EU blocks refugees from Libya, somehow Trump is attacked
During European Union’s latest summit in Malta on Friday to debate and discuss migration into Europe from the sub-Saharan Africa through Libya and across the Mediterranean, President Trump’s new immigration plans for America dominated the tone.
François Hollande, the French president, called his American counterpart’s comments earlier this month denigrating the EU “unacceptable.”
Federica Mogherini, the union’s foreign policy chief, said “we do not believe in bans and walls”, a slap at President Trump’s executive order on refugees and his plans for a wall on America’s Mexican border.
Contrary to this tone is the EU’s new plans, a deal with Turkey which started in March 2016, to crack down on people-smuggling in the Aegean sea and now halt the migrants from Libya.
Some 180,000 arrived in Italy last year, with more than 4,000 dead or missing on the crossing.
Many of them are economic migrants, not refugees. The largest proportion came from Nigeria, which has very low asylum acceptance rates. Most experienced extreme hardship on the route: reports of beatings, rapes and torture in Libya are common.
The Italy-Libya deal calls for establishing “reception centres”, but does not explain what they would be, says Federico Soda of the IOM.
Detention centres, run by different militias and other groups, already exist all over Libya. Most provide miserable accommodations to those who are stuck in them, almost always against their will.
The Italian government has been complaining to the EU about the failure to tackle African migration for decades.