenon. For successful return migration, the drivers to migration should first be examined, including in the case of forced displacement or irregular migration. Additionally, legal pathways for safe, orderly and regular migration should be expanded for all countries to reduce further unsafe migration. Objective 21 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Draft Rev 1) calls upon member states to ‘cooperate in facilitating dignified and sustainable return, readmission and reintegration’.

      In addition, a legal and policy framework facilitating safe and sustainable returns should be implemented by host countries and countries of origin. This could build on bilateral or regional agreements on readmissions, creation of reception and integration agencies for large scale returns, the recognition and assurance of migrant legal status, provision of identification documents where needed, amending national laws to allow for dual citizenship, reviewing taxes imposed on the diaspora, recognition of academic and vocational skills acquired abroad, support to vulnerable returnees, financial assistance where needed, incentives to returnee entrepreneurs, programs on attracting highly skilled returnees. Any frameworks should recognize that people have the right to move, and should have their human rights and dignity upheld at all stages of the migration journey.

      http://www.mixedmigration.org/articles/return-migration-a-regional-perspective

    • Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 20.09.2018

      Niamey, le 20 septembre 2018

      D’après des témoignages recueillis près du #centre_de_transit des #mineurs_non_accompagnés du quartier #Bobiel à Niamey (Niger), des rixes ont eu lieu devant le centre, ce mardi 18 septembre.

      A ce jour, le centre compterait 23 mineurs et une dizaine de femmes avec des enfants en bas âge, exceptionnellement hébergés dans ce centre en raison du surpeuplement des structures réservées habituellement aux femmes.

      Les jeunes du centre font régulièrement état de leurs besoins et du non-respect de leurs droits au directeur du centre. Certains y résident en effet depuis plusieurs mois et ils sont informés des services auxquels ils devraient avoir accès grâce à une #charte des centre de l’OIM affichée sur les murs (accès aux soins de santé, repas, vêtements - en particulier pour ceux qui sont expulsés de l’Algérie sans leurs affaires-, activité récréative hebdomadaire, assistance légale, psychologique...). Aussi, en raison de la lourdeur des procédures de « #retours_volontaires », la plupart des jeunes ne connaissent pas la date de leur retour au pays et témoignent d’un #sentiment_d'abandon.

      Ces derniers jours certains jeunes ont refusé de se nourrir pour protester contre les repas qui leur sont servis (qui seraient identiques pour tous les centres et chaque jour).
      Ce mardi, après un vif échange avec le directeur du centre, une délégation de sept jeunes s’est organisée et présentée au siège de l’OIM. Certains d’entre eux ont été reçus par un officier de protection qui, aux vues des requêtes ordinaires des migrants, s’est engagé à répondre rapidement à leurs besoins.
      Le groupe a ensuite rejoint le centre où les agents de sécurité du centre auraient refusé de les laisser entrer. Des échanges de pierres auraient suivi, et les gardiens de la société #Gadnet-Sécurité auraient utilisé leurs matraques et blessé légèrement plusieurs jeunes. Ces derniers ont été conduits à l’hôpital, après toutefois avoir été menottés et amenés au siège de la société de gardiennage.

      L’information a été diffusée hier soir sur une chaine de télévision locale mais je n’ai pas encore connaissance d’articles à ce sujet.

      Alizée

      #MNA #résistance #violence

    • Agadez, des migrants manifestent pour rentrer dans leurs pays

      Des migrants ont manifesté lundi matin au centre de transit de l’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations (OIM). Ce centre est situé au quartier #Sabon_Gari à Agadez au Niger. Il accueille à ce jour 800 migrants.

      Parmi eux, une centaine de Maliens. Ces migrants dénoncent la durée de leurs séjours, leurs conditions de vie et le manque de communication des responsables de l’OIM.


      https://www.studiotamani.org/index.php/magazines/16726-le-magazine-du-21-aout-2018-agadez-des-migrants-maliens-manifest
      #manifestation #Mali #migrants_maliens


  • Ça y est, la Corée a bombardé les États-Unis (#ou_pas) :
    https://apnews.com/179e1a9dc23d43b2996ac7093897fa77

    A push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic Saturday was a mistake, state emergency officials said.

    The emergency alert, which was sent to cellphones, said in all caps, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.

    Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened.

    • Hawaii ballistic missile threat alert was false alarm, officials say | US news | The Guardian
      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/13/hawaii-ballistic-missile-threat-alert-false-alarm

      On Saturday in western Oahu people ran out of buildings into the street, some wearing nothing but slippers. According to a witness, some took shelter in the basement of a parking structure, where people cried and children huddled on rolls of fabric.

      Approximately 30 minutes later, authorities said the alert was a mistake.

      Many in the parking shelter hugged, cried, shook and prepared to head back outside. Others said they would remain undercover until they received confirmation from the coast guard that all was safe.

      Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Rapoza said it was not clear what caused the alert to go out and the agency was investigating.


  • Homeland Security Goes Abroad. Not Everyone Is Grateful. - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/26/world/americas/homeland-security-customs-border-patrol.html

    An estimated 2,000 Homeland Security employees — from Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to Transportation Security Administration officials — now are deployed to more than 70 countries around the world.

    Hundreds more are either at sea for weeks at a time aboard Coast Guard ships, or patrolling the skies in surveillance planes above the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

    The expansion has created tensions with some European countries who say that the United States is trying to export its immigration laws to their territory. But other allies agree with the United States’ argument that its longer reach strengthens international security while preventing a terrorist attack, drug shipment, or human smuggling ring from reaching American soil.

    “Many threats to the homeland begin overseas, and that’s where we need to be,” said James Nealon, the department’s assistant secretary for international engagement.

    #Etats-unis


  • Europe’s Plan to Close Its Sea Borders Relies on Libya’s Coast Guard Doing Its Dirty Work, Abusing Migrants
    https://theintercept.com/2017/11/25/libya-coast-guard-europe-refugees

    In the last six months, with new support from European governments, the Libyan coast guard has substantially ramped up operations to intercept #migrant boats in the international waters off their coast, where most shipwrecks take place. Confrontations with the European NGOs that work there have increased as well, with multiple organizations reporting warning shots and direct threats of violence from Libyan boats. The violence has led some organizations to stop their Mediterranean rescue operations.

    The Libyan coast guard is a decentralized force often accused of working with local militias and smugglers and violating the rights of migrants. At the same time, it is a key player in Europe’s response to the refugee crisis.

    #Europe #nos_valeurs


    • Juncker : « les États membres contribuent trop peu au fonds pour l’Afrique »

      Après un premier tour de négociations lors du premier jour du Conseil, le président de la Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, a prévenu devant la presse que l’action extérieure de l’UE atteignait ses limites à cause d’un manque de financement.

      https://www.euractiv.fr/section/migrations/news/juncker-member-states-committed-too-little-for-africa-fund
      #fonds_pour_l'afrique

    • “EU-Africa migration funds were used on Libya’s coast guard patrol vessels »

      Genoa - EU international cooperation funding destined for development projects in Africa was used to refurbish patrol boats for Libya’s coast guard, and handed over to Libyan militia units who practice torture and extrajudicial killings, in violation of Libyan and international standards.

      http://www.themeditelegraph.com/en/markets/finance-and-politics/2017/11/16/africa-migration-funds-were-used-libya-coast-guard-patrol-vessels-ZxeIfzI2rMZYW6ixGchHKP/index.html

      #Libye #gardes-côtes_libyens #externalisation #développement #aide_au_développement

      –-> je ne sais pas si le fonds dans lequel il est question ici c’est aussi celui qui est mentionné dans le premier article de la liste... @isskein : tu en sais plus ?

    • Europe’s Plan to Close Its Sea Borders Relies on Libya’s Coast Guard Doing Its Dirty Work, Abusing Migrants

      When a Libyan coast guard officer raised his hands and pointed, as if holding a rifle, Thomas Schaible wasn’t too worried. It wasn’t his first violent encounter with the Libyan coast guard, but this time, with a helicopter from the Italian navy overhead and Italian and French warships nearby, Schaible knew it was an empty threat.

      https://theintercept.com/2017/11/25/libya-coast-guard-europe-refugees

    • Libya human bondage risks overshadowing Africa-EU summit

      #Mogherini was questioned about the EU’s strategy of outsourcing the migration crisis to foreign countries such as Libya and Turkey, which received billions to prevent Syrian refugees from crossing to Greece.

      She said the situation was different on two counts: first, the migrants stranded in Libya were not legitimate asylum seekers like those fleeing the war in Syria. And second, different international bodies were in charge.

      “When it comes to Turkey, it is mainly refugees from Syria; when it comes to Libya, it is mainly migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa and the relevant international laws apply in different manners and the relevant UN agencies are different – the UNHCR on one side, especially in Turkey, and the IOM especially in Libya.”

      https://www.euractiv.com/section/development-policy/news/libya-human-bondage-risks-overshadowing-africa-eu-summit
      #IOM #OIM #HCR #Libye #Turquie #migrants_économiques #réfugiés #tri #catégorisation

      En lien avec cela, lire:
      http://seen.li/dn2v
      #mixed_migrations

    • Commission européenne - Fond fiduciaire d’urgence pour l’Afrique - Nouveaux programmes

      Trois nouveaux programmes d’un montant de 29,6 millions d’euros ont été adoptés dans le cadre du Fonds fiduciaire d’urgence de l’UE pour l’Afrique. Ces programmes complètent l’action de l’UE visant à relever les défis de la migration en Méditerranée. Ces nouveaux programmes intensifieront le travail en cours de l’UE pour renforcer la protection des migrants, soutenir leur réintégration durable et permettre une augmentation du nombre de retours volontairement assistés depuis la Libye. Ils contribueront également à la lutte contre les réseaux criminels dans la région.

      Three new programmes worth €29.6 million have been adopted in the framework of the EU Trust Fund for Africa as part of EU work in addressing migration challenges in the Mediterranean. A set of priorities for 2018 have also been agreed.

      These new programmes will step up the EU’s ongoing work to strengthening protection of migrants, support sustainable reintegration and provide assisted voluntary returns. The programmes will also contribute to fight criminal networks across the region.

      High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “Last week we established a joint EU/AU/UN Task Force to accelerate our work to protect migrants and refugees and fight the criminal networks. With these new programmes, we will step up our commitments, save lives, guarantee the respect of human rights and of international standards, provide alternatives to those wishing to return to their homes and support to host communities. We already assisted over 14,000 people stranded in Libya to return and will support an additional 15,000 returns by February 2018. And we will support our partners to counter traffickers and smugglers, assisting them in bringing peace and security to the region.”

      Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said: “The current challenges in the Mediterranean Sea remain a top priority for the European Union. The EU Trust Fund for Africa continues to take action to tackle the root causes of irregular migration and to defend the rights of people who risk falling into the hands of traffickers and smugglers. With our new programmes, we will help dismantle criminal networks in North of Africa, support migrants who wish to return to their home countries and facilitate access for migrants to legal advice. We will also promote socio-economic integration in Morocco and will foster socio-economic development of the Libyan Municipalities”.

      Regional programme - Facility for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in North Africa, €10 million

      This programme will be implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and will further contribute to the ongoing efforts under the assistance voluntary return scheme. It will strengthen protection of migrants, support sustainable reintegration systems in North Africa and provide assisted voluntary return to migrants wishing to return to their home from Northern Africa. This Facility is conceived as a regional flexible mechanism able to adapt to the specific needs of the countries. This is yet another action towards enhancing support to stranded migrants as well as reinforcing national return and reintegration systems across the North of Africa region.

      Regional programme - Dismantling the criminal networks operating in North Africa and involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking, €15 million

      This project will focus on regional dimension of fight against smugglers and traffickers. It will target the public sector of the countries in the region (in particular the Ministries of Interior, Justice, Finance, and Health). Under this programme, implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), capacity-building as well as light equipment, such as IT and forensic tools, will be provided to actors dealing with law enforcement and criminal justice. The final beneficiaries will be the general public, victims of trafficking, smuggled migrants, and families of the latter two categories.

      Morocco - Legal Empowerment for migrants, €4.58 million

      This programme implemented by the Belgian Technical Cooperation will reinforce the protection and resilience of migrants and refugees, displaced persons and host communities in Morocco. Whilst strengthening awareness on their rights and access to legal counselling, the project will also contribute to promote the socio-economic integration of migrants and facilitate migrants’ integration in the Moroccan society. This is a new very specific action complementing the EU support to the implementation of the Moroccan National Strategy on Migration (SNIA). The programme will support actors who help migrants and refugees access to their rights, such as lawyers, students, civil society associations and justice staff. It will develop and create legal clinics in Rabat, Casablanca, Tanger and Oujda.

      Objectives for 2018

      The Commission also outlined the priorities of the EUTF/North of Africa window for 2018. The situation in Libya will remain a top priority, with on the one hand increased efforts for the protection of migrants and refugees, including through the support for additional assisted voluntary returns and support for evacuation of the most vulnerable ones (in line with the recent decision of the EU-African Union summit); and on the other hand support to host communities. More specifically, funding will be provided to the UNHCR’s evacuation mechanism through the EUTF and discussions with the IOM on additional measures under the assisted voluntary return scheme are being finalised. The Commission is also working together with Italy on a new initiative to be presented to the Operational Committee early in 2018, which is aimed at fostering the socio-economic development of the Libyan Municipalities, on the basis of needs of local authorities and in close coordination with the PC/Government of National Accord (GNA).

      http://www.europeanmigrationlaw.eu/fr/articles/actualites/commission-europeenne-fond-fiduciaire-d-urgence-pour-l-afrique-

    • Come viene usato il Fondo Fiduciario per l’Africa?

      “Vertice UE-Africa: l’Europa non paga”. Così titolava il settimanale tedesco Der Spiegel alla vigilia del Summit di Abidjan di fine novembre, evidenziando un problema crescente nell’approccio europeo al contenimento dei flussi migratori: come reperire le risorse con cui finanziare il Fondo fiduciario per l’Africa. Perché se da un lato aumentano obiettivi e programmi da finanziare, dall’altro non cresce il coinvolgimento economico dei governi europei.

      http://openmigration.org/analisi/come-viene-usato-il-fondo-fiduciario-per-lafrica

    • 2.12.2017 – Commission européenne - Fond fiduciaire d’urgence pour l’Afrique - Nouvelles actions pour renforcer la stabilité dans la corne de l’Afrique

      Le Comité opérationnel du Fond fiduciaire d’urgence pour l’Afrique a adopté une nouvelle série de 13 programmes d’un montant de 174,4 millions d’euros pour la région de la #Corne_de_l'Afrique

      http://www.europeanmigrationlaw.eu/fr/articles/actualites/commission-europeenne-fond-fiduciaire-d-urgence-pour-l-afrique-

    • Fondo Africa, quelle risorse destinate a progetti lontani dall’aiuto allo sviluppo

      Il dossier realizzato sugli atti di delibera e ottenuto grazie alla richiesta dell’Associazione per gli Studi giuridici sull’Immigrazione (ASGI) e sulla risposta del sottosegretario agli Esteri Della Vedova all’interrogazione del PD sull’utilizzo delle risorse stanziate. Risorse spese in Tunisia, Niger e Libia che pongono, secondo ActionAid, problemi di costituzionalità e trasparenza

      http://www.repubblica.it/solidarieta/cooperazione/2017/12/18/news/fondo_africa-184514509

    • A ‘blind spot’ in the migration debate? International responsibility of the EU and its Member States for cooperating with the Libyan coastguard and militias

      The discussion on the restrictive migration management policies of the European Union (EU) and its Member States (MS) has so far focused on the potential violation of the primary rules of international law that determine the conduct of subjects of international law. The question of applicability of the secondary rules of international responsibility that provide for the consequences of the commitment of a wrongful act has attracted less attention. The main question in the current context is whether the cooperation of the EU and its MS with the Libyan coastguard and militias with the view of stemming irregular migration flows to Europe generates international responsibility for the above actors. More specifically, it is asked whether there is an autonomous basis in the law of international responsibility for holding the EU and its the MS responsible for the violations of human rights occurring in Libya, even if they do not exercise directly jurisdiction over migrants. Three aspects of this theme will be developed here: first, the nature and scope of the cooperation of the EU and its MS, in particular Italy, with the Libyan authorities, coastguard and militias in view of restricting the access of migrants to the EU; second, the extent of human rights violations of migrants in Libya; and third, the alleged complicity and responsibility of the EU and MS for the violations of these rights.

      http://eumigrationlawblog.eu/a-blind-spot-in-the-migration-debate-international-responsibility

    • L’Europe affirme que la formation des gardes-côtes libyens avance

      La formation des gardes-côtes libyens, notamment pour le sauvetage de migrants, avance, a déclaré jeudi à Tunis le commandant de l’opération navale européenne Sophia, chargée de lutter contre les passeurs.

      « La formation se passe bien », a affirmé Enrico Credendino, commandant de la force navale européenne en Méditerranée (Sophia).

      « Les gardes-côtes libyens ont été très actifs, en particulier au cours du second semestre 2017. Ils ont secouru beaucoup de migrants, presque 18.000 alors qu’en 2015 par exemple, ils en avaient secouru seulement 800 », a-t-il précisé.

      Lancée en 2015 par l’UE, l’opération navale Sophia est chargée de lutter contre les passeurs et de former les gardes-côtes libyens.

      Sa mission a été reconduite en juillet par le Conseil européen jusqu’en décembre 2018.

      Déchirée par les rivalités entre groupes armés et les autorités qui se disputent le pouvoir, la Libye a sombré dans le chaos depuis la chute du régime de Mouammar Kadhafi en 2011.

      Des centaines de milliers de migrants, certains fuyant des conflits, d’autres la pauvreté tentent de traverser la Méditerranée depuis la Libye pour rejoindre l’Europe. Depuis le début de l’année, au moins 337 d’entre eux sont morts ou disparus au large de la Libye, selon l’Organisation internationale des migrations.

      https://www.voaafrique.com/a/migrations-formations-de-garde-cotes-libyens-avance/4300524.html
      #Opération_sophia

      A mettre en lien avec cet article :
      La guardia costiera libica minaccia l’ong Proactiva Open Arms
      https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/annalisa-camilli/2018/03/16/guardia-costiera-libica-open-arms

    • Un film de #Andrea_Segre, à voir absolument. Il montre les manoeuvres italiennes en Libye:
      L’ordine delle cose (L’ordre des choses):

      Rinaldi, policier italien de grande expérience, est envoyé par son gouvernement en Libye afin de négocier le maintien des migrants sur le sol africain. Sur place, il se heurte à la complexité des rapports tribaux libyens et à la puissance des trafiquants exploitant la détresse des réfugiés.
      Au cours de son enquête, il rencontre dans un centre de rétention, Swada, une jeune somalienne qui le supplie de l’aider. Habituellement froid et méthodique, Rinaldi va devoir faire un choix douloureux entre sa conscience et la raison d’Etat : est-il possible de renverser l’ordre des choses ?


      https://lordinedellecose.it

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b8mp4N4Blw

      Il est actuellement en salle à Grenoble...

      #film

    • Migranti, gli occhi della Libia sui radar europei nel Mediterraneo

      A dicembre 2016 un ufficiale di collegamento della guardia costiera libica è entrato nel cuore del #Sea_Horse_Mediterranean_Network, il sistema di monitoraggio dell’Unione per il controllo delle frontiere Sud del Mediterraneo e che vede in prima linea l’Italia. Ma il governo libico era ritenuto inaffidabile dalla Commissione Ue nel 2015 ed escluso dal progetto. Ora perché è coinvolto? E a quale titolo?

      Occhi elettronici. Radar potenti e sofisticati. Satelliti militari in grado di scansionare ogni centimetro quadrato del Mediterraneo centrale, quel pezzo di mare tra la Libia e l’Italia divenuto tomba per migliaia di migranti, morti mentre cercavano di fuggire alle guerre dei loro paesi e alle torture dei carcerieri libici. Mezzi straordinariamente potenti, soprattutto se messi in rete, formando un flusso di dati in grado di salvare vite – avvistando ogni piccolo gommone che tenta la traversata – e di bloccare i traffici. Non solo di esseri umani, ma anche di petrolio, droga, armi. Si chiama Sea Horse Mediterranean Network ed è l’asset più prezioso della rete di controllo della frontiera sud dell’Europa.

      Un progetto costato milioni di euro, promosso direttamente dall’Unione europea e che vede un ruolo da protagonista dell’Italia. Una rete che – stando a documenti consultati da Famiglia Cristiana – potrebbe però cadere in pessime mani. Quelle delle milizie libiche, ovvero le forze di Tripoli che compongono quella stessa Guardia costiera pronta ad usare le armi contro le Ong, accusata un anno fa dalle Nazioni Unite di essere stata complice in alcuni casi degli stessi trafficanti. Il progetto in origine riguardava l’area dell’Atlantico. La responsabilità, in quel caso, era stata affidata alla Guardia Civil spagnola e l’area interessata era sostanzialmente il tratto di mare a sud delle Canarie, una delle rotte delle migrazioni via mare attive fino a una decina di anni fa. Il sistema permette di «scambiare informazioni via satellite per combattere l’immigrazione irregolare via mare», si legge in un documento delle autorità spagnole che abbiamo consultato, creando dei punti di contatto in ogni paese coinvolto «per accedere a questa rete sicura».

      Le informazioni raccolte sono estremamente sensibili e costituiscono una base di conoscenza e di intelligence sicuramente strategica. Dopo l’avvio di una prima fase sulla zona atlantica, il progetto Sea Horse punta, dal 2015, al Mediterraneo. Tre i paesi del nord Africa coinvolti: l’Egitto, la Tunisia e la Libia. Nel novembre del 2015 il commissario europeo Dimitris Avramopoulos aveva risposto ad una interrogazione delle deputate europee Sabine Lösing e Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL), spiegando che il progetto era in una fase di stallo. Il problema principale riguardava proprio la Libia: «A causa della situazione d’insicurezza e alla mancanza di stabilità del governo nazionale libico – si legge nella risposta all’interrogazione pubblicata sul sito del Parlamento europeo – tutte le attività per installare il #National_Contact_Point in Libia sono sospese. Di conseguenza le autorità libiche interessate non sono collegate al #Mebocc, che sarà ospitato dal centro di coordinamento italiano per la sorveglianza delle frontiere».

      La sigla Mebocc sta per #Mediterranean_Border_Cooperation_Center, ed è il cuore della rete di controllo del mare tra Italia e Libia. La collocazione di questo centro, come ha spiegato il commissario europeo, è prevista nel nostro paese, con un backup a Malta. Tutto, però, sembrava fermo fino al novembre del 2015.

      Un ufficiale di collegamento libico era presente nel cuore della rete europea di sorveglianza delle frontiere marittime

      Alla fine del 2016, dopo il cambio ai vertici del ministero dell’Interno e l’arrivo di Marco Minniti, il progetto ha subito un’accelerazione. Nella “Relazione sulla performance per il 2016” del Viminale c’è un paragrafo dove si annuncia l’operatività del progetto: «L’infrastruttura satellitare», si legge nel documento, «è stata installata nel #Centro_Interforze_di_Gestione_e_Controllo (#CIGC) #SICRAL di Vigna di Valle, teleporto principale del Ministero della Difesa, mentre presso il Centro Nazionale di Coordinamento per l’immigrazione “Roberto Iavarone” – #EUROSUR, sede del MEBOCC, sono stati installati gli altri apparati funzionali alla rete di comunicazione. Al 31 dicembre 2016, quello dell’Italia risultava essere l’unico nodo realmente attivo e pronto per le comunicazioni».

      Tutto pronto, dunque, per operare. Pronto e operativo, a quanto sembra, era anche il governo libico, che solo un anno prima veniva definito instabile dalla Commissione europea. Si legge nel rapporto del Ministero dell’Interno, documento che Famiglia Cristiana ha consultato: «Si segnala inoltre che nel 2016, nell’ambito del progetto Sea Horse Mediterranean Network, quattro ufficiali della Guardia Costiera – Marina Militare Libica sono stati ospitati in Italia, in qualità di osservatori, uno presso l’#ICC - #International_Coordination_Center, altri due imbarcati sull’assetto spagnolo “#Rio_Segura” durante il mese di settembre e uno presso il Centro nazionale di coordinamento – EUROSUR della Direzione Centrale per l’Immigrazione dal 5 al 9 dicembre, con funzioni di collegamento con le autorità libiche e per migliorare/stimolare la cooperazione nella gestione degli eventi di immigrazione irregolare provenienti dalla Libia».

      Dunque un ufficiale di collegamento libico era presente nel cuore della rete europea di sorveglianza delle frontiere marittime del Mediterraneo poco più di un anno fa. Fatto che potrebbe avere come conseguenza la possibilità di accesso al sistema Sea Horse da parte del governo di Tripoli, impegnato, come abbiamo visto, nel respingimento in mare dei migranti che fuggono dal Nord Africa verso l’Europa. La sensibilità delle informazioni che il network raccoglie e gestisce è evidente. Un mese fa è stata presentata una seconda interrogazione al Parlamento europeo per capire se i libici già sono in grado di accedere ai dati dei satelliti che monitorano il Mediterraneo: «Dove, in Libia o in Italia, sono stati realizzati i Centri Operativi (ad esempio il Mebocc) e quali autorità o milizie sono coinvolte?», hanno chiesto i deputati Sabine Lösing e Cornelia Ernst. Al momento non hanno ottenuto nessuna risposta. La Libia è sempre più vicina.

      http://www.famigliacristiana.it/articolo/migranti-gli-occhi-della-libia-sui-radar-europei-nel-mediterraneo.
      #Egypte #Tunisie #Libye #images_satellitaires

    • Migranti, affidarne i soccorsi alla Libia significa respingerli

      Un verbale della riunione dell’ Organizzazione mondiale del mare del 30 ottobre scorso svela la contrarietà di creare un coordinamento libico dei salvataggi nel Mediterraneo. Ma giovedì scorso la nave della Ong spagnola Open Arms è stata affidata proprio alle motovedette di Tripoli come ha spiegato anche la Guardia Costiera italiana. Ora cominciano i respingimenti collettivi per conto terzi?

      http://m.famigliacristiana.it/articolo/migranti-affidarne-i-soccorsi-in-mare-alla-libia-significa-respi

    • EU Trust Fund for Africa: five new programmes adopted for the Sahel and Lake Chad region

      The European Commission has adopted five new programmes worth over €141 million under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

      Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: "Our new EU programmes, worth €141 million, are particularly focusing on important opportunities for young people. They will furthermore support our #G5-Sahel partners to strengthen development and stability in border areas, as well as help us to save more lives and fight human traffickers, who take advantage of vulnerable people’s despair. We also continue our actions to support partner countries to better manage migration and to develop civil registries. Those needs do not decrease, and the resources from the EU Trust Fund are quickly depleting”

      At the regional level, two programmes totalling €75 million will seek to shore up stability and youth participation in the G5 #Sahel countries (#Burkina_Faso, Chad, #Mali, Mauritania and #Niger). A new €70 million Emergency programme will increase people’s access to social services in border areas. The programme was designed under the Sahel Alliance and responds directly to the needs voiced by the G5 Sahel countries under the #Priority_Investment_Programme. Another €5 million will ensure the implementation of the second phase of “#The_Voices_of_young_people_in_the_Sahel” programme, which was launched in 2017 and contributes to integrating youth organisations into the processes of designing and implementing development and social policies.

      A new €7.6 million programme in Niger will further boost migrant protection on migratory routes and support host communities. Also in Niger, the ongoing AJUSEN budget support programme in the justice, security and border management sectors will receive an additional €10 million to continue this work.

      In Senegal, a €9 million initiative will help tackle criminal networks that are linked to irregular migration, migrant smuggling and human trafficking, and enhance regional cooperation in this area.

      In #Côte_d'Ivoire, a new programme worth €30 million will support the country’s ongoing efforts to create a coherent and robust civil registry system that will help improve the management of public policies, enable people to exercise their fundamental rights and improve their access to public services, including the facilitation of voluntary return and the sustainable reintegration of migrants.

      Last but not least, the #Technical_Cooperation_Facility covering all Trust Fund regions and the Research and Evidence Facility covering the Sahel and Lake Chad and the North of Africa regions have been reinforced with an additional amount of €12 million. In line with the evidence-based approach under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to ensure strategic and efficient interventions, this additional funding will facilitate more studies and research, as well as technical support when necessary.

      The five programmes adopted today bring the total number of programmes adopted since December 2015 for the Sahel and Lake Chad region to 91, with a total value of €1.7 billion.

      Background

      The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established in 2015 to address the root causes of instability, irregular migration and forced displacement. Resources currently allocated to this Trust Fund are €4.1 billion from EU institutions, European Member States and other donors.

      Today’s assistance adds to the 165 programmes already approved across the three regions (North of Africa, Sahel and Lake Chad region and Horn of Africa), worth a total of €3,157 million. These funds were divided up as follows: Sahel/Lake Chad €1,549 million (86 programmes); Horn of Africa €1,141.3 million (58 programmes); North of Africa €467.1 million (17 programmes). This amount includes 4 cross-region programmes (€145.1 million).

      http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6447_en.htm?locale=EN
      #Tchad #Mauritanie #jeunesse #Sénégal #réintégration #retours_volontaires #retour_volontaire


  • Tall Ship ’Oliver Hazard Perry’ Loses Power, Hits Boats Before Grounding – gCaptain
    http://gcaptain.com/rhode-islands-tall-ship-oliver-hazard-perry-runs-aground-newport

    The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, Rhode Island’s official sail training ship, lost power and hit multiple boats before grounding in Newport Harbor, R.I. on Sunday night.

    The Coast Guard said the tall ship was leaving Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival with 12 crewmembers aboard when it lost power and began to drift, eventually running aground near Perrotti Park. A 911 dispatcher alerted Coast Guard watchstanders to the incident at about 6:15 p.m.
    […]
    Built by Senesco Marine in Rhode Island in 2015, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is the first ocean-going full-rigged tall ship built in the United States in over 100 years. The tall ship is a certified Sailing School Vessel and received its USCG Certificate of Inspection in June 2016. It is privately owned by Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides at-sea education programs.

    Ben si même les navires-écoles s’y mettent…
    (bon, cette fois-ci c’est un navire privé)