Important Update Added
on a Further Escalation
of the Refugee Crisis !
عملية عسكرية أوروبية بالمتوسط ضد #الهجرة_غير_الشرعية
Europe's Military Operation in the Mediterranean to Fight Illegal Immigration
أطلق الاتحاد الأوروبي عملية عسكرية بحرية في المتوسط من أجل تفكيك شبكات الهجرة غيرة الشرعية.ـ
The European Union launched a military naval operation in the Mediterranean in order to disintegrate networks [serving] illegal immigration.
العملية التي حُشِدت لها قدرات هائلة ستتركز في مرحلتها الأولى على جمع المعلومات حول المهربين في انتظار قرار دولي أو طلب من الحكومة الليبية يمَكن القوات الأوروبيه من التحرك داخل المياه الإقليمية الليبية.ـ
The operation which is mobilizing considerable forces will be concentrating in its first phase on the collection of information on smugglers [while] awaiting an international resolution or a request from the Libyan government that would enable European forces to move in Libyan waters.
[Source: Al-Arabiya العربية on June 23, 2015]
..... The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, told reporters. "The targets are not the migrants. The targets are those that are making money on their lives and too often on their deaths," she said.
The EU aims to "dismantle the business model" of the traffickers by destroying their boats. But the U.N. has been slow to endorse the operation amid criticism from refugee groups that the move will only deprive migrants fleeing poverty and conflict of a major way to escape, rather than address the roots of the problem. Libya's divided factions have also been reluctant to approve any operation in its waters or on land, which means that the transition to more robust phases of the naval mission could take months. The internationally recognized government has refused to give consent for U.N. action aimed at endorsing the plan because European governments have discussed it with Libyan militias that control coastal territory. People smuggling has become a major security issue in Libya, severely affecting European countries, with Libya becoming the major port favored by smugglers for illegal immigration. The country has no control or security checks at the border. As the crisis leads to more people fleeing the country, militia groups loyal to rival factions have made huge sums of money by cooperating with people smugglers as they allow them to pass through their territory.
A senior EU diplomatic official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to provide operational details, said five naval units led by the Italian light aircraft carrier Cavour, will be joined by two submarines, three maritime surveillance planes, two drones and two helicopters for the operation. .....
[Source: Daily Sabah , Istanbul, about 6 hours ago, on June 22, 2015]
Europe Divided on Refugee Crisis
From Brussels and Budapest:
In a challenge to European leaders before a summit that aims to tackle a refugee crisis, Hungary unilaterally suspended an EU asylum programme on Tuesday, saying it was overburdened by illegal migrants.
As Italy said its ships had rescued 3,700 migrants at sea since Monday and Libyans threatened military action against EU moves to curb human trafficking, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government demonstrated Budapest's frustration with proposals to spread asylum seekers around the continent by refusing to take any more migrants sent there under EU regulations.
With EU leaders due to debate a new scheme on Thursday to relocate Mediterranean migrants landing in Italy and Greece, the European Commission demanded an immediate explanation after Hungary stopped accepting foreigners returned there from other EU states for their asylum requests to be handled by Budapest.
The move, made by a government already at odds with Brussels over civil rights, was seen as a challenge to the Dublin Regulations which state that asylum claims be handled in the EU country where migrants first arrive or first request protection.
The issue has this month sparked a row between founder EU members Italy and France after Paris began stopping suspected illegal migrants at their normally open border. .....
[Source: Channel NewsAsia on June 23/24, 2015]
Fears of Illegal Border Crossings amid Strike Action
Forced Closing of Eurotunnel from Britain to France
..... Eurostar [railway] services have been suspended after protesters gained access to its terminal in France amid wildcat strike action by French ferry workers.
Eurotunnel said the decision to temporarily abort crossings to Britain were for "safety reasons" after French port workers trespassed on to its tracks. The firm said: "Passenger service temporarily suspended for safety reasons due to protesters having accessed our terminal in France. Trains stuck outside the tunnel were forced to return to their original stations in London, Paris and Brussels, Eurostar said.
Meanwhile, migrants massed in their thousands to take advantage of the industrial action by French ferry workers by trying to board UK-bound lorries.
Truckers forced to slow or stop due to queuing traffic on approaches to the northern French port were faced with migrants attempting to clamber on board. Migrants were seen walking by the sides of motorways looking for opportunities to jump on to lorries heading to the Port for Dover.
Tyres and hay bales were left burning at blockades created by striking MyFerryLink workers fearful that they will lose their jobs early next month. Ferry services to and from the Port of Dover were affected by the strike, but Eurotunnel earlier said their crossings were running to schedule, with two departures per hour.
The industrial action comes amid a worsening migrant situation near the Port of Calais where numbers camped there have swelled to more than 3,000 since April.
Video grab taken from BBC News of migrants by the side of a road in Calais as French ferry workers strike. Aid workers have reported a "catastrophic" situation, with predictions that some 2,000 more migrants displaced from war-torn countries including Eritrea, Syria and Afghanistan could arrive over the summer.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice on France today, urging travellers to keep their vehicle doors locked in slow-moving traffic and when unattended in Calais. It said: "Following industrial action at both Calais Port and at Eurotunnel in Coquelles, cross-Channel services are disrupted. Check the status of your booking with your operator before leaving home. "There are large numbers of illegal migrants in and around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally. "Although local police patrols have been reinforced, you should keep vehicle doors locked in slow-moving traffic and secure your vehicle when it is left unattended." The FCO also said there was a "high threat" from terrorism due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terror groups and recent French military intervention against ISIS. Around 17 million Britons visit France every year. .....
[Source: Mirror Online, London, on June 23, 2015]