Opinion: Dying Boats and the Lacking Answer for Libya

Thursday 23 April, 2015
Whereas the EU is actively responding to the “dying boats” tragedy that has seen hundreds of our bodies washed ashore in Europe, the Arab world appears to be unconcerned concerning the victims or the difficulty that considerations us greater than anybody else. Virtually all of these boats set sail with their human cargo from Arab Mediterranean nations, with Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians, Sudanese, Moroccans and Somalis accounting for a substantial proportion of the victims. The difficulty sheds mild as soon as once more on the tragic state of affairs in Libya which, due the chaos there, has became a hub of human-trafficking networks.

Over the previous few days, the humanitarian and political dimensions of the disaster have acquired large information protection. After the drowning of greater than 1,000 asylum seekers on board a ship inside 24 hours, EU leaders have rushed to carry an emergency assembly to debate the difficulty on Thursday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has reduce brief his election marketing campaign to debate the humanitarian disaster that has shaken the general public conscience and raised many robust questions. In the meantime, the Arab world appears to be utterly faraway from the disaster.

Nobody is aware of precisely the variety of the victims of the “dying boats.” There are our bodies that aren’t recovered and boats that sink with no hint. Greater than 20,000 individuals have died since 2000, principally within the Mediterranean, in line with the Worldwide Group for Migration (IOM). These have been amongst lots of of hundreds of principally younger migrants pushed by frustration to danger their lives in an try to succeed in European shores looking for security, job alternatives, or a dream of a greater life. Final yr alone, greater than one hundred twenty five,000 individuals managed to succeed in Europe on board these boats, with the Italian coast alone receiving one hundred,000 of them. These are among the many fortunate ones who escaped being swallowed by sea or killed by smuggling cartels. Based on help businesses, boat migrants are uncovered to many threats together with looting, bodily and sexual assaults, being thrown off crowded boats or left stranded in the midst of the ocean by the fleeing crews of these worn out boats.

EU leaders won’t solely be discussing the humanitarian dimension of the disaster, however may even goal to deal with the political, financial and safety points related to it. Immigration has develop into a thorny and very controversial problem in Europe, notably after the current financial crises and unemployment issues on the continent, in addition to the upsurge of extremist far-proper events and racist teams who capitalize on such points. In France and Britain, for instance, the rising help acquired by far-proper actions has made them aspire to play a bigger political position of their respective nations, not solely with regard to immigration points but in addition in figuring out the way forward for the whole EU. The chief of France’s Nationwide Entrance, Marine Le Pen, who can also be a presidential hopeful, is enjoying the financial disaster and anti-immigration playing cards in a bid to win the elections. Nigel Farage of Britain’s UK Independence Celebration (UKIP) is doing the identical. In line with polls, UKIP is heading within the basic elections in Might to realize its highest variety of votes because it was established.

The safety dimension of the dialogue is said to fears that terrorist teams will use these waves of migrants washing on European shores as a approach to get its cadres into Europe. Ever because the state of affairs in Libya deteriorated and the North African nation obtained sucked right into a seemingly infinite vortex of conflict and chaos, Western political circles have warned of the results this will have on Europe amid fears that terrorist organizations, such because the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), will make the most of this inflow of individuals as a way to smuggle its fighters into Europe. Following the slaughter of Egyptian and Ethiopian staff in Libya by ISIS and the threats the extremist group has made in the direction of Europe, the EU has began to assume significantly about taking measures to counter the threats and prohibit the waves of migrants coming by means of the Mediterranean.

The EU has launched a ten-level plan to counter the migration disaster. It consists of cracking down on human trafficking networks and destroying their boats, increasing naval monitoring operations, accumulating info and checking newcomers’ IDs and scanning finger prints. These measures might restrict the circulate of refugees however will solely obtain the required impact by means of attaining bigger cooperation with the involved nations, together with Arab ones, in addition to exerting bigger efforts to deal with the chaos in Libya.

The migrants disaster might open a window for higher consideration to the state of affairs in Libya. With Europe speaking about the necessity to tackle the disaster politically, Arab gamers, in the event that they have been to take motion, have a chance to push in the direction of saving Libya earlier than it turns into a totally failed state, a improvement that might show pricey for everybody, notably Arabs.
Written by : Osman Mirghani, Asharq Al Awsat