GERMAN NGO’S HELPING HAND TO REFUGEES IN MEDITERRANEAN




Mustafa AY – TDO – 10.09.2017 That EU has not taken any step for rapidly increasing influx of refugees into Europe caused the diplomatic crisis between Italy and Austria to be aggravated.  At the beginning of July, Austrian govt. curtailed the incoming refugees by deploying more military personnel with APC’s (Armored Personnel Carrier) at the border of Brenner Pass in Alps. This progress led a bit tension between two to arise. Besides Austria, Roma hold EU accountable for the annoying happenings with Austria by attributing it to EU’s passive attitude on the refugees coming to Italy. EU’s passiveness is not only leading the exacerbation of the bilateral relations between the member countries, but also leading to deaths of thousands of refugees in the sea.

EU’s Frontex (Border Security Agency) is considered to be insufficient in the rescue-operations for the refugees drowning in Mediterranean by German NGO ‘Sea Eyes’. It also finds Libyan government responsible for those suffering and dying in the sea. Officials in Sea Eyes highlighted this situation with this statement “That Frontex and EU uttered ‘there is no more refugee and refugee who lost his/her life by drowning’ is totally out of truth”.   Sea Eye’s these remarks are based on a first-hand experienced survivor – a man saved by Sea Eyes at last week-. African survivor reportedly uttered that his boat couldn’t save other refugees whose boats were sank because their boat already overweighed. Therefore, Frontex and EU’s quotes in press conferences arranged for this matter are totally out of truth.

Sea Eyes has rescued 12.000 refugees from drowning since April 2016. As abovementioned, Officials from NGO held Libyan govt. accountable for the deaths in Mediterranean. However, during the NATO airstrikes to Qaddafi Forces in 2011, majority of Libyan Naval Forces vessels were destructed. In addition to this, many veteran naval officers were also killed during the operations and domestic conflict.  That’s why, decent naval officer is hard to be found in the Libyan fleet. Even if they had lived, they would not have enough ships today. That’s why, Libyan naval forces could not join the rescue operations efficiently. As well as it, in June, Italian government announced that they would send financial support and veteran military trainers for Libyan naval forces so as to incorporate Libya into search and rescue operations. It is the testimony of how Libyan govt. is insufficient. Let all aside, that Libyan govt. proclaimed ban on private vessels including in NGOs ships roaming around/in its maritime territory is another accusation by Sea Eyes, because Organization’s ships can’t save those drowning in Libyan coastal waters. But, Libyan govt. denied these accusations and coming up with the rationale that rescue operations make the continuity of human trafficker’s business easy and more perpetual.