• These Urban Highways in North America Need to Die - CityLab
    https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/04/urban-worst-freeway-without-future-teardown-demolition-list/584707

    Claire Tran

    April 3, 2019
    The Congress for New Urbanism once again ranks the most-loathed urban freeways in North America—and makes the case for tearing them down.

    On one side of Interstate 980 in Oakland rise the new glass skyscrapers of the city’s Uptown neighborhood, home to a bustling entertainment district and Silicon Valley’s spillover tech startups. On the other lies West Oakland, a “food desert” where two-thirds of residents live below the poverty line.

    West Oakland residents should be able to benefit from the growing number of amenities available in Uptown, since they technically live in walking distance. But crossing the 560-foot-wide interstate and two frontage roads is a daunting task. It’s a prime example of one of America’s most divisive freeways—literally.

    The 2019 edition of the latest Freeways Without Futures report, assembled semiannually by the Congress for New Urbanism, calls out North America’s 10 most ill-advised urban highways. These are the roadways urbanists love to hate: They isolate neighborhoods, subject residents to increased air and noise pollution, pummel property values, and sponge up resources that could be better used elsewhere. In an effort to speed their demise, every few years CNU gathers transportation and design experts to single out the worst offenders, ranking the freeways most ripe for removal based on alternative designs, traffic conditions, community and political support, and other factors.

    Highway teardowns are a focus of growing attention, especially since many aging 1950s-era infrastructure projects have reached the end of their design lives and are due for refurbishment. Some cities are electing to remove rather than repair: So far, 16 North American cities have either demolished and replaced their freeways, and another nine have plans in the works.

    San Francisco’s 1991 Embarcadero demolition is the poster child for this movement: Previously home to an elevated freeway, the site now features a walkable boulevard with shops and waterfront access. More recently, Seattle is currently aiming to pull off a similar transformation by removing its elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct for a street-level boulevard and waterfront space.

    Foes of Oakland’s I-980 hope that this Bay Area interstate will soon meet the same fate. A short spur completed in 1985, I-980 is a repeat offender, having made CNU’s 2017 list, too. Its 18 lanes are excessive for current traffic loads (it’s at 53 percent of capacity), and plans to replace it with a surface boulevard have been around for years. But there’s fresh energy behind the idea these days, thanks to support from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. A reworked design promoted by the nonprofit ConnectOAKLAND would shrink the road by 75 percent, gaining as many as 15 cross streets and reclaiming land that could be put toward affordable housing.

    As the CNU list shows, communities of color are often targeted by freeway projects. In Dallas, I-345 tore a hole in the heart of the mostly African-American Deep Ellum neighborhood, leading many original businesses to close their doors. Tampa’s I-275 cuts off Ybor City, a National Historic Landmark District that’s home to a Cuban-American community. And the construction of Syracuse’s I-81 paved over homes in the city’s historic African-American 15th Ward; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called that freeway “a classic planning blunder.”
    Once built, urban highways can be hard to kill. Indeed, they often just get bigger.

    New Orleans’ elevated Claiborne Expressway is a particularly stark case study in how highway construction can transform a neighborhood. Its arrival in the 1960s destroyed the grassy 100-foot median of Claiborne Boulevard, the oak-lined main artery of the largely African-American Tremé neighborhood. That green space once hosted everything from neighborhood games to Mardi Gras parades. When the expressway was planned in the 1960s, the community didn’t have enough political power to resist the project. Demolishing the freeway and restoring the wide boulevard would hand that space back to the community. Vacant lots currently adjacent to the highway could also be redeveloped, opening nearly 50 acres of land for new commercial development or affordable housing.

    The dream of liberating prime real estate is also at play in Portland and Louisville, both of which have highways (I-5 and I-64, respectively) running along their waterfronts. Serial bad-highway offender Buffalo claims two more much-hated 1960s thoroughfares on the list: The Kensington Expressway replaced the wide elm-lined Olmsted-designed Humboldt Parkway with an asphalt trench; the Scajaquada Expressway routes traffic right through the city’s Delaware Park, forcing picnickers and joggers to run alongside traffic. A scheme to convert that highway into a lower-speed boulevard ran into fierce opposition and was scrapped last year.

    That’s a familiar narrative, as political and practical considerations often trump demolition dreams. Once built, urban highways can be hard to kill. Indeed, they often just get bigger: Last August, Denver spent $1.2 billion to expand I-70, demolishing 56 private residences* and 17 businesses in the process, including one of the few neighborhood grocery stores and part of a nearby elementary school. But last December, Colorado’s Department of Transportation settled a lawsuit and agreed to sponsor an independent study on the health impacts of the expansion. That’s in line with recent political developments in the state. Newly elected Governor Jared Polis campaigned on cutting vehicle emissions and promoting public transit, and last November, voters rejected two propositions to spend billions on highway widening and expansion.

    The massive interregional traffic on Austin’s I-35 makes complete removal impossible without serious delays, but there are other options, the CNU report says. Some community activists suggest putting the freeway below ground as a tunnel, and covering it with a narrower, pedestrian- and bike-friendly boulevard with walkable shops and dedicated transit lanes. Booming Austin is already dealing with increased gentrification, but burying the highway could open up about 30 acres of land which could help meet the demand for affordable housing.

    Cities that do undertake freeway removal projects should develop strategies to combat displacement, or “the removal of the highway could simply exert a new generation of inequity for communities that have seen enough,” the report says. One example of how to do it right: Rochester’s Inner Loop East project. With the extra land gained by filling in the sunken expressway, the city created three mixed-use developments that include below-market-rate apartments. Another partnership is currently in the works to dedicate 20 units to a supportive housing program for formerly homeless residents.

    Many residents, or their descendants, who were impacted by initial freeway construction will also be able to see it torn down within their lifetime. For them, demolition could represent an opportunity to right a historic wrong—“provided they will take part in the renaissance that results,” as the report says.

    #USA #transport #routes #urbanisme

  • Mort de neuf migrants après un #naufrage au large de l’île espagnole de #Lanzarote

    Neuf migrants ont été retrouvés morts au large de Lanzarote après le naufrage de leur embarcation prise dans une forte houle alors qu’ils tentaient de rejoindre cette île des Canaries. Deux autres personnes sont toujours portées disparues.

    Neuf migrants sont morts après le naufrage au large de l’île espagnole de Lanzarote, aux Canaries, de leur embarcation renversée par de fortes vagues, ont indiqué jeudi 7 novembre les autorités de l’archipel. Deux autres migrants sont toujours portés disparus.

    Ce bilan s’est alourdi jeudi après la découverte de quatre nouveaux corps, ont indiqué les autorités locales. Mercredi, cinq corps avaient été retrouvés « en dépit des difficultés dues à la forte houle, responsable du renversement de l’embarcation", avait expliqué l’administration locale de Lanzarote, dans un communiqué.

    "Il y a neuf personnes décédées, en plus des quatre secourues en vie", a indiqué à l’AFP un porte-parole du gouvernement local de Lanzarote, île située au large des côtes marocaines, dans l’océan Atlantique. "Selon certains survivants, quinze personnes étaient à bord de l’embarcation et les services d’urgence continuent de fouiller la zone", a ajouté le porte-parole.

    Les recherches se poursuivaient jeudi avec deux hélicoptères et plusieurs bateaux, en dépit des conditions météorologiques très difficiles "avec des vagues de quatre ou cinq mètres", avait plutôt affirmé Isidoro Blanco, porte-parole des services d’urgence de Lanzarote.

    Selon le récit des rescapés, la quinzaine de personnes aurait pris la mer vendredi. Aucune information n’a été donnée sur leur pays d’origine ni leur identité.

    Selon les chiffres publiés par l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) de l’ONU, au moins 80 personnes sont mortes ou portées disparues, après avoir tenté de parvenir aux Canaries depuis le nord-ouest de l’Afrique en 2019.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20690/mort-de-neuf-migrants-apres-un-naufrage-au-large-de-l-ile-espagnole-de
    #décès #migrations #réfugiés #Lanzarote #Atlantique #océan_atlantique #mourir_en_mer #Canaries #routes_migratoires #itinéraires_migratoires #route_atlantique

    • La côte atlantique, nouveau point de départ de jeunes marocains

      Ces dernières semaines, plusieurs embarcations transportant des jeunes marocains sont parties des villes de Salé, Casablanca, ou encore Safi, pour rejoindre le sud de l’Espagne ou les Canaries. Pour Ali Zoubeidi, docteur en droit public, spécialiste dans le trafic illicite de migrants au Maroc, les départs depuis ces villes situées sur la côte atlantique du pays sont nouveaux, et révèlent le désarroi d’une jeunesse qui, faute de perspectives, se tourne vers un « eldorado » européen.
      Entre fin septembre et début octobre, les corps de 16 personnes ont été repêchés au large de Casablanca, au nord-ouest du Maroc. Les victimes, tous de jeunes marocains, étaient montées à bord d’une embarcation pneumatique, espérant rejoindre le sud de l’Espagne par l’océan Atlantique. Sur la soixantaine de personnes qui se trouvaient à bord, seules trois ont survécu.

      Quelques semaines plus tard, une vidéo publiée sur les réseaux sociaux fait le tour de la presse marocaine. Elle montre Anouar Boukharsa, un sportif marocain détenteur de plusieurs prix de taekwondo régionaux et nationaux, lancer sa médaille à la mer depuis un bateau de fortune en direction des Canaries. Parti de la plage de Souira, au sud de la ville de Safi, avec une dizaine de jeunes marocains comme lui originaires de la région, il est arrivé le 23 octobre à Lanzarote, une île de l’archipel espagnol, après quatre jours de voyage.

      Si le Maroc est devenu ces dernières années une route migratoire majeure, avec des départs s’organisant le plus souvent depuis la côte méditerranéenne, ces deux événements illustrent la présence d’autres points de départ se situant du côté Atlantique. Ali Zoubeidi, docteur en droit public spécialiste dans le trafic illicite de migrants au Maroc, travaille sur l’émergence de ces nouvelles traversées. Il répond aux questions de la rédaction d’InfoMigrants.

      Les départs depuis la côte atlantique du Maroc sont-ils nouveaux ?

      La route atlantique depuis le sud du pays en direction des Canaries avait déjà été réactivée, avec des points de départ dans la région de Tiznit, ou près de Dakhla. On connaissait déjà aussi la route du nord, avec des embarcations qui partent des villes d’Asilah ou de Larache, sur la côte atlantique, pour rejoindre la mer Méditerranée puis le sud de l’Espagne.

      Mais ce que l’on voit émerger maintenant, et c’est très récent, ce sont des points de départ dans le centre, à partir de villes comme Safi - d’où est parti le champion de taekwondo - pour aller aux Canaries, ou de Salé et de Casablanca pour rejoindre la Méditerranée et ensuite le sud de l’Espagne. Ce sont des trajets de plusieurs jours, très dangereux, à bord d’embarcations de pêche traditionnelles ou de bateaux pneumatiques qui sont mis à l’eau sur des plages sauvages, par exemple à Souira, au sud de Safi.

      Les points de départ au sud concernent à la fois des Marocains et des migrants originaires d’Afrique subsaharienne. Ces derniers se retrouvent pour certains au sud du pays après avoir été refoulés du nord par les autorités. [Les autorités marocaines avaient commencé en août 2018 à refouler de force des migrants vers le sud du pays afin de les « soustraire aux réseaux mafieux » du nord, NDLR.]

      Au centre, depuis Safi, Salé, ce sont surtout de jeunes marocains qui partent vers l’Europe.

      Comment expliquer ces départs de jeunes marocains ?

      Même s’il n’y a pas encore de chiffres et données précises sur les départs depuis ces nouvelles zones, ce que l’on observe, c’est vraiment le désespoir de la jeunesse marocaine. Ce sont souvent des jeunes qui décident de quitter le pays en trouvant l’issue la plus proche pour atteindre l’Europe, « l’eldorado ». Dans les vidéos qui sont apparues ces dernières semaines, on a vu plusieurs personnes originaires de Safi partir du sud de leur ville, dont des sportifs. Certains jettent à l’eau leurs médailles, d’autres leurs diplômes. C’est révélateur d’une absence de perspectives pour la jeunesse marocaine, tant au niveau économique, de la santé, qu’au niveau sportif et culturel. Ils savent qu’ils peuvent mourir pendant le trajet, mais ils ne se posent pas la question de ce qu’il pourra ensuite se passer une fois en Espagne.

      C’est vraiment présenté comme une aventure, un challenge entre jeunes. Ce sont aussi des jeunes qui souffrent de l’absence de voie légale d’immigration. Ils se voient refuser des visas pour des raisons économiques, même quand il s’agit pour eux simplement de faire du tourisme ou d’effectuer un déplacement temporaire. Et puis, il y a la mise en scène. On fait des vidéos pendant le passage irrégulier, on se vante pour montrer qu’on y arrive, on fait des dédicaces à sa famille, ses amis : c’est le moment où l’on peut dire « j’ai réussi quelque chose ». Et cela devient un facteur d’attraction pour d’autres. C’est aussi de la publicité dont se servent ensuite les réseaux mafieux.

      Comment s’organisent ces départs ? Quels sont les dangers ?

      Je dirais qu’il y a vraiment des réseaux criminels impliqués dans environ 85% des cas. Le reste étant des amateurs qui s’auto-organisent. Je soulignerais aussi l’importance de la communauté locale, des gens qui habitent sur la côte : dans les quartiers populaires, des pêcheurs sont impliqués. Il y a également des opportunistes, qui n’y connaissent rien, qui prennent contact avec des jeunes via les réseaux sociaux et les arnaquent. Début septembre, pour le cas du naufrage au large de Casablanca d’une embarcation qui se dirigeait vers le sud de l’Espagne, il s’agissait clairement d’une arnaque. Il est extrêmement compliqué de rejoindre les côtes espagnoles depuis Casablanca.

      Il y a également eu le cas de migrants qui avaient été mis dans une embarcation et emmenés d’une côte marocaine à une autre. On leur avait dit de rester cachés pour ne pas être repérés. Au-delà des arnaques, ce sont des routes très dangereuses, autant lorsqu’on part du centre vers les Canaries que du centre vers le sud de l’Espagne. Et, souvent, les jeunes qui partent n’ont pas le réflexe de penser à des numéros de secours qu’ils pourraient appeler en cas de détresse.

      La vidéo du champion de taekwondo, et deux jours avant la photo d’un ancien footballeur lors de sa traversée, sont des signaux d’alarme pour le pays. Le Maroc renforce ses capacités et forme des acteurs à lutter contre ces départs et ces réseaux. Mais il faudra aussi des programmes pour travailler sur les causes profondes qui poussent ces jeunes à partir.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20425/la-cote-atlantique-nouveau-point-de-depart-de-jeunes-marocains

      #migrants_marocains #jeunes #jeunesse #Asilah #Larache #Salé #Casablanca #Safi

    • Casi 60 muertos en el naufragio de una patera que venía a Canarias

      Al menos 57 inmigrantes de varias nacionalidades han muerto tras naufragar este miércoles su embarcación en aguas del Atlántico a la altura de #Nuadibú (470 kilómetros al norte de Nuakchot), en Mauritania.

      Al menos 57 inmigrantes de varias nacionalidades han muerto tras naufragar este miércoles su embarcación en aguas del Atlántico a la altura de Nuadibú (470 kilómetros al norte de Nuakchot), en Mauritania, según fuentes policiales en esta ciudad.

      Otros 74 ocupantes de esa misma patera lograron salir con vida tras nadar hasta llegar a la costa de Mauritania, y fueron ellos los que dieron detalles del naufragio.

      La embarcación había partido el pasado jueves desde las costas de Gambia con destino a las Islas Canarias, llevando a bordo un total de 150 ocupantes de distintas nacionalidades.

      La embarcación, que al parecer viajaba siempre cerca de las costas, golpeó un arrecife y volcó; una vez en el agua, solo los que sabían nadar pudieron llegar hasta la costa y salvar la vida.

      Tras encontrar a los supervivientes, las autoridades mauritanas les llevaron hasta un lugar seguro de Nuadibú, donde les proporcionaron cuidados, víveres, ropa y mantas.

      No hay esperanza de encontrar a nuevos supervivientes, según las fuentes, pero continúa el rastreo para tratar de encontrar los cadáveres, que en algunos casos han sido arrojados a tierra por el oleaje.

      Estos últimos serán enterrados esta misma noche en un lugar al exterior de la ciudad.

      https://www.laprovincia.es/sucesos/2019/12/04/60-muertos-naufragio-patera-iba/1233464.html
      #Mauritanie

    • Il naufragio di ieri al largo delle coste mauritane in cui 60 migranti hanno perso la vita mi ha riportato indietro al 2006, quando più di 50.000 migranti avevano intrapreso la rotta delle Canarie con un tragico bilancio di più di 5000 morti nell’Oceano Atlantico.
      In quegli anni andavo spesso alle Canarie per capire quello che succedeva. Su quelle isole e a Melilla, ho cominciato a lavorare sulle politiche di esternalizzazione.
      Che i migranti partano sempre più a sud, dal Gambia questa volta, sapendo che il viaggio é lunghissimo (più di 10 giorni di traversata) e pericolosissimo, si spiega anche con il tentativo di chiusura totale delle altre rotte, quella libica e marocchina, da parte della UE e per la presenza delle navi di Frontex al largo delle coste senegalesi e mauritane.

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10220667545986599&set=a.1478670974789&type=3&theater

      #Sara_Prestianni #Gambie

    • Mauritanian coast guard intercepts boat carrying around 190 migrants, IOM says

      A boat carrying around 190 migrants was intercepted by the Mauritanian coast guard on Friday, the UN migration agency said. This comes less than two days after 63 migrants drowned when their vessel sank in the same waters en route from The Gambia. The country’s president has vowed to crack down on people traffickers.

      After the recovery of five additional bodies, the death toll from last Wednesday’s sinking of a fishing boat rose to 63 over the weekend, according to news agencies AP and dpa. The boat was headed northward toward Spain’s Canary Islands from the small coastal town of Barra in the Gambia.

      The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said at least 150 people were traveling on the boat. According to one of the survivors, the boat may have been carrying up to 200 people, as rfi reported. Around 80 survived by swimming ashore.

      Separately, the Mauritanian coast guard on Friday intercepted a vessel carrying around 190 Gambian migrants headed for Spain’s Canary Islands, a Mauritanian security source told news agency AFP.

      Initial estimates said the boat was carrying between 150 and 180 migrants. They are in the process of being identified by the local authorities, said Laura Lungarotti, chief of the IOM in Mauritania.

      Uptick in attempted crossings

      The incidents are indicative of a resurgence in the number of people willing to risk the perilous and poorly monitored sea passage along West Africa’s coast to Spain’s Canary Islands, which was a major route for those seeking jobs and a better life in Europe until Spain stepped up patrols in the mid-2000s, Reuters writes.

      “It is part of this trend of an increasing number of people passing through this route because the central Mediterranean route has been stopped due to the Libya situation,” Lungarotti told Reuters.

      In Italy, the number of migrant arrivals dropped significantly after the Italian government focused its policies on stopping migration to its shores from Libya in 2016.

      From January to December this year, some 14,000 people arrived irregularly in Europe via the central Mediterranean route, down from nearly 25,000 in 2018.

      Recently, however, there has been a rise in migrant boats departing from Libya: In late November, at least 9 boats with more than 600 migrants on board were discovered on the central Mediterranean route in only 48 hours, according to IOM.

      The Canary Islands are located roughly 1,000 kilometers north of Mauritania’s capital on the Atlantic coast, Nouakchott, and some 1,600 kilometers north of the capital of The Gambia, Banjul.

      According to IOM, some 158 people are known to have died trying to reach the Canary Islands so far this year. That’s almost four times as many as last year, when 43 people died.

      ’National tragedy’

      “To lose 60 young lives at sea is a national tragedy and a matter of grave concern to my government,” Gambian President Adama Barrow said on national television. “A full police investigation has been launched to get to the bottom of this serious national disaster. The culprits will be prosecuted according to law,” AFP cited Barrow as saying.

      Last Wednesday’s sinking off Mauritania with at least 63 deaths was one of the deadliest incidents along this route in recent years. According to IOM, it is the largest known loss of life along the so-called western migration route this year, and this year’s sixth deadliest migrant capsizings globally.

      The boat was attempting to reach the Canary Islands when their boat hit a rock. 87 people survived the disaster by swimming ashore, IOM said.

      President Barrow further said funds had been sent to Mauritania to cater to the immediate needs of the survivors admitted to hospital and to finance their repatriation. According to IOM, more than 35,000 Gambian migrants left the small country of just over 2 million and arrived in Europe between 2014 and 2018.

      The Gambia to crack down on traffickers

      On Saturday, Barrow vowed to punish people traffickers as the country mourned the deaths of the Europe-bound migrants. Barrow pledged to “fast track prosecution of cases involving human trafficking.” Law enforcement officials were “instructed to increase surveillance and arrest... criminals involved in human trafficking,” he said.

      A 22-year oppressive rule of former President Yahya Jammeh, Barrow’s predecessor, adversely affected the country’s economy. This contributed to the high number of people trying to migrate to Europe, many of whom ended up stranded in Libya and Niger. Since Jammeh was forced to cede power in 2017, however, some Gambians have started to return.

      In regards to the boat intercepted by the Mauritanian coast guard on Friday, Barrow said “Arrangements have been made to transport them” back to Banjul.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/21407/mauritanian-coast-guard-intercepts-boat-carrying-around-190-migrants-i

    • Una patera con 26 personas llega a #Tenerife y otras 152 son rescatadas en Alborán y cerca de Gran Canaria

      Salvamento Marítimo traslada este sábado al puerto de Almería a 49 varones que habían quedado aislados dos días por el mal tiempo.

      Una embarcación de Salvamento Marítimo ha rescatado esta noche a una patera con al menos 26 inmigrantes a 50 millas (92 kilómetros) de la isla de Gran Canaria. El equipo de emergencias ha trasladado a los ocupantes de la embarcación precaria al puerto de Arguineguín, una localidad del municipio de Mogán (Gran Canaria) de unos 2.500 habitantes. En otra operación en el mar de Alborán han sido rescatadas 126 personas, de las que 49, todos varones, estaban aislados desde la tarde del pasado jueves en la isla de Alborán por el mal tiempo.

      Según la agencia Efe, que cita fuentes del servicio 112 de Canarias, los rescatados cerca de Gran Canaria son 22 hombres y cuatro mujeres. Según Europa Press, que atribuye la información a fuentes de Cruz Roja, son 24 varones, uno de ellos menor de edad, y cuatro mujeres, entre las que hay una embarazada. Además, otra patera con 26 migrantes de origen subsahariano ha llegado esta madrugada al muelle de Los Abrigos de Granadilla de Abona, un municipio de Tenerife de unos 48.400 habitantes. De estos, nueve son hombres —hay un menor de 16 años— y 17 mujeres, entre las que hay una embarazada y una niña de cinco años.

      Una vez en tierra, el Servicio de Urgencias Canario (SUC) y Cruz Roja asistieron a los ocupantes de las dos pateras, todos en aparente buen estado de salud. Sin embargo, al menos cuatro personas de la patera rescatada a 50 millas de Gran Canaria han tenido que ser derivados a centros sanitarios por patologías leves. De la otra infraembarcación, tres inmigrantes han sido trasladados a ambulatorios por el mismo motivo.

      La operación en aguas de Alborán comenzó en la mañana de este sábado cuando la embarcación Salvamar Spica ha emprendido rumbo a la isla de Alborán para recoger a 49 varones, según ha informado un portavoz de Salvamento Marítimo a Efe . Estos hombres llegaron a la isla de Alborán en patera el pasado jueves sobre las 18.30 horas pero su traslado había sido imposible por el mal tiempo.

      Cuando la Salvamar Spica se dirigía en su búsqueda, el destacamento naval de la Armada en Alborán ha alertado al centro coordinador de Salvamento Marítimo del avistamiento de otra patera a media milla náutica (unos 900 metros) de la isla de Alborán.

      La Salvamar Spica ha recogido a 77 personas, entre ellas 21 mujeres y cuatro menores, de esta patera y posteriormente ha transbordado a los 49 varones llegados a la isla de Alborán y que fueron atendidos desde el jueves por el destacamento naval de la Armada.

      La embarcación de rescate se dirige hacia el puerto de Almería, al que está prevista su llegada sobre las 19.10 horas.

      El aumento de las llegadas de inmigrantes a Canarias ha llevado al colapso a los centros de acogida en esta comunidad. La falta de plazas en los albergues, dependientes de la Secretaría de Estado de Migraciones, ha llegado a tal punto que se han tenido que habilitar habitaciones en un hotel en Las Palmas para mujeres embarazadas y con niños pequeños. Solo hay 200 plazas de acogida en albergues temporales de Tenerife y Gran Canaria, pero en 2019, 1.470 inmigrantes han llegado a las islas.

      La media en los últimas cuatro meses se sitúa en 400 llegadas cada mes, muchas de ellas en pateras en condiciones pésimas. La cifra está muy lejos de los casi 40.000 que arribaron en esta comunidad entre 2005 y 2006 en la llamada crisis de los cayucos, pero existe un aumento con respecto al año pasado —de un 12%— que se debe al reforzamiento de la seguridad en el norte de Marruecos. La dificultad de realizar esa ruta ha aumentado el número de embarcaciones precarias que se dirigen a Canarias para tratar de llegar a territorio español o europeo.

      Este pasado miércoles, al menos 63 inmigrantes de varias nacionalidades murieron tras naufragar su patera en aguas del Atlántico a la altura de Nuadibú (470 kilómetros al norte de Nuakchot), en Mauritania, según confirmó la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM) en un comunicado. Entre los fallecidos había un niño y siete mujeres. Otros 83 ocupantes de esa misma patera lograron salir con vida tras nadar hasta llegar a la costa de Mauritania, y fueron ellos los que dieron detalles del naufragio. La embarcación precaria había partido el pasado jueves desde las costas de Gambia con destino a las islas Canarias, llevando a bordo entre 150 y 180 ocupantes.

      https://elpais.com/politica/2019/12/07/actualidad/1575708520_470358.html

  • Sri Lanka’s new asylum route: A 4,000-km journey across the Indian Ocean

    Faced with tightening borders in Australia and elsewhere, hundreds of Sri Lankan asylum seekers are instead turning to a new migration route stretching 4,000 kilometres across the Indian Ocean.

    Since January 2018, at least 291 Sri Lankans have boarded fishing boats or makeshift rafts to reach the tiny French territories of La Réunion and Mayotte off the coast of Madagascar, the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, reported this month.

    The majority of recent arrivals have been turned away and deported before applying for asylum, their claims declared “manifestly unfounded”, according to reports from French authorities. Of 70 Sri Lankans who arrived in February, for example, only six were allowed in, though all asked for asylum, the government on La Réunion said. The remainder were deported to Sri Lanka within days.

    La Cimade, a French NGO that advocates for refugees and migrants, calls these swift rejections “unprecedented rights violations”.

    “Some people were illegally sent back without being able to appeal, without having their asylum application examined, without having been able to consult a lawyer, or without being informed of their rights,” the group said in a statement.

    “New roads are gradually being set up towards the south of the Indian Ocean.”

    The emergence of the route southwest to La Réunion and Mayotte is driven in part by crackdowns on Sri Lankan boat journeys to more common destinations including Southeast Asian nations and Australia, according to Delon Madavan, a researcher who studies South Asian diaspora communities at the Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud in Paris.

    Australia bars asylum seekers who arrive by boat from resettling in the country even if their refugee claims are eventually approved. Controversial offshore detention policies saw thousands of asylum seekers sent to Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, where the UN, Médecins Sans Frontières, and others have documented a mental health crisis among people detained for years. Since May, Australian authorities have reportedly turned away six boats carrying asylum seekers from Sri Lanka.

    “New roads are gradually being set up towards the south of the Indian Ocean” because of hardening immigration laws and “severe conditions of detention”, Madavan told The New Humanitarian.

    Sri Lankans are also drawn to La Réunion in particular because of a large population of South Indian Tamils: “There is a potential network in these receiving islands, which may give support to asylum seekers from Sri Lanka,” Madavan said.
    Minority Muslims and Christians join Tamil asylum seekers

    More than 4,000 Sri Lankans, mostly Tamil minorities, applied for asylum in European countries last year – about 2,000 in France, which has a large Tamil diaspora. The number of yearly applicants has fallen by about half in the last decade.

    Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war – between insurgents drawn from the mostly Hindu Tamil minority and the army and government, which are dominated by the Sinhalese Buddhist majority – ended in 2009. But rights groups say violations, including arbitrary detention, torture, and rape, have continued. Recent political upheaval in Sri Lanka may also be driving asylum claims in France: a growing number are minority Muslims and Christians fleeing violence blamed on Buddhist extremists, according to a May report from OFPRA, the French government department that oversees refugee claims.

    Rights groups have criticised asylum policies in France’s overseas territories – particularly in Mayotte, where people from nearby Comoros, as well as people from Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda made up the majority of asylum applicants last year.

    In a 2017 report, France’s human rights commission said seeking asylum in Mayotte was “mission impossible” for Comorians in particular, with new arrivals often detained and deported before asylum requests are recorded.

    Anafé, an association of French organisations that work with refugees and migrants, says maritime border patrols around Mayotte have become a “quasi-military arsenal, rendering access more and more difficult”.

    Asylum claims to La Réunion have been comparatively few: only 18 claims were lodged last year, according to OFPRA statistics.

    But under French law, asylum seekers can be refused entry before applying if their claims are determined to be “manifestly unfounded”.

    In one recent case reported by French authorities, 34 of 120 Sri Lankans who arrived on board a rickety ship in mid-April were allowed to apply for asylum. The rest, including three children, were barred from lodging their claims, and 60 of them were deported by the end of the month – accompanied by dozens of police and gendarmes.

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news/Sri-Lanka-migration-route-Mayotte-Reunion-Australia-asylum
    #Sri_Lanka #réfugiés_sri-lankais #asile #migrations #réfugiés #routes_migratoires #parcours_migratoire #La_Réunion #Mayotte #France #DOM-TOM #Océane_indien

    • Demande d’asile à la frontière : l’État hors la loi à la Réunion

      Depuis mars 2018, près de 150 demandeurs d’asile en provenance du Sri Lanka sont arrivés à la Réunion par la mer. La préfecture a fait le choix de l’expulsion, de l’enfermement et de l’opacité plutôt que de permettre à ces personnes en quête de protection d’exercer leurs droits. Alors que d’autres embarcations seraient à l’approche, La Cimade alerte des violations des droits répétées et sans précédent sur l’île de la Réunion.
      Les agissements de la préfecture de la Réunion concernant les arrivées sur le sol français de femmes, d’hommes et d’enfants, demandeurs d’asile en provenance du Sri Lanka, inquiètent fortement La Cimade.

      En effet, à chacun des cinq débarquements des bateaux arrivés à La Réunion au depuis mars dernier, l’État est hors la loi. Certaines personnes ont été refoulées illégalement sans avoir pu exercer un recours, sans que leur demande d’asile n’ait été examinée, sans avoir pu consulter un·e· avocat·e· ou sans avoir été informées de leurs droits. D’autres sont privées de libertés dans des conditions opaques, à l’abri du regard des avocat·e·s et des associations pourtant habilitées à intervenir dans la zone d’attente (La Cimade en fait partie). Et pour celles et ceux qui ont été libéré·e·s, l’accès à un hébergement, dans l’attente de l’enregistrement de leur demande d’asile par la préfecture, n’a été possible que grâce à la solidarité citoyenne. En décembre, pendant huit jours, dans l’attente des attestations de demandeur d’asile, un collectif citoyen a pris en charge les frais de mise à l’abri, obligation incombant pourtant à l’État, responsable de les loger et de les nourrir.

      La Cimade a déjà, en octobre dernier, dénoncé l’enferment illégal en zone d’attente. Les violations des droits perdurent pour les 72 personnes arrivées le 5 février 2019. La Cimade a demandé à intervenir dans la zone d’attente créée dans l’hôtel à proximité de l’aéroport. Le ministère de l’intérieur a refusé, malgré la nécessité d’aide juridique exprimée par les personnes au cours des audiences devant le juge des libertés et de la détention. Les avocat·e·s du barreau de Saint-Denis de la Réunion ont dénoncé des atteintes aux droits de la défense et les conditions d’accueil indignes des demandeurs d’asile.

      Lors de l’audience du 9 février, La défense a dû rappeler au juge des libertés sa compétence sur l’enfermement en zone d’attente et son rôle de garant des libertés individuelles en application de l’article 66 de la Constitution. En effet, les échanges entre magistrat·e·s et représentant·e·s de la préfecture ont porté tour à tour, et sans lien avec la compétence du tribunal, sur la situation géopolitique au Sri Lanka, le coût du trajet, ou encore le choix de la France. Alors qu’idées reçues et messages de haines circulent sur les réseaux sociaux et appellent des actes d’apaisement, la tenue de tels propos par des représentant·e·s de l’État et de la justice interroge.

      Si cette situation nouvelle a pu prendre de cours les autorités en mars, La Cimade rappelle que le droit d’asile à la frontière doit être respecté à la Réunion et l’État doit y veiller. L’accueil des personnes qui arrivent par bateaux en provenance du Sri Lanka ou de tout autre pays doit être organisé dans le respect de leur dignité ainsi quand dans celui leurs droits.

      https://www.lacimade.org/demande-dasile-a-la-frontiere-letat-hors-la-loi-a-la-reunion

  • Dozens of migrants in a wooden canoe rescued off Canary Islands

    Dozens of African migrants attempting to reach the Canary Islands in a battered wooden canoe were rescued in waters off the Spanish archipelago on Thursday, emergency services said.

    The 37 migrants, including a child, were rescued by the Spanish coastguard six miles off the island of Gran Canaria after attempting to make the dangerous crossing from North Africa, the Canary Islands emergency services said on Twitter.

    The sub-Saharan migrants were all male, they added.

    While migrant arrivals in Spain as a whole, as of mid-September are down 46% compared to the same period last year, the Canary Islands have seen a 37% rise, according to data from Spain’s Interior Ministry.

    Crossing to the islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the Moroccan coast, has become a dangerous route for migrants. Dozens died last year attempting to make the crossing, according to the U.N. International Organization for Migration.


    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-spain/dozens-of-migrants-in-a-wooden-canoe-rescued-off-canary-islands-idUSKBN1WB1

    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #routes_migratoires #parcours_migratoires #îles_Canaries #Canaries

  • Mapping All of Earth’s Roads and Buildings from Space
    https://www.planet.com/pulse/mapping-all-of-earths-roads-and-buildings-from-space

    Above is a map of all the roads and buildings on Earth. To our knowledge, it is the most complete and up to date map of these features ever created. It reveals details not available in popular mapping tools, in both industrialized cities and rural settlements. Built from a diversely sampled training set, the model produces quality results across a wide variety of terrains, densities, and land cover types. // Credit: Leanne Abraham, Planet

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Marco Prencipe, ambassadeur d’Italie à Niamey

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Florence Boyer, géographe et anthropologue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Pascaline Chappart, socio-anthropologue

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

    La position de la France

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

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

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

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

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

    co-écrit par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

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

  • Channel migrants: Two boats found after 86 attempted crossing

    Two boats carrying 21 migrants have been intercepted off the Kent coast after a record 86 made the crossing in one day.

    One man was airlifted to hospital from a dinghy which was carrying 13 people, including three children.

    A second vessel carrying eight men was intercepted and taken to Dover.

    Eighty-six people were detained by Border Force on Tuesday. It is thought to be the highest number of migrants to make the crossing in one day.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-kent-49662172
    #frontières #Angleterre #UK #France #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Manche

    #statistiques #chiffres


    https://twitter.com/ElisaPerrigueur/status/1171873291470016515/photo/1
    #routes_migratoires #parcours_migratoires

    • A l’annonce de l’évacuation du camp de Grande Synthe, 1100 personnes, majoritairement Kurdes et iraniennes, s’ajoute celle de 600 autres personnes à Calais, imminente également. Aujourd’hui un migrant a également tenté de partir en Kayak depuis Gravelines.

      https://twitter.com/ElisaPerrigueur/status/1171878005314138113
      Un migrant en kayak secouru dans la Manche alors qu’il tentait de rallier la Grande-Bretagne


      https://www.ouest-france.fr/monde/migrants/un-migrant-en-kayak-secouru-dans-la-manche-alors-qu-il-tentait-de-ralli

    • Près de 80 migrants interceptés dans la Manche en une matinée

      De plus en plus de migrants, Iraniens pour la plupart, n’hésitent pas à traverser la Manche vers l’Angleterre. Les patrouilleurs français et britanniques ont intercepté 79 personnes sur six petits navires, dont un en détresse, dans la matinée de mardi.

      Les traversées de masse se multiplient dans la Manche, malgré l’hiver et les températures glaciales de l’eau. Au moins 79 migrants ont été secourus sur six embarcations distinctes par les patrouilleurs français et britanniques sur la seule matinée de mardi 17 décembre. Les migrants interceptés sont majoritairement Iraniens, Irakiens et Ousbeks.

      Début décembre, 79 autres migrants avaient tenté la traversée de la Manche depuis les côtes françaises sur une même journée, embarqués sur cinq petits bateaux. Ils avaient été arrêtés par les autorités britanniques après avoir été secourus en mer pour la plupart.

      Ce lundi, dix migrants sur une embarcation pneumatique ont été secourus côté français au large de Calais, par la Société nationale de sauvetage en mer (SNSM). Après avoir alerté le Samu, ils ont dû attendre deux heures avant de pouvoir être localisés et pris en charge. À bord du bateau, se trouvaient quatre mineurs. Les rescapés sont tous "sains et saufs", a indiqué la préfecture. Une fois à terre, ils ont été confiés à la police de Boulogne-sur-Mer.

      69 migrants, dont 10 mineurs arrêtés par les Britanniques

      Côté britannique, ce sont 69 migrants qui ont été interceptés en quelques heures seulement, dans la nuit de lundi à mardi.

      D’après le Home office britannique (ministère de l’Intérieur du Royaume-Uni), cité par Sky News, une première embarcation transportant huit migrants iraniens a été stoppée par les patrouilleurs britanniques à 0h45. Trois heures plus tard, 18 personnes, dont deux femmes et deux enfants, ont été secourues sur un second bateau. Leur nationalité n’a pas encore été déterminée pour l’heure.

      Neuf Iraniens, transportés sur une troisième embarcations ont, quant à eux, été interceptés au petit matin vers 5h10. Deux mineurs figurent parmi les migrants à bord.

      Pas moins de vingt minutes plus tard, ce sont 23 personnes embarquées sur un quatrième bateau qui ont été secourues. Les 14 hommes, cinq femmes et quatre mineurs à bord sont de nationalité iranienne, irakienne et ouzbek. Enfin une dernière embarcation avec neuf migrants iraniens à son bord, dont une femme et deux mineurs a été arrêtée par les patrouilleurs britannique vers 7h45.

      L’ensemble des migrants interceptés ont été examinés par du personnel médical avant d’être interrogés par les agents britanniques de l’immigration.

      Les autorités françaises critiquées

      Quelques heures après ces arrestations, la députée britannique de Douvres, Natalie Elphicke, a demandé à rencontrer le ministre britannique de l’Immigration pour exiger de nouvelles mesure de lutte contre l’immigration clandestine.

      "Les Français ont reçu des dizaines de millions de livres de l’argent durement gagné par les contribuables britanniques pour arrêter les départs illégaux depuis leurs côtes. Je veux savoir où est passé l’argent”, a-t-elle déclaré, critiquant la surveillance des départs en mer par les autorités françaises. "Parce que si beaucoup a été fait, il est clair qu’il reste encore beaucoup à faire”, a-t-elle ajouté.

      Londres et Paris ont renforcé depuis janvier 2019 leur coopération dans la lutte contre la multiplication des traversées clandestines de la Manche. Le Royaume-Uni s’est engagé notamment à financer l’achat de drones, de caméras à vision nocturne et de véhicules pour sept millions d’euros.

      Cette année, Londres a renvoyé près de 120 migrants qui sont entrés illégalement dans le pays par voie maritime.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/21636/pres-de-80-migrants-interceptes-dans-la-manche-en-une-matinee

  • The number of EU residence permits issued to Northern and Western African nationals for work purposes fell by 46% and 58% respectively during a period of increasing irregular arrivals on the Central Mediterranean Route

    –-> Evidemment... le lien entre les deux faits (baisse des permis de séjour et augmentation des #arrivées_irrégulières) que l’OIM souligne est très tenu... c’est en réalité le coeur du problème : les personnes passent par des #routes_illégalisées via la #Méditerranée parce qu’ils n’ont pas de possibilités de prendre l’#avion... car l’accès leur est interdit via le non-octroi de #visas...

    #illégalisation #routes_migratoires #routes_illégalisées #permis_de_travail #UE #EU #Afrique_de_l'Ouest #permis_de_séjour #statistiques #chiffres #contextualisation

    Le #rapport d’où l’OIM sort ces chiffres :
    AFRICAN MIGRATION TO THE EU : IRREGULAR MIGRATION IN CONTEXT

    Contrary to common perceptions, migration from Northern and Western Africa to the EU between 2011 and 2017 has been primarily regular. Numbers of African nationals settling legally in the EU – proxied by first residence permits issued for family reunification, education or work purposes – have exceeded irregular sea arrivals for most of the top ten countries of origin of irregular migrants arriving in Italy over the period considered.

    At the same time, both total regular and irregular entries of African nationals to the EU have fallen since 2016, based on available data. First EU residence permits to nationals of countries in Northern and Western Africa have mostly been issued for family reunification over the years. While these have remained stable on average, residence permits granted for work purposes have fallen sharply in the period considered.

    https://gmdac.iom.int/sites/default/files/03_-_residence_permits-bbb.pdf

    #préjugés #regroupement_familial

    ping @reka @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

  • Ethiopians Abused on Gulf Migration Route

    Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison conditions in Saudi Arabia before being summarily forcibly deported back to Addis Ababa. Authorities in Ethiopia, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia have taken few if any measures to curb the violence migrants face, to put in place asylum procedures, or to check abuses perpetrated by their own security forces.


    A combination of factors, including unemployment and other economic difficulties, drought, and human rights abuses have driven hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians to migrate over the past decade, traveling by boat over the Red Sea and then by land through Yemen to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and neighboring Gulf states are favored destinations because of the availability of employment. Most travel irregularly and do not have legal status once they reach Saudi Arabia.

    “Many Ethiopians who hoped for a better life in Saudi Arabia face unspeakable dangers along the journey, including death at sea, torture, and all manners of abuses,” said Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Ethiopian government, with the support of its international partners, should support people who arrive back in Ethiopia with nothing but the clothes on their back and nowhere to turn for help.”

    Human Rights Watch interviewed 12 Ethiopians in Addis Ababa who had been deported from Saudi Arabia between December 2018 and May 2019. Human Rights Watch also interviewed humanitarian workers and diplomats working on Ethiopia migration-related issues.

    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates as many as 500,000 Ethiopians were in Saudi Arabia when the Saudi government began a deportation campaign in November 2017. The Saudi authorities have arrested, prosecuted, or deported foreigners who violate labor or residency laws or those who crossed the border irregularly. About 260,000 Ethiopians, an average of 10,000 per month, were deported from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia between May 2017 and March 2019, according to the IOM, and deportations have continued.

    An August 2 Twitter update by Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said that police had arrested 3.6 million people, including 2.8 million for violations of residency rules, 557,000 for labor law violations, and 237,000 for border violations. In addition, authorities detained 61,125 people for crossing the border into Saudi Arabia illegally, 51 percent of them Ethiopians, and referred more than 895,000 people for deportation. Apart from illegal border crossing, these figures are not disaggregated by nationality.

    Eleven of the 12 people interviewed who had been deported had engaged with smuggling and trafficking networks that are regionally linked across Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland state, the self-declared autonomous state of Somaliland, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Traffickers outside of Ethiopia, particularly in Yemen, often used violence or threats to extort ransom money from migrants’ family members or contacts, those interviewed told Human Rights Watch. The 12th person was working in Saudi Arabia legally but was deported after trying to help his sister when she arrived illegally.

    Those interviewed described life-threatening journeys as long as 24 hours across the Gulf of Aden or the Red Sea to reach Yemen, in most cases in overcrowded boats, with no food or water, and prevented from moving around by armed smugglers.

    “There were 180 people on the boat, but 25 died,” one man said. “The boat was in trouble and the waves were hitting it. It was overloaded and about to sink so the dallalas [an adaptation of the Arabic word for “middleman” or “broker”] picked some out and threw them into the sea, around 25.”

    Interviewees said they were met and captured by traffickers upon arrival in Yemen. Five said the traffickers physically assaulted them to extort payments from family members or contacts in Ethiopia or Somalia. While camps where migrants were held capture were run by Yemenis, Ethiopians often carried out the abuse. In many cases, relatives said they sold assets such as homes or land to obtain the ransom money.

    After paying the traffickers or escaping, the migrants eventually made their way north to the Saudi-Yemen border, crossing in rural, mountainous areas. Interviewees said Saudi border guards fired at them, killing and injuring others crossing at the same time, and that they saw dead bodies along the crossing routes. Human Rights Watch has previously documented Saudi border guards shooting and killing migrants crossing the border.

    “At the border there are many bodies rotting, decomposing,” a 26-year-old man said: “It is like a graveyard.”

    Six interviewees said they were apprehended by Saudi border police, while five successfully crossed the border but were later arrested. They described abusive prison conditions in several facilities in southern Saudi Arabia, including inadequate food, toilet facilities, and medical care; lack of sanitation; overcrowding; and beatings by guards.

    Planes returning people deported from Saudi Arabia typically arrive in Addis Ababa either at the domestic terminal or the cargo terminal of Bole International Airport. Several humanitarian groups conduct an initial screening to identify the most vulnerable cases, with the rest left to their own devices. Aid workers in Ethiopia said that deportees often arrive with no belongings and no money for food, transportation, or shelter. Upon arrival, they are offered little assistance to help them deal with injuries or psychological trauma, or to support transportation to their home communities, in some cases hundreds of kilometers from Addis Ababa.

    Human Rights Watch learned that much of the migration funding from Ethiopia’s development partners is specifically earmarked to manage migration along the routes from the Horn of Africa to Europe and to assist Ethiopians being returned from Europe, with very little left to support returnees from Saudi Arabia.

    “Saudi Arabia has summarily returned hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians to Addis Ababa who have little to show for their journey except debts and trauma,” Horne said. “Saudi Arabia should protect migrants on its territory and under its control from traffickers, ensure there is no collusion between its agents and these criminals, and provide them with the opportunity to legally challenge their detention and deportation.”

    All interviews were conducted in Amharic, Tigrayan, or Afan Oromo with translation into English. The interviewees were from the four regions of SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region), Oromia, Amhara, and Tigray. These regions have historically produced the bulk of Ethiopians migrating abroad. To protect interviewees from possible reprisals, pseudonyms are being used in place of their real names. Human Rights Watch wrote to the Ethiopian and Saudi governments seeking comment on abuses described by Ethiopian migrants along the Gulf migration route, but at the time of writing neither had responded.

    Dangerous Boat Journey

    Most of the 11 people interviewed who entered Saudi Arabia without documents described life-threatening boat journeys across the Red Sea from Djibouti, Somaliland, or Puntland to Yemen. They described severely overcrowded boats, beatings, and inadequate food or water on journeys that ranged from 4 to 24 hours. These problems were compounded by dangerous weather conditions or encounters with Saudi/Emirati-led coalition naval vessels patrolling the Yemeni coast.

    “Berhanu” said that Somali smugglers beat people on his boat crossing from Puntland: “They have a setup they use where they place people in spots by weight to keep the boat balanced. If you moved, they beat you.” He said that his trip was lengthened when smugglers were forced to turn the boat around after spotting a light from a naval vessel along the Yemeni coast and wait several hours for it to pass.

    Since March 26, 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of countries in a military campaign against the Houthi armed group in Yemen. As part of its campaign the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition has imposed a naval blockade on Houthi-controlled Yemeni ports, purportedly to prevent Houthi rebels from importing weapons by sea, but which has also restricted the flow of food, fuel, and medicine to civilians in the country, and included attacks on civilians at sea. Human Rights Watch previously documented a helicopter attack in March 2017 by coalition forces on a boat carrying Somali migrants and refugees returning from Yemen, killing at least 32 of the 145 Somali migrants and refugees on board and one Yemeni civilian.

    Exploitation and Abuses in Yemen

    Once in war-torn Yemen, Ethiopian migrants said they faced kidnappings, beatings, and other abuses by traffickers trying to extort ransom money from them or their family members back home.

    This is not new. Human Rights Watch, in a 2014 report, documented abuses, including torture, of migrants in detention camps in Yemen run by traffickers attempting to extort payments. In 2018, Human Rights Watch documented how Yemeni guards tortured and raped Ethiopian and other Horn of Africa migrants at a detention center in Aden and worked in collaboration with smugglers to send them back to their countries of origin. Recent interviews by Human Rights Watch indicate that the war in Yemen has not significantly affected the abuses against Ethiopians migrating through Yemen to Saudi Arabia. If anything, the conflict, which escalated in 2015, has made the journey more dangerous for migrants who cross into an area of active fighting.

    Seven of the 11 irregular migrants interviewed said they faced detention and extortion by traffickers in Yemen. This occurred in many cases as soon as they reached shore, as smugglers on boats coordinated with the Yemeni traffickers. Migrants said that Yemeni smuggling and trafficking groups always included Ethiopians, often one from each of Oromo, Tigrayan, and Amhara ethnic groups, who generally were responsible for beating and torturing migrants to extort payments. Migrants were generally held in camps for days or weeks until they could provide ransom money, or escape. Ransom payments were usually made by bank transfers from relatives and contacts back in Ethiopia.

    “Abebe” described his experience:

    When we landed… [the traffickers] took us to a place off the road with a tent. Everyone there was armed with guns and they threw us around like garbage. The traffickers were one Yemeni and three Ethiopians – one Tigrayan, one Amhara, and one Oromo…. They started to beat us after we refused to pay, then we had to call our families…. My sister [in Ethiopia] has a house, and the traffickers called her, and they fired a bullet near me that she could hear. They sold the house and sent the money [40,000 Birr, US $1,396].

    “Tesfalem”, said that he was beaten by Yemenis and Ethiopians at a camp he believes was near the port city of Aden:

    They demanded money, but I said I don’t have any. They told me to make a call, but I said I don’t have relatives. They beat me and hung me on the wall by one hand while standing on a chair, then they kicked the chair away and I was swinging by my arm. They beat me on my head with a stick and it was swollen and bled.

    He escaped after three months, was detained in another camp for three months more, and finally escaped again.

    “Biniam” said the men would take turns beating the captured migrants: “The [Ethiopian] who speaks your language beats you, those doing the beating were all Ethiopians. We didn’t think of fighting back against them because we were so tired, and they would kill you if you tried.”

    Two people said that when they landed, the traffickers offered them the opportunity to pay immediately to travel by car to the Saudi border, thereby avoiding the detention camps. One of them, “Getachew,” said that he paid 1,500 Birr (US $52) for the car and escaped mistreatment.

    Others avoided capture when they landed, but then faced the difficult 500 kilometer journey on foot with few resources while trying to avoid capture.

    Dangers faced by Yemeni migrants traveling north were compounded for those who ran into areas of active fighting between Houthi forces and groups aligned with the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition. Two migrants said that their journey was delayed, one by a week, the other by two months, to avoid conflict areas.

    Migrants had no recourse to local authorities and did not report abuses or seek assistance from them. Forces aligned with the Yemeni government and the Houthis have also detained migrants in poor conditions, refused access to protection and asylum procedures, deported migrants en masse in dangerous conditions, and exposed them to abuse. In April 2018, Human Rights Watch reported that Yemeni government officials had tortured, raped, and executed migrants and asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa in a detention center in the southern port city of Aden. The detention center was later shut down.

    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced in May that it had initiated a program of voluntary humanitarian returns for irregular Ethiopian migrants held by Yemeni authorities at detention sites in southern Yemen. IOM said that about 5,000 migrants at three sites were held in “unsustainable conditions,” and that the flights from Aden to Ethiopia had stalled because the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition had failed to provide the flights the necessary clearances. The coalition controls Yemen’s airspace.

    Crossing the Border; Abusive Detention inside Saudi Arabia

    Migrants faced new challenges attempting to cross the Saudi-Yemen border. The people interviewed said that the crossing points used by smugglers are in rural, mountainous areas where the border separates Yemen’s Saada Governorate and Saudi Arabia’s Jizan Province. Two said that smugglers separated Ethiopians by their ethnic group and assigned different groups to cross at different border points.

    Ethiopian migrants interviewed were not all able to identify the locations where they crossed. Most indicated points near the Yemeni mountain villages Souq al-Ragu and ‘Izlat Al Thabit, which they called Ragu and Al Thabit. Saudi-aligned media have regularly characterized Souq al-Ragu as a dangerous town from which drug smugglers and irregular migrants cross into Saudi Arabia.

    Migrants recounted pressures to pay for the crossing by smuggling drugs into Saudi Arabia. “Abdi” said he stayed in Souq al-Ragu for 15 days and finally agreed to carry across a 25 kilogram sack of khat in exchange for 500 Saudi Riyals (US$133). Khat is a mild stimulant grown in the Ethiopian highlands and Yemen; it is popular among Yemenis and Saudis, but illegal in Saudi Arabia.

    “Badessa” described Souq al-Ragu as “the crime city:”

    You don’t know who is a trafficker, who is a drug person, but everybody has an angle of some sort. Even Yemenis are afraid of the place, it is run by Ethiopians. It is also a burial place; bodies are gathered of people who had been shot along the border and then they’re buried there. There is no police presence.

    Four of the eleven migrants who crossed the border on foot said Saudi border guards shot at them during their crossings, sometimes after ordering them to stop and other times without warning. Some said they encountered dead bodies along the way. Six said they were apprehended by Saudi border guards or drug police at the border, while five were arrested later.

    “Abebe” said that Saudi border guards shot at his group as they crossed from Izlat Al Thabit:

    They fired bullets, and everyone scattered. People fleeing were shot, my friend was shot in the leg…. One person was shot in the chest and killed and [the Saudi border guards] made us carry him to a place where there was a big excavator. They didn’t let us bury him; the excavator dug a hole and they buried him.

    Berhanu described the scene in the border area: “There were many dead people at the border. You could walk on the corpses. No one comes to bury them.”

    Getachew added: “It is like a graveyard. There are no dogs or hyenas there to eat the bodies, just dead bodies everywhere.”

    Two of the five interviewees who crossed the border without being detained said that Saudi and Ethiopian smugglers and traffickers took them to informal detention camps in southern Saudi towns and held them for ransom. “Yonas” said they took him and 14 others to a camp in the Fayfa area of Jizan Province: “They beat me daily until I called my family. They wanted 10,000 Birr ($349). My father sold his farmland and sent the 10,000 Birr, but then they told me this isn’t enough, we need 20,000 ($698). I had nothing left and decided to escape or die.” He escaped.

    Following their capture, the migrants described abusive conditions in Saudi governmental detention centers and prisons, including overcrowding and inadequate food, water, and medical care. Migrants also described beatings by Saudi guards.

    Nine migrants who were captured while crossing the border illegally or living in Saudi Arabia without documentation spent up to five months in detention before authorities deported them back to Ethiopia. The three others were convicted of criminal offenses that included human trafficking and drug smuggling, resulting in longer periods in detention before being deported.

    The migrants identified about 10 prisons and detention centers where they were held for various periods. The most frequently cited were a center near the town of al-Dayer in Jizan Province along the border, Jizan Central Prison in Jizan city, and the Shmeisi Detention Center east of Jeddah, where migrants are processed for deportation.

    Al-Dayer had the worst conditions, they said, citing overcrowding, inadequate sanitation, food and water, and medical care. Yonas said:

    They tied our feet with chains and they beat us while chained, sometimes you can’t get to the food because you are chained. If you get chained by the toilet it will overflow and flow under you. If you are aggressive you get chained by the toilet. If you are good [behave well], they chain you to another person and you can move around.

    Abraham had a similar description:

    The people there beat us. Ethnic groups [from Ethiopia] fought with each other. The toilet was overflowing. It was like a graveyard and not a place to live. Urine was everywhere and people were defecating. The smell was terrible.

    Other migrants described similarly bad conditions in Jizan Central Prison. “Ibrahim” said that he was a legal migrant working in Saudi Arabia, but that he travelled to Jizan to help his sister, whom Saudi authorities had detained after she crossed from Yemen illegally. Once in Jizan, authorities suspected him of human trafficking and arrested him, put him on trial, and sentenced him to two years in prison, a sentenced he partially served in Jizan Central Prison:

    Jizan prison is so very tough…. You can be sleeping with [beside] someone who has tuberculosis, and if you ask an official to move you, they don’t care. They will beat you. You can’t change clothes, you have one set and that is it, sometimes the guards will illegally bring clothes and sell to you at night.

    He also complained of overcrowding: “When you want to sleep you tell people and they all jostle to make some room, then you sleep for a bit but you wake up because everyone is jostling against each other.”

    Most of the migrants said food was inadequate. Yonas described the situation in al-Dayer: “When they gave food 10 people would gather and fight over it. If you don’t have energy you won’t eat. The fight is over rice and bread.”

    Detainees also said medical care was inadequate and that detainees with symptoms of tuberculosis (such as cough, fever, night sweats, or weight loss) were not isolated from other prisoners. Human Rights Watch interviewed three former detainees who were being treated for tuberculosis after being deported, two of whom said they were held with other detainees despite having symptoms of active tuberculosis.

    Detainees described being beaten by Saudi prison guards when they requested medical care. Abdi said:

    I was beaten once with a stick in Jizan that was like a piece of rebar covered in plastic. I was sick in prison and I used to vomit. They said, ‘why do you do that when people are eating?’ and then they beat me harshly and I told him [the guard], ‘Please kill me.’ He eventually stopped.

    Ibrahim said he was also beaten when he requested medical care for tuberculosis:

    [Prison guards] have a rule that you aren’t supposed to knock on the door [and disturb the guards]. When I got sick in the first six months and asked to go to the clinic, they just beat me with electric wires on the bottom of my feet. I kept asking so they kept beating.

    Detainees said that the other primary impetus for beatings by guards was fighting between different ethnic groups of Ethiopians in detention, largely between ethnic Oromos, Amharas, and Tigrayans. Ethnic tensions are increasingly common back in Ethiopia.

    Detainees said that conditions generally improved once they were transferred to Shmeisi Detention Center, near Jeddah, where they stayed only a few days before receiving temporary travel documents from Ethiopian consular authorities and deported to Ethiopia. The migrants charged with and convicted of crimes had no opportunity to consult legal counsel.

    None of the migrants said they were given the opportunity to legally challenge their deportations, and Saudi Arabia has not established an asylum system under which migrants could apply for protection from deportation where there was a risk of persecution if they were sent back. Saudi Arabia is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    Deportation and Future Prospects

    Humanitarian workers and diplomats told Human Rights Watch that since the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s deportation campaign, large numbers of Ethiopian deportees have been transported via special flights by Saudia Airlines to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa and unloaded in a cargo area away from the main international terminal or at the domestic terminal. When Human Rights Watch visited in May, it appeared that the Saudi flights were suspended during the month of Ramadan, during which strict sunrise-to-sunset fasting is observed by Muslims. All interviewees who were deported in May said they had returned on regular Ethiopian Airlines commercial flights and disembarked at the main terminal with other passengers.

    All of those deported said that they returned to Ethiopia with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, and that Saudi authorities had confiscated their mobile phones and in some cases shoes and belts. “After staying in Jeddah … they had us make a line and take off our shoes,” Abraham said. “Anything that could tie like a belt we had to leave, they wouldn’t let us take it. We were barefoot when we went to the airport.”

    Deportees often have critical needs for assistance, including medical care, some for gunshot wounds. One returnee recovering from tuberculosis said that he did not have enough money to buy food and was going hungry. Abdi said that when he left for Saudi Arabia he weighed 64 kilograms but returned weighing only 47 or 48 kilograms.

    Aid workers and diplomats familiar with migration issues in Ethiopia said that very little international assistance is earmarked for helping deportees from Saudi Arabia for medical care and shelter or money to return and reintegrate in their home villages.

    Over 8 million people are in need of food assistance in Ethiopia, a country of over 100 million. It hosts over 920,000 refugees from neighboring countries and violence along ethnic lines produced over 2.4 internally displaced people in 2018, many of whom have now been returned.

    The IOM registers migrants upon arrival in Ethiopia and to facilitate their return from Saudi Arabia. Several hours after their arrival and once registered, they leave the airport and must fend for themselves. Some said they had never been to Addis before.

    In 2013 and 2014, Saudi Arabia conducted an expulsion campaign similar to the one that began in November 2017. The earlier campaign expelled about 163,000 Ethiopians, according to the IOM. A 2015 Human Rights Watch report found that migrants experienced serious abuses during detention and deportation, including attacks by security forces and private citizens in Saudi Arabia, and inadequate and abusive detention conditions. Human Rights Watch has also previously documented mistreatment of Ethiopian migrants by traffickers and government detention centers in Yemen.

    Aid workers and diplomats said that inadequate funding to assist returning migrants is as a result of several factors, including a focus of many of the European funders on stemming migration to and facilitating returns from Europe, along with competing priorities and the low visibility of the issue compared with migration to Europe.

    During previous mass returns from Saudi Arabia, there was more funding for reintegration and more international media attention in part because there was such a large influx in a short time, aid workers said.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/08/15/ethiopians-abused-gulf-migration-route
    #migrations #asile #violence #réfugiés #réfugiés_éthiopiens #Ethiopie #pays_du_Golfe #route_du_Golfe #mer_Rouge #Golfe_d'Aden #Yémen #Arabie_Saoudite #frontières #violent_borders #torture #trafic_d'êtres_humains #exploitation #routes_migratoires

    signalé par @isskein

    • Migrants endure sea crossing to Yemen and disembark in hell

      Zahra struggled in the blue waters of the Gulf of Aden, grasping for the hands of fellow migrants.

      Hundreds of men, women and teenagers clambered out of a boat and through the surf emerging, exhausted, on the shores of Yemen.

      The 20-year-old Ethiopian saw men armed with automatic rifles waiting for them on the beach and she clenched in terror. She had heard migrants’ stories of brutal traffickers, lurking like monsters in a nightmare. They are known by the Arabic nickname Abdul-Qawi — which means Worshipper of the Strong.

      “What will they do to us?” Zahra thought.

      She and 300 other Africans had just endured six hours crammed in a wooden smuggling boat to cross the narrow strait between the Red Sea and the gulf. When they landed, the traffickers loaded them into trucks and drove them to ramshackle compounds in the desert outside the coastal village of Ras al-Ara.

      There was Zahra’s answer. She was imprisoned for a month in a tin-roofed hut, broiling and hungry, ordered to call home each day to beseech her family to wire $2,000. She said she did not have family to ask for money and pleaded for her freedom.
      Instead, her captors raped her. And they raped the 20 other women with her — for weeks, different men all the time.

      “They used each of the girls,” she told The Associated Press. “Every night there was rape.”

      With its systematic torture, Ras al-Ara is a particular hell on the arduous, 900-mile (1,400 kilometer) journey from the Horn of Africa to oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Migrants leave home on sandaled feet with dreams of escaping poverty. They trek through mountains and deserts, sandstorms and 113-degree temperatures, surviving on crumbs of bread and salty water from ancient wells.

      In Djibouti, long lines of migrants descend single file down mountain slopes to the rocky coastal plain, where many lay eyes on the sea for first time and eventually board the boats. Some find their way safely across war-torn Yemen to Saudi Arabia, only to be caught and tossed back over the border. The lucky ones make it into the kingdom to earn their livings as a servant and laborers.


      But others are stranded in Yemen’s nightmare — in some measure because Europe has been shutting its doors, outsourcing migrants to other countries.

      The European Union began paying Libyan coast guards and militias to stop migrants there, blocking the other main route out of East Africa, through Libya and across the Mediterranean to Europe. The number of Mediterranean crossings plummeted — from 370,000 in 2016 to just over 56,000 so far this year.

      Meanwhile, more than 150,000 migrants landed in Yemen in 2018, a 50% increase from the year before, according to the International Organization for Migration.

      This year, more than 107,000 had arrived by the end of September, along with perhaps tens of thousands more the organization was unable to track — or who were buried in graves along the trail.

      And European policies may be making the Yemen route more dangerous. Funded by the EU, Ethiopia has cracked down on migrant smugglers and intensified border controls. Arrests of known brokers have prompted migrants to turn to unreliable traffickers, taking more dangerous paths and increasing the risk of abuses.

      Many of those migrants end up in Ras al-Ara.

      Nearly every migrant who lands here is imprisoned in hidden compounds while their families are shaken down for money. Like Zahra, they are subjected to daily torments ranging from beatings and rapes to starvation, their screams drowned out by the noise of generators or cars or simply lost in the desert.
      “Out of every thousand, 800 disappear in the lockups,” said a humanitarian worker monitoring the flow of migrants.

      Traffickers who torture are a mix of Yemenis and Ethiopians of different ethnic groups. So victims cannot appeal to tribal loyalties, they are tortured by men from other groups: If the migrants are Oromia, the torturers are Tigrinya.

      At the same time, because the three main ethnic groups don’t speak each others’ languages, Yemeni smugglers need translators to convey orders to the migrants and monitor their phone conversations with their families.

      The AP spoke to more than two dozen Ethiopians who survived torture at Ras al-Ara. Nearly all of them reported witnessing deaths, and one man died of starvation hours after the AP saw him.
      The imprisonment and torture are largely ignored by Yemeni authorities.

      The AP saw trucks full of migrants passing unhindered through military checkpoints as they went from the beaches to drop their human cargo at each desert compound, known in Arabic as a “hosh.”

      “The traffickers move freely, in public, giving bribes at the checkpoints,” said Mohammed Said, a former coast guard officer who now runs a gas station in the center of town.

      From Ras al-Ara, it’s nearly 50 miles in any direction to the next town. Around 8,000 families live in a collection of decaying, one-story stone houses beside dirt roads, a lone hotel and two eateries. The fish market is the center of activity when the daily catch is brought in.

      Nearly the entire population profits from the human trade. Some rent land to traffickers for the holding cells, or work as guards, drivers or translators. For others, traffickers flush with cash are a lucrative market for their food, fuel or the mildly stimulant leaves of qat, which Yemenis and Ethiopians chew daily.

      Locals can rattle off the traffickers’ names. One of them, a Yemeni named Mohammed al-Usili, runs more than 20 hosh. He’s famous for the red Nissan SUV he drives through town.

      Others belong to Sabaha, one of the biggest tribes in southern Yemen, some of whom are famous for their involvement in illicit businesses. Yemenis call the Sabaha “bandits” who have no political loyalties to any of the warring parties.
      Many traffickers speak openly of their activities, but deny they torture, blaming others.

      Yemeni smuggler Ali Hawash was a farmer who went into the human smuggling business a year ago. He disparaged smugglers who prey on poor migrants, torturing them and holding them hostage until relatives pay ransom.

      “I thought we need to have a different way,” he said, “I will help you go to Saudi, you just pay the transit and the transportation. Deal.”

      The flow of migrants to the beach is unending. On a single day, July 24, the AP witnessed seven boats pull into Ras al-Ara, one after the other, starting at 3 a.m., each carrying more than 100 people.

      The migrants climbed out of the boats into the turquoise water. One young man collapsed on the beach, his feet swollen. A woman stepped on something sharp in the water and fell screeching in pain. Others washed their clothes in the waves to get out the vomit, urine and feces from the rugged journey.

      The migrants were lined up and loaded onto trucks. They gripped the iron bars in the truck bed as they were driven along the highway. At each compound, the truck unloaded a group of migrants, like a school bus dropping off students. The migrants disappeared inside.

      From time to time, Ethiopians escape their imprisonment or are released and stagger out of the desert into town.
      Eman Idrees, 27, and her husband were held for eight months by an Ethiopian smuggler.

      She recalled the savage beatings they endured, which left a scar on her shoulder; the smuggler received $700 to take her to Saudi Arabia, but wouldn’t let her go, because “he wanted me.”

      Said, the gas station owner, is horrified by the evidence of torture he has seen, so he has made his station and a nearby mosque into a refuge for migrants. But locals say Said, too, profits from the trafficking, selling fuel for the smugglers’ boats and trucks. But that means the traffickers need him and leave him alone.

      On a day when the AP team was visiting, several young men just out of a compound arrived at the gas station. They showed deep gashes in their arms from ropes that had bound them. One who had bruises from being lashed with a cable said the women imprisoned with him were all raped and that three men had died.

      Another, Ibrahim Hassan, trembled as he showed how he was tied up in a ball, arms behind his back, knees bound against his chest. The 24-year-old said he was bound like that for 11 days and frequently beaten. His torturer, he said, was a fellow Ethiopian but from a rival ethnic group, Tigray, while he is Oromo.

      Hassan said he was freed after his father went door to door in their hometown to borrow money and gather the $2,600 that the smugglers demanded.
      “My family is extremely poor,” Hassan said, breaking down in tears. “My father is a farmer and I have five siblings.”

      Starvation is another punishment used by the traffickers to wear down their victims.

      At Ras al-Ara hospital, four men who looked like living skeletons sat on the floor, picking rice from a bowl with their thin fingers. Their bones protruded from their backs, their rib cages stood out sharply. With no fat on their bodies, they sat on rolled-up cloth because it was too painful to sit directly on bone. They had been imprisoned by traffickers for months, fed once a day with scraps of bread and a sip of water, they said.

      One of them, 23-year-old Abdu Yassin, said he had agreed with smugglers in Ethiopia to pay around $600 for the trip through Yemen to the Saudi border. But when he landed at Ras al-Ara, he was brought to a compound with 71 others, and the traffickers demanded $1,600.

      He cried as he described how he was held for five months and beaten constantly in different positions. He showed the marks from lashings on his back, the scars on his legs where they pressed hot steel into his skin. His finger was crooked after they smashed it with a rock, he said. One day, they tied his legs and dangled him upside down, “like a slaughtered sheep.”
      But the worst was starvation.

      “From hunger, my knees can’t carry my body,” he said. “I haven’t changed my clothes for six months. I haven’t washed. I have nothing.”

      Near the four men, another emaciated man lay on a gurney, his stomach concave, his eyes open but unseeing. Nurses gave him fluids but he died several hours later.

      The torment that leaves the young men and women physically and mentally shattered also leaves them stranded.

      Zahra said she traveled to Yemen “because I wanted to change my life.”

      She came from a broken home. She was a child when her parents divorced. Her mother disappeared, and her father — an engineer — remarried and wanted little to do with Zahra or her sisters. Zahra dropped out of school after the third grade. She worked for years in Djibouti as a servant, sending most of her earnings to her youngest sister back in Ethiopia.

      Unable to save any money, she decided to try her luck elsewhere.

      She spoke in a quiet voice as she described the torments she suffered at the compound.

      “I couldn’t sleep at all throughout these days,” as she suffered from headaches, she said.

      She and the other women were locked in three rooms of the hut, sleeping on the dirt floor, suffocating in the summer heat. They were constantly famished. Zahra suffered from rashes, diarrhea and vomiting.

      One group tried to flee when they were allowed to wash at a well outside. The traffickers used dogs to hunt them down, brought them back and beat them.
      “You can’t imagine,” Zahra said. “We could hear the screams.” After that, they could only wash at gunpoint.

      Finally, early one morning, their captors opened the gates and told Zahra and some of the other women to leave. Apparently, the traffickers gave up on getting money out of them and wanted to make room for others.

      Now Zahra lives in Basateen, a slum on the outskirts of southern Yemen’s main city, Aden, where she shares a room with three other women who also were tortured. .

      Among them is a 17-year-old who fidgets with her hands and avoiding eye contact. She said she had been raped more times than she can count.

      The first time was during the boat crossing from Djibouti, where she was packed in with more than 150 other migrants. Fearing the smugglers, no one dared raise a word of protest as the captain and his crew raped her and the other nine women on board during the eight-hour journey.
      “I am speechless about what happened in the boat,” the 17-year-old said.

      Upon landing, she and the others were taken to a compound, where again she was raped — every day for the next two weeks.

      “We lived 15 days in pain,” she said.

      Zahra said she’s worried she could be pregnant, and the 17-year old said she has pains in her abdomen and back she believes were caused by the rapes — but neither has money to go to a doctor.

      Nor do they have money to continue their travels.

      “I have nothing but the clothes on me,” the 17-year old said. She lost everything, including her only photos of her family.

      Now, she is too afraid to even leave her room in Basateen.
      “If we get out of here,” she said, “we don’t know what would happen to us.”

      Basateen is filled with migrants living in squalid shacks. Some work, trying to earn enough to continue their journey.

      Others, like Abdul-Rahman Taha, languish without hope.

      The son of a dirt-poor farmer, Taha had heard stories of Ethiopians returning from Saudi Arabia with enough money to buy a car or build a house. So he sneaked away from home and began walking. When he reached Djibouti, he called home asking for $400 for smugglers to arrange his trip across Yemen. His father was angry but sold a bull and some goats and sent the money.

      When Taha landed at Ras al-Ara, traffickers took him and 50 other migrants to a holding cell, lined them up and demanded phone numbers. Taha couldn’t ask his father for more money so he told them he didn’t have a number. Over the next days and weeks, he was beaten and left without food and water.

      One night, he gave them a wrong number. The traffickers flew into a rage. One, a beefy, bearded Yemeni, beat Taha’s right leg to a bloody pulp with a steel rod. Taha passed out.

      When he opened his eyes, he saw the sky. He was outdoors, lying on the ground. The traffickers had dumped him and three other migrants in the desert. Taha tried to jostle the others, but they didn’t move — they were dead.
      A passing driver took him to a hospital. There, his leg was amputated.

      Now 17, Taha is stranded. His father died in a car crash a few months ago, leaving Taha’s sister and four younger brothers to fend for themselves back home.

      Taha choked back tears. In one of their phone calls, he remembered, his father had asked him: “Why did you leave?”

      “Without work or money,” Taha told him, “life is unbearable.”

      And so it is still.

      https://apimagesblog.com/blog/migrants-endure-sea-crossing-to-yemen-and-disembark-in-hell
      #réfugiés_éthiopiens #famine #mourir_de_faim #Oromo

    • Sbarcare all’inferno. Per i migranti diretti in Europa la tappa in Yemen vuol dire stupro e tortura

      Il durissimo reportage fotografico di Associated Press in viaggio con i migranti etiopi lungo la rotta che dal Corno d’Africa porta verso la penisola arabica racconta l’orrore perpetrato negli ’#hosh' di #Ras al-Ara che la comunità internazionale non vuole vedere. Le terribili storie di Zahra, Ibrahim, Abdul e gli altri.


      http://www.rainews.it/dl/rainews/media/Sbarcare-all-inferno-Per-i-migranti-diretti-in-Europa-la-tappa-in-Yemen-vuol
      #viol #viols #torture #violences_sexuelles #photographie

  • Vidéo : du #Brésil au #Canada, la nouvelle route de l’exil africain

    On la surnomme « la route de la mort ». Chaque année, des milliers de migrants en quête d’une vie meilleure traversent dix pays, du Brésil au Canada. Ils viennent de Cuba, du Venezuela, d’Haïti, mais aussi, plus récemment, d’Afrique ou d’Asie. Et chaque année, cette route tue, souvent dans l’indifférence générale. Durant cinq mois, nos reporters ont suivi le périple de la Congolaise Rosette et de sa famille sur cette route de tous les dangers. Reportage exceptionnel d’une durée de 36 minutes.


    https://www.france24.com/fr/20180413-video-reporters-doc-bresil-canada-nouvelle-route-exil-africain-mi
    #Afrique #asile #migrations #réfugiés #fermeture_des_frontières #détour #itinéraires_migratoires

    –-> je mets ici pour archivage, et pour compléter cette métaliste sur les #routes_migratoires :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/796636

  • Halfway round the world by plane: Africa’s new migration route

    Migrants using traditional routes from Africa to Europe often fail to reach their destinations. Smugglers now offer new options, such as taking migrants to faraway countries by plane.
    In early July, Mexico’s authorities reported that the number of African migrants in the country had tripled. According to government figures, around 1,900 migrants, most of them from crisis-ridden countries like Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are now in Mexico. Their destination? The United States of America.
    The journey by plane of some of these migrants began halfway across the world in Uganda. In a garden bar in the Ugandan capital #Kampala sits a 23-year-old Eritrean man who could soon be one of them. For security reasons, he does not want to give his name. He fled the brutal military service in Eritrea last September. According to human rights organizations, military service in Eritrea can mean years of forced labor. “I do not believe that anything will change in Eritrea soon; on the contrary,” he said. Many young Eritreans see their futures overseas.


    https://www.dw.com/en/halfway-round-the-world-by-plane-africas-new-migration-route/a-49868809
    #Afrique #détour #détours #asile #migrations #réfugiés #routes_migratoires #itinéraires_migratoires #USA #Mexique #Etats-Unis #fermeture_des_frontières #Erythrée #Corne_de_l'Afrique #Ouganda #route_pacifique
    via @isskein
    ping @reka

    • Africa: At U.S.-Mexico Border, Africans Join Diversifying Migrant Community

      It took Julia and her two daughters five years to get from Kassai, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to a cot on the floor of a migrant shelter in Laredo, Texas, on a Sunday night in August 2019.

      First, it was four years in Angola. She saved money, she says, by working as a hairdresser.

      They flew to Ecuador. Took a bus and boat to Colombia. They spent 14 days crossing through Panama’s Darien Gap, lost part of the time in the dense jungle. Three weeks in Panama, then three more in Costa Rica while Julia recuperated from an illness. Then Nicaragua. Honduras. Guatemala.

      Finally, after a month of waiting in Acuña, on the U.S.-Mexico border, they stuck their feet in the sandy dirt along the southern bank of the Rio Grande. They were alone, and didn’t know how to swim.

      “We prayed first, then we got into the water,” Julia recalled. “My daughter was crying.”

      “‘Mom, I can’t…’” Julia remembers her pleading in chest-high water.

      Halfway across, she says, U.S. soldiers — possibly border agents — shouted to them: “‘Come, give us your hands.’“

      “I did,” Julia recalls, “and they took us out.”

      More families from afar

      Historically, the majority of people caught crossing into the southwest U.S. without authorization were single Mexican adults. In fiscal 2009, Mexicans accounted for 91.63% of border apprehensions, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

      But demographics of migrants and asylum-seekers crossing into the U.S. from Mexico are shifting in two significant ways: In the last decade, nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras began migrating in greater numbers. In the same period, the number of Mexicans dropped.

      Then, in the last year, families became the top source of Southwest border migration. The Border Patrol apprehended 432,838 adults and children traveling in family units from October 2018 through July 2019, a 456% increase over the same period the previous fiscal year.

      To the surprise of longtime border agents, while the overwhelming majority of these families continue to be from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, a small but growing proportion are from countries outside the Americas, nearly twice as much as two years ago.

      By the end of July this year, CBP data shows the agency had apprehended 63,470 people from countries other than those four, making up 8.35% of total apprehensions. In fiscal 2017, they were 4.3% of the total apprehended population.

      CBP does not release the breakdown of where detained migrants come from until after the end of the fiscal year in September. But anecdotes and preliminary data show an increasingly diverse group of migrants and asylum-seekers, including more than 1,600 African nationals from 36 countries, apprehended in one border sector alone.

      They are unprecedented numbers.

      Allen Vowell, an acting deputy patrol agent in charge with the U.S. Border Patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas, said the recent demographic changes are unlike any he has seen in two decades of working on the border.

      “I would say until this year, Africans — personally I’ve probably only seen a handful in over 20 years,” Vowell said.

      From Oct. 1, 2018, to Aug. 22, 2019, Del Rio sector agents apprehended 51,394 people, including 1,681 nationals of African countries. They are largely, like Julia, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola or Cameroon, according to sector officials.

      The arrival of sub-Saharan nationals — often Congolese, according to Del Rio Sector officials — posed new challenges. A lot of border agents are bilingual in English and Spanish. But when apprehending a group that primarily spoke French and Portuguese, the agents had to scramble for interpreters.

      While many migrants from the Northern Triangle have relatives in the U.S. as a point of contact or a destination, those from Africa are less likely to have those relationships.

      That means they are more likely to stay in migrant shelters in the U.S. or in Mexico for longer, waiting to figure out their next steps until their immigration court hearing.

      There is the political tumult in Venezuela, leading to the exodus of millions of people scattered throughout the region.

      The end of the “wet foot dry foot” policy with Cuba that allowed migrants who reached the shores of Florida to remain, Cubans who want to leave the island for the U.S. to take a more circuitous route.

      And then, to the surprise of Border Patrol agents, there arrived the large groups of sub-Saharan Africans, crossing through the Del Rio sector in Texas.

      The migrant trail goes beyond Africa.

      Ten years ago, CBP detained 99 Indians on the Southwest border. In 2018, it was 8,997.

      Similarly, Bangladeshi migrants didn’t figure into the top 20 countries among those apprehended at the border a decade ago. In 2019, there were 1,198.

      This week, a Bangladeshi man living in Mexico pleaded guilty to human smuggling charges.

      There are also the regional conflicts and tensions in Latin America and the Caribbean that are leading to a bigger number of migrants within the hemisphere arriving at the U.S-Mexico border, like Venezuela and Nicaragua. Haitians and Cubans continue to take the more circuitous route through Central America and up to the U.S., rather than travel by boat to Florida, where they risk being stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard before setting foot on land.

      Son’s death sends family on a dangerous journey

      Julia says she got tunnel vision after her teenage son was killed in DRC, en route to school one day in 2014 for reasons she still does not know or understand.

      She only knows that she received a call from the morgue. A truck dropped his body off there.

      He was 17. His name was George.

      She can’t go back to DRC, she says. It’s just not safe.

      “There, while you sleep, the thieves will come through the roof. They demand money, and if you don’t have money, they’ll rape your daughter,” she said.

      “When he died in 2014, I made up my mind that I would not stay.”

      They want to get to Buffalo, New York. They don’t have family in the U.S., Julia says, but some people they met on the road were headed there. Word was, there was work, at least.

      She had an immigration court hearing scheduled for the first week of August. She was still at the San Antonio shelter, two days before.

      They didn’t now how far from Texas it was, or how cold New York gets in winter. They weren’t worried about those things now. They just needed the bus fare to get there, and they had nothing left. No money. No phone.

      Ketsia, now 15, speaks Spanish, English and Italian with ease. Jemima, 9, is the best French speaker in the family. They didn’t fight while they’ve been on the road for the last five months, from Ecuador to San Antonio. Not much, at least, they giggle.

      “She’s strong. Very strong,” Ketsia says of her mother, in Spanish. “I saw a lot of women who left their kids behind in the jungle. She’s courageous. This path we’re on, isn’t for everyone. If you’re not strong, it’s very difficult.”

      “My dream is to arrive there, to New York. To get a job. To put the girls in school,” Julia responds.

      “I suffered a lot already,” she says, something she repeats without going into more detail. She has a tendency to stare off, lose herself in thought when the conversation nears the darker parts of their family history.

      “I don’t want my children to go through the same,” she says. “We suffered a lot. I don’t want that anymore for my children.”

      The shelter where they stayed does not track migrants after they’ve left, and for privacy and safety reasons, shelters do not share whether individuals are staying with them.

      Attempts by VOA to locate Julia, Ketsia and Jemima in the weeks following the interview were unsuccessful.

      https://allafrica.com/stories/201909020140.html

    • El naufragio de un grupo de africanos en Chiapas revela una nueva ruta migratoria por el Pacífico

      El accidente de una lancha en Tonalá deja un muerto y varios desaparecidos. Ante la presión policial en el sur de México, grupos de cameruneses optan por usar vías marítimas para llegar a EE UU.

      Tirado en la playa, entre el pasto y la orilla. La foto del cuerpo de Emmanuel Cheo Ngu, camerunés de 39 años, fallecido este viernes tras el naufragio de su embarcación en Ignacio Allende, municipio de Tonalá, ha vuelto a revivir las peores imágenes de la crisis migratoria que se vive en el sur de México. La nueva política migratoria puesta en marcha por Andrés Manuel López Obrador tras el chantaje de Estados Unidos, ha obligado a los nuevos grupos de migrantes atrapados en Tapachula, Chiapas, a buscar nuevas y peligrosas rutas en su intento de llegar a la frontera norte.

      A las 7.00 de la mañana, según pescadores de la zona, una embarcación con personas procedentes de Camerún comenzó a tambalearse hasta que todos cayeron al agua, de acuerdo a la investigación judicial. El portal AlertaChiapas y activistas en la zona consultados por este medio, afirmaron que el bote salió desde la costa de Guatemala o desde el sur del Estado de Chiapas, ya en México, con destino Oaxaca. Cuando llegaron los Grupos de Rescate consiguieron socorrer a 8 personas, 7 hombres y una mujer, que fueron trasladados al Hospital General de Tonalá. El cuerpo de Cheo Ngu fue encontrado tirado cerca de la orilla. Hasta el momento hay varias personas desaparecidas.

      La ruta por vía marítima que une la frontera de Guatemala con el istmo de Tehuantepec, en Oaxaca, es una opción cada vez más frecuente ante el aumento de detenciones y deportaciones por parte de la recién creada Guardia Nacional. Tradicionalmente los migrantes han utilizado las rutas terrestres, pero los traficantes de personas cada vez recurren más a esta ruta poco vigilada, más barata y con menos riesgos a ser detenido. Por una cantidad que oscila entre los 400 y 800 dólares —para los cubanos puede ser el doble— esta ruta permite a los centroamericanos avanzar desde Guatemala a Salina Cruz o Huatulco, en Oaxaca.

      Aunque la mayoría de los migrantes en México son de origen centroamericano, el flujo de personas procedentes de Camerún, República Democrática del Congo o Eritrea, ha ido en aumento. Los africanos se encuentran en un ‘limbo legal’ ya que no pueden ser repatriados y actualmente tienen la negativa del gobierno federal para recibir los trámites de salida para continuar su trayecto hacia Estados Unidos. En los últimos dos meses cientos de ellos permanecen varados en Tapachula (Chiapas). Algunos en la Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI, y otros en la calle, donde han mantenido protestas y enfrentamientos contra la policía y la Guardia Nacional por la situación que viven y la falta de respuestas.

      Luis García Villagran es activista por los derechos humanos en Tapachula. En llamada telefónica y aparentemente afectado, confirma que su versión dista mucho de la de las autoridades. “Hay una embarcación que sí ha llegado a su destino (Oaxaca) y que ni se ha nombrado, pero en la accidentada iban más personas de las que dice el informe oficial. Sé con seguridad que hay más personas desaparecidas. No solo hemos perdido a nuestro hermano Emmanuel”, zanja Villagran.

      https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/10/12/actualidad/1570833110_016901.html

  • Réveille-toi Adam Smith, sors de ta tombe Milton Friedman!
    http://carfree.fr/index.php/2019/07/10/reveille-toi-adam-smith-sors-de-ta-tombe-milton-friedman

    Quand les médias parlent de dysfonctionnement d’un service public, rapidement se pose la question de le rendre payant. Récemment, un éditorialiste de la chaîne de télévision LCI, François Lenglet, croyait Lire la suite...

    #Fin_de_l'automobile #Transports_publics #critique #économie #Gratuité_des_transports_en_commun #libéralisme #routes #santé #services_publics

  • Au moins 25 000 ponts en France sont « en mauvais état structurel »
    https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2019/06/27/au-moins-25-000-ponts-en-france-presentent-des-problemes-de-securite_5482062


    Le pont reliant La Rochelle à l’île de Ré, en mai 2018.
    XAVIER LEOTY / AFP

    Selon un rapport sénatorial, la dégradation de nombre d’ouvrages est le fruit d’un « sous-investissement chronique », posant « des problèmes de sécurité et de disponibilité pour les usagers ».

    Deux semaines avant l’effondrement meurtrier du viaduc Morandi, à Gênes, le maire de la petite commune de Beaumontel, dans l’Eure, a constaté au matin du 1er août 2018 qu’un des piliers du pont sur la Risle, entre la mairie et l’église, s’était affaissé et ne soutenait plus rien. Pont fermé, 250 000 euros de travaux. Un mois après la catastrophe italienne, c’est sur l’imposant viaduc de l’île de Ré qu’un câble précontraint rompait en raison de la corrosion. Circulation restreinte, 2 millions d’euros de réparations. La France n’est pas à l’abri d’un accident tragique : au moins 25 000 ponts sont « en mauvais état structurel » et « posent des problèmes de sécurité et de disponibilité pour les usagers », selon un rapport sénatorial rendu public jeudi 27 juin, qui réclame un « plan Marshall » pour « éviter le drame ».

    Dans la foulée de l’écroulement du viaduc italien, le Sénat avait lancé une mission d’information sur l’état des ponts en France, dirigée par le président de la commission de l’aménagement du territoire et du développement durable, le centriste Hervé Maurey, et dotée des moyens d’une commission d’enquête. Le nombre de ponts en France est évalué entre 200 000 et 250 000 – une fourchette étonnamment large. C’est la première surprise du rapport : personne n’est capable de donner le nombre exact de ces ponts routiers, faute d’un recensement du patrimoine des collectivités locales. Une inconnue révélatrice « des lacunes de la politique de surveillance et d’entretien », estime la mission.

    L’Etat possède 24 000 ponts. La moitié, gérée par les sociétés concessionnaires d’autoroutes, est sans problème. Pour le reste, 7 % présentent des défauts de sécurité et 2 800 d’entre eux, construits après-guerre, arrivent en « fin de vie » et nécessitent une chirurgie lourde. Un audit externe, remis en juin 2018 au ministère des transports, estimait qu’un tiers des ponts de l’Etat avaient besoin de travaux, dont 7 % présentaient « un risque d’effondrement ». Le tableau est plus sombre encore du côté des collectivités territoriales, qui gèrent 90 % des ouvrages : entre 100 000 et 120 000 pour les départements, dont 8,5 % en mauvais état, et de 80 000 à 100 000 pour les communes, dont 18 % à 20 % présentent des défaillances.

    #paywall

  • Les migrants coincés dans le bourbier maltais

    Depuis que l’Italie a fermé ses ports aux bateaux des ONG, Malte a vu le nombre d’exilés exploser. L’absence de cadre européen contraint l’île à utiliser la manière forte pour obliger l’UE à respecter ses engagements d’accueil.

    https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/04/14/les-migrants-coinces-dans-le-bourbier-maltais_1721348
    #Malte #asile #migrations #réfugiés #routes_migratoires #Méditerranée #déplacement_des_routes_migratoires #fermeture_des_ports

  • #Cartographie. Avec les nouvelles #routes_de_la_soie, la Chine tisse une toile mondiale

    Le projet des routes de la soie est désormais présenté par le gouvernement chinois comme un axe stratégique essentiel du pays au XXIe siècle. Démonstration en carte.


    #visualisation #Chine #globalisation #mondialisation
    ping @reka @simplicissimus

  • Les Cafés Géo » Les nouvelles routes de l’entre-soi(e)
    http://cafe-geo.net/les-nouvelles-routes-de-lentre-soie

    ophie Boisseau du Rocher, chercheur associé au Centre Asie de l’IFRI et d’Emmanuel Dubois de Prisque, chercheur associé à l’Institut Thomas More et corédacteur en chef de la revue Monde chinois-nouvelle Asie sont les auteurs du passionnant « La Chine e(s)t le monde. Essai sur la sino-mondialisation », publié en janvier 2019 aux éditions Odile Jacob.

    Dans le chapitre 3, les auteurs se livrent à une réflexion sur les Routes de la soie, cette proposition chinoise d’une nouvelle organisation de l’espace mondial. Il s’agit de créer de nouvelles connectivités entre la Chine et le monde pour un budget annoncé de 1 000 milliards de dollars.

    Ce projet répond d’abord à une urgence économique. A son arrivée au pouvoir en 2013, Xi Jinping cherche à maintenir un taux de croissance jugé nécessaire à la paix sociale et à la stabilité politique. La Chine qui dispose d’une capacité financière considérable doit résorber ses surcapacités industrielles. Elle va chercher à l’extérieur les points de croissance indispensables à sa stabilité et à la légitimité du Parti. Le projet Routes de la soie permet aussi de réduire les déséquilibres territoriaux persistants (désenclavement et contrôle du Grand Ouest chinois).

    #chine #routes_de_la_soie #mondiaisation

  • Franck Page : Étudiant, livreur à #Vélo pour #uber Eats, #mort au #travail
    http://carfree.fr/index.php/2019/02/12/franck-page-etudiant-livreur-a-velo-pour-uber-eats-mort-au-travail

    Franck Page est décédé alors qu’il livrait une commande pour Uber Eats dans la banlieue bordelaise. En hommage à cet étudiant de 18 ans, sa famille et de nombreux livreurs Lire la suite...

    #Insécurité_routière #accident #bordeaux #libéralisme #livraisons #routes #sécurité_routière #ubérisation

  • Canarias recibió 1.307 inmigrantes en patera en #2018, el triple que en #2017

    Canarias recibió el año pasado 1.307 inmigrantes llegados en patera o cayuco, el triple que en 2017, cuando se registraron 425 (+207,5 %), según el balance del ejercicio que acaba de publicar el Ministerio del Interior.

    A lo largo de 2018, llegaron a las islas o fueron socorridas en su ámbito de influencia 69 embarcaciones con inmigrantes irregulares, 49 más que el año anterior (+245,0 %).

    El pasado año llegaron 57.498 inmigrantes irregulares a las costas españolas por medio de embarcaciones, lo que supone un incremento del 161,7 por ciento respecto a los 21.971 que entraron por esa vía en 2017 (2,6 veces más).

    Según el último balance provisional del Ministerio del Interior, el total de inmigrantes que entraron a España entre el 1 de enero y el 31 de diciembre pasados, tanto en patera como por las fronteras de Ceuta y Melilla, asciende a 64.298, un 131 % más que en 2017.

    La mayoría de las entradas por mar han sido a través de las costas peninsulares y Baleares, en concreto, 54.703 en 1.955 pateras, frente a los 20.611 de 2017 (un 165,4 % más).

    Por la ciudad autónoma de Melilla han entrado 918 personas en 34 pateras y por Ceuta 570 en 51 barcazas (678 y 257 inmigrantes en 2017, respectivamente).

    Interior ha registrado, además, otras 6.800 llegadas por vía terrestre: 4.821 a Melilla (un 24 % más que en 2017) y 1.979 a Ceuta (1,1 % menos que un año antes).

    https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20190104/453927916574/canarias-recibio-1307-inmigrantes-en-patera-en-2018-el-triple-que-en-2

    #Canaries #îles_Canaries #parcours_migratoires #routes_migratoires #asile #migrations #réfugiés #chiffres #statistiques #Espagne
    ping @reka

  • The roundabout revolutions

    The history of these banal, utilitarian instruments of traffic management has become entangled with that of political uprising, #Eyal_Weizman argues in his latest book

    This project started with a photograph. It was one of the most arresting images depicting the May 1980 #Gwangju uprising, recognised now as the first step in the eventual overthrow of the military dictatorship in South Korea. The photograph (above) depicts a large crowd of people occupying a roundabout in the city center. Atop a disused fountain in the middle of the roundabout a few protestors have unfurled a South Korean flag. The roundabout organised the protest in concentric circles, a geometric order that exposed the crowd to itself, helping a political collective in becoming.

    It had an uncanny resonance with events that had just unfolded: in the previous year a series of popular uprisings spread through Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, #Oman, Yemen, Libya, and Syria. These events shared with Gwangju not only the historical circumstances – they too were popular protests against military dictatorships – but, remarkably, an urban-architectural setting: many of them similarly erupted on roundabouts in downtown areas. The history of these roundabouts is entangled with the revolutions that rose from them.

    The photograph of the roundabout—now the symbol of the “liberated republic” – was taken by #Na_Kyung-taek from the roof of the occupied Provincial Hall, looking toward Geumnam-ro, only a few hours before the fall of the “#Gwangju_Republic”. In the early morning hours of the following day, the Gwangju uprising was overwhelmed by military force employing tanks and other armed vehicles. The last stand took place at the roundabout.

    The scene immediately resonates with the well-known photographs of people gathering in #Tahrir_Square in early 2011. Taken from different high-rise buildings around the square, a distinct feature in these images is the traffic circle visible by the way it organises bodies and objects in space. These images became the symbol of the revolution that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 – an event described by urban historian Nezar AlSayyad as “Cairo’s roundabout revolution”. But the Gwangju photograph also connects to images of other roundabouts that erupted in dissent in fast succession throughout the Middle East. Before Tahrir, as Jonathan Liu noted in his essay Roundabouts and Revolutions, it was the main roundabout in the capital of Tunisia – subsequently renamed Place du 14 Janvier 2011 after the date on which President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee the country. Thousands of protesters gathered at the roundabout in Tunis and filled the city’s main boulevard.

    A main roundabout in Bahrain’s capital Manama erupted in protests shortly after the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt. Its central traffic island became the site of popular protests against the government and the first decisive act of military repression: the protests were violently broken up and the roundabout itself destroyed and replaced with a traffic intersection. In solidarity with the Tahrir protests, the roundabouts in the small al-Manara Square in Ramallah and the immense Azadi Square in Tehran also filled with protesters. These events, too, were violently suppressed.

    The roundabouts in Tehran and Ramallah had also been the scenes of previous revolts. In 2009 the Azadi roundabout in Iran’s capital was the site of the main protests of the Green Movement contesting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection. Hamid Dabashi, a literature professor at Columbia University and one of the most outspoken public intellectuals on these revolutions, claims that the Green Movement was inspirational for the subsequent revolutionary wave in the Arab world. In Palestine, revolt was a permanent consequence of life under occupation, and the al-Manara roundabout was a frequent site of clashes between Palestinian youth and the Israeli military. The sequence of roundabout revolutions evolved as acts of imitation, each building on its predecessor, each helping propel the next.

    Roundabouts were of course not only exhilarating sites of protest and experiments in popular democracy, but moreover they were places where people gathered and risked their life. The Gwangju uprising is, thus, the first of the roundabout revolutions. Liu wrote: “In all these cases, the symbolism is almost jokingly obvious: what better place to stage a revolution, after all, then one built for turning around?” What better way to show solidarity across national borders than to stage protests in analogous places?

    Why roundabouts? After all, they are banal, utilitarian instruments of traffic management, certainly not prone to induce revolutionary feeling. Other kinds of sites – squares, boulevards, favelas, refugee camps – have served throughout history as the setting for political protest and revolt. Each alignment of a roundabout and a revolution has a specific context and diverse causes, but the curious repetition of this phenomenon might give rise to several speculations. Urban roundabouts are the intersection points of large axes, which also puts them at the start or end of processions.

    Occupying a roundabout demonstrates the power of tactical acupuncture: it blocks off all routes going in and out. Congestion moves outward like a wave, flowing down avenues and streets through large parts of the city. By pressuring a single pivotal point within a networked infrastructure, an entire city can be put under siege (a contemporary contradistinction to the medieval technique of surrounding the entire perimeter of a city wall). Unlike public squares, which are designed as sites for people to gather (therefore not interrupting the flow of vehicular traffic) and are usually monitored and policed, roundabout islands are designed to keep people away. The continuous flow of traffic around them creates a wall of speeding vehicles that prohibits access. While providing open spaces (in some cities the only available open spaces) these islands are meant to be seen but not used.

    Another possible explanation is their symbolic power: they often contain monuments that represent the existing regime. The roundabouts of recent revolutions had emblematic names – Place du 7 Novembre 1987, the date the previous regime took power in Tunisia; “Liberty” (Azadi), referring to the 1979 Iranian Revolution; or “Liberation” (Tahrir), referring to the 1952 revolutions in Egypt. Roundabout islands often had statues, both figurative and abstract, representing the symbolic order of regimes. Leaders might have wished to believe that circular movement around their monuments was akin to a form of worship or consent. While roundabouts exercise a centripetal force, pulling protestors into the city center, the police seek to generate movement in the opposite direction, out and away from the center, and to break a collective into controllable individuals that can be handled and dispersed.

    The most common of all centrifugal forces of urban disorganisation during protests is tear gas, a formless cloud that drifts through space to disperse crowds. From Gwangju to Cairo, Manama to Ramallah, hundreds of tear-gas canisters were used largely exceeding permitted levels in an attempt to evict protesters from public spaces. The bodily sensation of the gas forms part of the affective dimension of the roundabout revolution. When tear gas is inhaled, the pain is abrupt, sharp, and isolating. The eyes shut involuntary, generating a sense of disorientation and disempowerment.

    Protestors have found ways to mitigate the toxic effects of this weapon. Online advice is shared between activists from Palestine through Cairo to Ferguson. The best protection is offered by proper gas masks. Improvised masks made of mineral water bottles cut in half and equipped with a filter of wet towels also work, according to online manuals. Some activists wear swim goggles and place wet bandanas or kaffiyehs over their mouths. To mitigate some of the adverse effects, these improvised filters can be soaked in water, lemon juice, vinegar, toothpaste, or wrapped around an onion. When nothing else is at hand, breathe the air from inside your shirt and run upwind onto higher ground. When you have a chance, blow your nose, rinse your mouth, cough, and spit.


    https://www.iconeye.com/opinion/comment/item/12093-the-roundabout-revolutions
    #révolution #résistance #giratoire #carrefour #rond-point #routes #infrastructure_routière #soulèvement_politique #Corée_du_Sud #printemps_arabe #Egypte #Tunisie #Bahreïni #Yémen #Libye #Syrie #Tahrir

    Du coup : #gilets_jaunes ?

    @albertocampiphoto & @philippe_de_jonckheere

    This project started with a photograph. It was one of the most arresting images depicting the May 1980 #Gwangju uprising, recognised now as the first step in the eventual overthrow of the military dictatorship in South Korea. The photograph (above) depicts a large crowd of people occupying a roundabout in the city center. Atop a disused fountain in the middle of the roundabout a few protestors have unfurled a South Korean flag. The roundabout organised the protest in concentric circles, a geometric order that exposed the crowd to itself, helping a political collective in becoming.

    –-> le pouvoir d’une #photographie...

    signalé par @isskein

    ping @reka

  • ’Cyprus is saturated’ - burgeoning migrant crisis grips island

    Smugglers increasingly take advantage of island’s partition and proximity to Middle East.

    When Rubar and Bestoon Abass embarked on their journey to Europe they had no idea that Cyprus was the continent’s easternmost state. Like most Iraqi Kurds heading west, their destination was Germany, not an EU nation barely 100 miles from war-torn Syria.

    “I had never heard of Cyprus,” said Rubar, reaching for his pregnant wife’s hand as they sat gloomily in a migrant centre run by the Catholic charity Caritas in the heart of Nicosia. “The smugglers told us it was much cheaper to get to and was still in Europe. We paid $2,000 [£1,590] for the four of us to come.”

    Cyprus is in the midst of a burgeoning migrant crisis as smuggler networks take advantage of the Mediterranean island’s partition and proximity to the Middle East. As in Greece, when Europe’s refugee crisis erupted with Syria’s descent into civil war, support groups have rushed to deal with the social ailments that have arisen with the influx.

    “Cyprus is saturated,” its interior minister, Constantinos Petrides, said in an interview with the Guardian. “It’s no longer easy to absorb such flows, or handle the situation, no matter how much money we get.”

    The island has exceeded every other EU member state in asylum claims in 2018, recording the highest number per capita with almost 6,000 applications for a population of about 1 million.

    By August requests were 55% higher than for the same eight-month period in 2017, a figure itself 56% higher than that for 2016, according to the interior ministry. With the country’s asylum and reception systems vastly overstretched, alarmed officials have appealed to Brussels for help.

    “This is a European problem,” said Petrides, adding that closed borders elsewhere in the bloc were placing a disproportionate burden on small frontline states such as Cyprus. “It’s absolutely necessary to find a holistic solution … which means distributing asylum seekers through an automatic relocation mechanism to countries throughout the EU.”

    Rubar and Bestoon arrived with their two children in August. Like the ever-growing number of Syrians also heading here from overcrowded camps in Turkey and Lebanon, the couple landed in Northern Cyprus, the self-styled state acknowledged only by Ankara in the 44 years since Turkish troops invaded and seized over a third of the island’s territory.

    They then took the increasingly well-trodden route of sneaking across the dividing buffer zone into the internationally recognised Greek-controlled south. Stretching 112 miles across Cyprus, the UN-patrolled ceasefire line offers innumerable blind spots for those determined to evade detection.

    Geography’s stark reality hit, Rubar admits, when he was shown Cyprus on the world map adorning the migrant centre’s airy reception room. “If I had known I’d never have come,” said the farmer. “After all, being here we’re much nearer Baghdad than we are Berlin.”

    Elizabeth Kassinis, Caritas’ executive manager, said the Abbasses’ experience is not uncommon. “Many are surprised to find out where they actually are. When we tell them, they are shocked, stunned, completely speechless. Nearly all arrive expecting they’ll be within walking distance of a job in Germany.”

    Illicit crossings from the north have made Cyprus’ woes much worse. Reports have increased in recent months of irregular migrants flying into Ercan airport in the Turkish-controlled breakaway state.

    Hamstrung by politics, not least Turkey’s refusal to recognise the government in the southern part of Cyprus since its 1974 invasion of the island, authorities are unable to send them back.

    “Because of the illegal occupation in the north we’ve seen phenomena that wouldn’t happen in conditions of legality,” said Petrides. “It’s an open wound, not just for Cyprus but the entire EU.”

    With international agencies focusing almost entirely on sea arrivals, the real number of migrants on the island has been hugely underestimated, charities say. “We are a humanitarian organisation that addresses poverty, hunger and homelessness and we are seeing across-the-board increases in them all,” Kassinis said.

    A backlog of 8,000 asylum claims has amassed as authorities struggle to cope with the flows, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. “We’re talking about a process that can take up to five years and an extremely high number of people waiting for final decisions to their claims,” said Katja Saha, the agency’s representative in Nicosia.

    “It’s highly likely that the vast majority are not refugees and should not be in the asylum processing system but, that said, the lack of infrastructure and social services makes it very difficult to identify those who are vulnerable, particularly victims of trafficking and torture.”

    As numbers grow, pressure on the island’s two state-run camps has become immense and asylum seekers are expected to find private accommodation after 72 hours. For most that is nearly impossible when rent allowances are little more than €100 (£90) per person a month and employment is limited to manual work such as car washing and farm labour, Saha said.

    In Nicosia, which houses one of the camps, asylum seekers have resorted to sleeping in parks and buses and the vestibules of buildings. “For the last month I’ve been in a tent in the park with my wife and four children,” said Basin Hussain, who also fled Iraq. “The first three days were spent in the reception centre but then we were told to leave.”

    There are fears the drama being played out in the eastern Mediterranean will get a lot worse if the situation in Syria deteriorates further and war extends to Idlib, the country’s last rebel stronghold. A Turkish-Russian ceasefire deal is currently sustaining a fragile peace in the province.

    Cyprus had been spared the refugee crisis until this year as most Europe-bound asylum seekers headed for Greece and Italy instead.

    “It’s surprising, given its geographic location, that Cyprus has not been more impacted by the seven-year conflict,” said Saha. “Since the spring we’ve seen this increase in Syrians because word has spread that Lebanon and Turkey, as first asylum countries, are saturated.”

    As elsewhere in Europe the island is not immune to hostility toward the new arrivals. Far-right groups coalescing around the ultranationalist ELAM party have gained increasing popularity as the issue provides fodder for their approval ratings ahead of European parliamentary elections next year.

    “What we don’t want to do is open more and more reception centres,” said Petrides, emphasising that solidarity was now needed on Europe’s eastern edge. “It’s not the solution, either for the country or asylum seekers.”


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/11/cyprus-the-new-entry-point-to-europe-for-refugees-and-migrants?CMP=shar
    #parcours_migratoires #routes_migratoires #Chypre #asile #migrations #réfugiés
    ping @isskein