El Reino Unido ha anunciado que no rescatara a ningun inmigrante mas en el Mediterraneo (eng)

31 octubre, 2014

Imagen-El Reino Unido ha anunciado que no rescatara a ningun inmigrante mas en el Mediterraneo (eng)

  • Italian mission being wound up after rescuing tens of thousands of people
  • 100,000 have reached Italy this year and some 2,000 have died trying
  • Ministers warn rescue operations create an unintended ‘pull factor’
  • Risk encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing

Ministers are withdrawing support for rescue operations that save thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe, amid fears traffickers use them as a ‘taxi service’.

In the past year around 150,000 people making the treacherous crossing from North Africa, many in ramshackle boats, have been picked up by the Italian navy.

But Britain, along with other EU countries, is refusing to pay for further rescue missions due to concerns they encourage more migrants to attempt the journey.

The BBC reported yesterday that people traffickers were setting off from North Africa with satellite phones and calling the Italian coastguard to come and pick them up.

The decision by ministers provoked outrage from refugee groups who said it would lead to more people ‘needlessly and shamefully dying on Europe’s doorstep’.

But British officials insist the huge rescue operation has led to more attempted crossings and put more lives at risk – as traffickers try the journey in less seaworthy crafts. Several thousand people have died attempting to make the crossing in the past 12 months. Of those who survived, many have headed north to Calais and tried to get in to Britain.

Italy launched its air and sea rescue operations last year in the wake of the Lampedusa tragedy in which hundreds of migrants died when their boat caught fire.

Since then the Mare Nostrum mission has seen Navy ships patrolling vast areas of the Mediterranean and picking up migrant vessels.

But it is due to end this week, and will be replaced on November 1 with a more limited border security operation, known as Triton, run by EU border agency Frontex. This will patrol a much smaller area closer to Europe’s southern border and will not actively search out migrants in difficulty.

Earlier this month Foreign Office minister Baroness Anelay told the House of Lords: ‘We do not support planned search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

‘We believe that they create an unintended ‘pull factor’, encouraging more migrants to attempt the dangerous sea crossing and thereby leading to more tragic and unnecessary deaths.

‘The Government believes the most effective way to prevent refugees and migrants attempting this dangerous crossing is to focus our attention on countries of origin and transit, as well as taking steps to fight the people-smugglers who wilfully put lives at risk by packing migrants into unseaworthy boats.’

Refugee Council chief executive Maurice Wren said: ‘The British Government seems oblivious to the fact that the world is in the grip of the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War.

‘People fleeing atrocities will not stop coming if we stop throwing them life rings; boarding a rickety boat in Libya will remain a seemingly rational decision if you’re running for your life and your country is in flames.

‘The only outcome of withdrawing help will be to witness more people needlessly and shamefully dying on Europe’s doorstep.

‘The answer isn’t to build the walls of fortress Europe higher, it’s to provide more safe and legal channels for people to access protection.’

The new operation, called Triton and run by the EU’s Frontex borders agency, is due to commence on November 1 but has a ‘very different’ objective from Mare Nostrum.

Frontex spokeswoman Isabella Cooper told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘Our operation covers a very specific operational area and we only have a few vessels and a few aircraft. The Mediterranean Sea is over 2.5 million square kilometres large – it is virtually impossible to have a full overview of what is happening at sea.

‘Our operation is exclusively that of border control. Mare Nostrum is an operation that aims at search and rescue, so these two operations are very different.’

Michael Diedring, secretary-general of the European Council on Refugees, told Today that the EU should fundamentally change its approach to the problem, allowing more people to enter legally.

He said: ‘One of the reasons these people are making the journey is because the policy of the European Union is that there are almost no safe and legal means to access European soil to file an asylum claim, for example. There is only resettlement, and resettlement numbers are quite low, but that is the only legal way.

‘So individuals who are stranded in North Africa, who are fleeing for their lives, who are running from persecution, from war, who have no choice because their homes have been bombed and destroyed, their family members have been killed, they have been raped and tortured and gone through horrendous journeys along the way, the only way that they can attempt to come to Europe is through organised criminals.

‘If Europe allowed a safe and legal way for people to come, they could use the money that they are paying to criminals and they could buy first-class aeroplane tickets to Europe.’

Fuente: dailymail.co.uk


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