Alwaght- European Union naval forces are deliberately leaving refugees to die at sea to discourage more refugees from attempting to cross the Mediterranean, a report has revealed.
According to a report by The Intercept, since 2014, the European Union has deliberately chosen to keep their coast guard patrol boats far from where the shipwrecks happen, a decision detailed in an internal letter and other leaked documents. Saving more lives, the logic goes, will only encourage more refugees to come. The result is that rescue boats are kept away from where rescues are actually needed.
The Italian navy used to run patrols near the Libyan coast. Their operation, called Mare Nostrum — “our sea” in Latin — involved a large mobilization of ships, planes, and helicopters in international waters close to Libya, where boats carrying refugees regularly capsized and sank. Mare Nostrum was enormously successful — in the year it ran, it saved over 150,000 people. Still, on October 31, 2014, Italy announced it would phase out the program.
The following day, Frontex, the European Union’s border agency, took over with an operation called Triton. In a press release at the time, Frontex said its operation followed in the wake of Mare Nostrum and was intended to support the Italian authorities. There was one key difference from Mare Nostrum, however: Frontex would limit its patrols to just 30 miles off Italy’s coast, which was about 130 miles from Libya — at least a 12-hour sail. Frontex was deliberately not patrolling the area where most of the shipwrecks occurred. This implies that in case of distress call, its ships would almost certainly arrive late, if at all.
An average of 3,500 people have died each year while trying to make the journey to Italy from North Africa since 2014. Their vessels are overcrowded, unseaworthy, and have a near-nothing chance of making it to Europe. Most of the boats sink just 20 to 40 miles from the Libyan coast.
This incriminating report comes after the medical aid group Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors without Borders, denounced violence against refugees in Europe, calling it a "ritual of brutality... designed to stop people from trying to cross again." The closure of “the EU borders has led to a staggering increase in violence, especially along the Balkans," said MSF’s Andrea Contenta at a clinic set up by the medical aid group in Belgrade.
Rights groups say the EU's last year decision on border closures and restrictions has dramatically worsened the humanitarian condition of refugees and only smuggling routes more dangerous.
Analysts believe interfering and domineering policies by Western powers are the mains cause of outbreak of wars and conflicts in the West Asia region (Middle East) and Africa. The consequences of these wars it the massive wave of refugees pouring into Europe.