Brit Press Amplifies the Lie of “Taliban Independence From Pakistan”

[Taliban (religious students) have always been tools of the CIA and the ISI, there to project Pakistan’s power into Afghanistan, without projecting blame for the murderous war crimes committed by them (SEE:  Taliban Have Always Been ISI Foot Soldiers, Working For the CIA).  There can be no independence from their parent paramilitary institutions in Islamabad. 

Afghan Pres. Ghani is just like Hamid Karzai, in that, both of them were there because the Pentagon/CIA wanted them there, to serve Western will.  It is a calculated seduction, intended to seduce the Afghan people into surrendering to Taliban fascism once again, and to seduce the American people into surrendering to Pentagon plans for permanent war in Southeast Asia and a permanent US presence in Afghanistan.  The Western peace ploy was never intended to foster peace in Afghanistan, but merely to make possible the placement of (some other nations’) military forces along planned pipeline routes and highways, in sufficient numbers to limit property damage to Western and Arab-financed development projects.  Everything else is just play-acting and media disinformation, intended to push the broadway production, disguised as “war” to people in love with war and Hollywood-style entertainment.  War movies have always fascinated the American public.]

In Secret Meetings, Taliban Rejected Pakistan Pressure On Peace Process

ndtv

Reuters

In Secret Meetings, Taliban Rejected Pakistan Pressure On Peace Process

File photo: A member of Afghan security forces holding up his rifle as he walks at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan February 27, 2016. (Reuters Photo)

Islamabad/Peshawar, Pakistan:  Pakistani officials threatened to expel Afghanistan’s Taliban from bases in Pakistan if they did not join peace talks this month, but the militants rebuffed their traditional patron, two officials said, casting doubt on how much influence Islamabad retains over them.

After the secret meetings with Pakistani officials about two weeks ago, the Taliban’s Supreme Council met at an undisclosed location and voted to reject the talks scheduled for early March with the Afghan government, according to a council member.

Instead, the insurgents are now pouring back into Afghanistan for what they say will be a fierce spring offensive to be launched soon.

Pakistan’s influence over the insurgents is the lynchpin to the peace plan developed over last few months by Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China to bring an end to the 15-year-old war in Afghanistan.

A Pakistani official in Islamabad said the Taliban’s recent success on the battlefield inside Afghanistan had changed the equation.

“They no longer need their Pakistan bases in the same way, so if Pakistan threatens to expel them, it does not have the same effect,” said the official, a retired military officer close to the talks.

The insurgents have won new zones of influence – if not outright control – from Afghan security forces since the United States and its allies pulled most combat troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, Afghan and Western officials acknowledge.

“Pakistan’s trump card – safe havens on its soil – is in danger of being snatched away,” said Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

“The Taliban have little incentive to step off the battlefield now, given recent gains and those likely to come in the next few months. In effect, why quit while you’re ahead?”

Nafees Zakaria, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Foreign Office, said he had no knowledge of meetings with the Taliban but added, “We usually don’t know who has met with whom” in the sensitive and high-level peace initiative.

In Kabul, however, members of the Afghan government were sceptical about Pakistan’s assertions.

“Pakistan’s honesty and sincerity with regard to the Afghan peace process has always been a question,” said an Afghan cabinet member, echoing the sentiment of several officials interviewed there.

Pakistan’s military has long been accused of fostering the Taliban as a way of pursuing regional rivalry with India.

Pakistani officials, however, deny the charge and insist the government and military recognise that Afghanistan’s war threatens their own security .

“Their Dream”

A member of the Taliban’s leadership council, or shura, whose members are mostly based in Pakistan and Afghanistan but also travel between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, said rebel representatives met in Islamabad with Pakistani officials a little more than two weeks ago.

“They have asked our representatives to bring more decision-making people to the next meeting … to the meeting with U.S. and Afghan officials. This is their dream, but they will not be able to see our senior commanders,” the Taliban council member said.

A senior Pakistani security official with knowledge of the talks said: “I don’t think the talks are dead, but they are definitely plagued by a serious illness.

“The ones who are in Pakistan … We have told them repeatedly that they will have to leave if they don’t participate in the process,” the Pakistani official said..

“We have done what we can … but influence does not mean control. Those days are long gone.”

The Taliban source had knowledge of, but did not attend, the meeting with Pakistani officials in Islamabad. He was at the subsequent Taliban council meeting to decide on whether to join the peace talks.

The pro-talks camp largely comprised supporters of nominal Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, believed to be hiding in Pakistan after being shot in a leadership dispute last year and rumoured killed, and his chief rival, Mullah Mohammad Rasoul, who is believed to be in Afghanistan.

“I personally feel that Mullah Mansour and some other leaders are in favour of peace talks and they don’t want to annoy Pakistan … but they can’t make decisions without approval of other shura members,” said the Taliban council member.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid declined to comment on any meetings with Pakistani representatives. He confirmed the Leadership Council meeting but would not give details.

Publicly, both the Afghan and Pakistani government are expressing hopes that peace talks can begin before the traditional Taliban spring offensive .

Pakistan’s top diplomat Sartaj Aziz spoke last week of progress in restarting talks “in coming days”.

However, Taliban commanders told Reuters that with the council’s decision, they are focusing on launching their annual fighting season with the hopes of grabbing more territory.

“We already have started focusing on the spring offensive, and that’s why the majority of the fighters and commanders are going there (Afghanistan),” said a senior Taliban figure, based in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Barbaric Saudi Bastards Set To Behead and Crucify Shia Boy

IN many respects, Saudi Arabia is one of the most advanced nations in the world.

It’s the world’s largest oil producer and its cities are glitz and glamour — thriving metropolis’ in the middle of the desert.

In other ways, the desert kingdom is far from advanced, a place where barbaric rituals still occur and where the country’s citizens are subjected to horrific punishments.

saudibeheading

It’s hard to imagine that in Saudi Arabia this week preparations are being made to not only execute a young man but to crucify him. Literally.

The world is pleading with the Saudi government to reconsider. Advocates say what’s about to take place makes them feel physically ill.

The boy at the centre of it all — Ali Mohammed al-Nimr — says he’s done nothing wrong.

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr has been sentenced to death by crucifixion.

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr has been sentenced to death by crucifixion.Source:Facebook

‘BARBARIC, INHUMANE, MERCILESS’

Al-Nimr was 17 when he went to an anti-government protest in the Saudi Arabian province of Qatif.

He was accused by the government of carrying a firearm, attacking security forces and even armed robbery. None of those charges could be proven but he confessed nonetheless. He didn’t have a lawyer and some say the confession was drawn from the teenager via torture.

He was demonstrating at the wrong time in the wrong place — in the middle of a violent government crackdown against detractors.

That was February, 2012. Fast forward three years and the charges have stuck, despite a recent appeal.

His sentence is due to be carried out by beheading and crucifixion, a method that involves removing the head of the prisoner and tying their headless body to a cross.

Often, the crucifixion is carried out in a public place. It sends a strong message to others: We will not stand for criticism, no matter who the person and no matter what their age.

‘HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN IN 2015?’

A Scottish politician raised al-Nimr’s case in parliament this week. She spoke eloquently and she spoke in strong opposition to a practice that has no place in our modern world.

“How in 2015 can a supposedly civilised country impose such an inhumane and merciless penalty on any of its citizens, let alone one so young?” MP Margaret Ferrier said.

“It’s an absolute outrage and I intend to write to the minister and ask for urgent action to be taken.

“Ali’s sentence is due to be barbarically carried out by crucifixion. I feel for this young man and his family. Reading Ali’s story this morning filled me with grief for his life about to be savagely and abruptly ended.”

Savagery is nothing new in Saudi Arabia, a country which between 1985 and 2013 executed more than 2000 people. In 2013, 79 people were put to death. Most of them had their heads cut off with large, sharp swords.

In January this year, a woman protested her innocence until the final moment when a sword fell across her neck. She was writhing on the hard ground in a very public place trying to escape her executioner. Not once but twice did the sword fall upon her neck, the first blow clearly not getting the job done.

Elsewhere, blogger Raif Badawi was jailed for 10 years recently after starting a website for social and political debate in Saudi Arabia. Raif will receive 50 lashings a week for a year for setting up the Saudi Arabian Liberals website.

The prosecution first called for him to be tried for apostasy (when a person abandons their religion), which carries a death sentence in Saudi Arabia. Then, in May this year, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a fine of over $300,000 AUD and 1000 lashes. When he is finally released, Raif faces a 10-year travel ban which would keep him from his wife and three young children in Canada, according to Amnesty International.

A spokesman for Amnesty International told news.com.au the last time men were strapped to crosses and killed was in 2013.

“Five Yemeni men were beheaded and crucified, with pictures emerging on social media showing five decapitated bodies hanging from a horizontal pole with their heads wrapped in bags.

“The beheading and ‘crucifixion’ took place in front of the University of Jizan where students were taking exams.”

The Saudi city of Riyadh.

The Saudi city of Riyadh.Source:AP

DOES SAUDI ARABIA HAVE AN AXE TO GRIND?

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr is not the only family member under the careful watch of the Saudi government.

Ali’s uncle Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was arrested in July, 2012. A self-described campaigner for human rights for minorities, the 53-year-old has a strong following online where a website and Facebook page have been set up to rally support for his defence.

His crimes, including speaking out against the government, carry the death penalty.

Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at legal charity Reprieve, told the International Business Times nobody should have to go through what Ali is going through.

“Ali was a vulnerable child when he was arrested and this ordeal began. His execution — based apparently on the authorities’ dislike for his uncle, and his involvement in anti-government protests — would violate international law and the most basic standards of decency. It must be stopped.”

Refugees Flee American Aggression

It must be stated unequivocally that these are regime change refugees.”

Freedom Rider: Refugees Flee American Aggression

black agenda report

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Americans are made uncomfortable by pictures of drowned refugee children, but most cannot accept that their own government’s “unrelenting effort at regime change in Syria is the cause of this crisis.” U.S. corporate media parrot Washington’s lies, keeping tally of the displaced and doomed, but blaming Syria’s government for defending itself against western-backed jihadists. Rather than demand the West leash its dogs, “they call for more war.”

The ongoing migrant crisis in Europe is a direct result of American and NATO interventions and aggressions in the Middle East. Had those partners in crime not exacted regime change in Libya, that country would not be a magnet for human trafficking and an embarkation point for desperate people. The plan to produce the same result in Syria has failed thus far but there is still chaos and suffering on a mass scale. These refugees exist because of imperialism which has laid waste to nation after nation.

Millions of people around the world are asking how they can help the refugees now streaming into Europe. Personal generosity may seem commendable but in this case it ought to be discouraged. The individuals who want to help should instead spend time demanding that their governments cease intervening in the affairs of other nations. They should also demand that the truth of imperialist guilt be exposed.

Americans were largely unaware of the growing crisis until images of dead children appeared in the media. In particular the photograph of two year-old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned on a beach off the coast of Turkey, will go down in history as an image which brought this crisis to international attention. The Kurdi family were trying to flee a region of Syria overrun by ISIS when the mother and two children drowned. An estimated 2,500 others have also died in attempts to reach Europe.

The corporate media cover the journeys of the would-be migrants and act as though the cause of the catastrophe is somehow mysterious. They never state what is true and obvious, that the western nations created this misery. They and their allies among the Persian Gulf monarchies are entirely to blame.

These refugees exist because of imperialism.”

The United States and other NATO governments have not been shy in exposing their support for so-called rebels in Syria and continue to utter the loathsome phrase, “Assad must go.” In the topsy-turvy immoral universe of the United States it is acceptable to destroy Syria without one word of condemnation coming from the nation’s editorial pages. Instead politicians and the press repeat their lies and when they speak of war at all they lay blame at the feet of the Syrian government which has a right to defend its territory and sovereignty.

The sight of the dead child seemed to galvanize what other horror stories could not. More than 200 people drowned near the Libyan city of Zuwarah at the same time that the Kurdis attempted their escape. Some 70 bodies of refugees were discovered suffocated in a truck in Austria. The reactions of horror are understandable but they must be met with simple but powerful actions. First, it must be stated unequivocally that these are regime change refugees. They would be living peacefully in their native lands if NATO and their henchmen hadn’t destroyed their countries.

Secondly, call out the liars. The politicians, so-called journalists and “humanitarian” organizations have political agendas which never blame the true culprits. While the corporate media print and broadcast false tales about Russian troops in Syria the lies must be labeled as such. Racism must be exposed as well. Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban openly said, “Please don’t come” and added for good measure that he didn’t want too many Muslims to enter his country. Orban said out loud what other European leaders say behind closed doors. He has merely expressed in public what others say in private. Non-white people need not apply.

In the topsy-turvy immoral universe of the United States it is acceptable to destroy Syria without one word of condemnation coming from the nation’s editorial pages.”

While officials In Washington, London and Paris dissemble because their hands are dirty, the corporate media ratchet up the call to “do something.” If they did their job they would tell readers and viewers why families with small children risk their lives in unseaworthy boats. Instead they all call for more war. They repeat official propaganda and make up some of their own. The unrelenting effort at regime change in Syria is the cause of this crisis and more destruction will only increase the awful toll on human beings.

Sending money to aid organizations is an easy out. Democratic nations are supposed to respond to popular demand. The people of Europe and the United States should therefore start demanding that their nations cease the entire imperial project, and not just in Syria. Aylan Kurdi is not the only child killed by intervention and invasion. Children are dead in Somalia and Gaza and Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and in Syria too. Sadly, there will be more unless those who claim to be horrified actively oppose their own leaders who are all accessories to many crimes.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

Lying Saudis Boast of Taking-In “MILLIONS” of the Syrians They Have Made Into Refugees

cnn refugees

[SEE:  EXPOSED: How Oil-rich Gulf states have failed to resettle a SINGLE Syrian refugee]

Saudi Arabia Says Accepted ‘Millions’ of Syrians, Facts Disagree

telesur

A Syrian refugee prays on a rail track at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, August 22, 2015A Syrian refugee prays on a rail track at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, August 22, 2015 | Photo: Reuters Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia dismissed criticism over having zero Syrian refugees, saying it has welcomed millions. However, all of them are temporary workers.

Saudi Arabia defended itself Friday against mounting criticism the government is facing for not accepting Syrian refugees since the conflict began four years ago. The criticism come after photos of the dead body of Syrian three-year-old boy Aylan Kurdi went viral and prompted international outcry against Europe and other rich countries around the world for refusing to admit Syrian refugees. The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited an unnamed official source in the foreign ministry as saying that the kingdom found it “important to clarify these efforts with facts and numbers in response to media reports, which included false and misleading accusations about the Kingdom.” RELATED: Negative Freedom, US Liberals and Saudi Arabia People around the Arab world took to social media and Twitter using the hashtag “Arab conscience,” in English and Arabic languages, to express their outrage over the fact that Saudi Arabia and the other five Arab Gulf states from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman – were hosting no Syrian refugees. The Saudi official said that the Kingdom “has received around 2.5 million Syrians since the beginning of the conflict. In order to ensure their dignity and safety, the Kingdom adopted a policy that does not treat them as refugees or place them in refugee camps.” However, the country and its five allies are not signatories of the United Nation’s convention on refugees, which has governed international law on asylum since World War II. Thus, those countries do not have a legal category for refugees. In fact, the GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, accepted those Syrians as well as those of other nationalities only on temporary work visas, which they must have before they arrive to the country, or on temporary residence visas for minors as dependents on their close relatives who have already been residing there. Jane Kinninmont, the assistant head of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said in a recent article that those Syrians allowed in GCC countries were on temporary visas, which are hard to obtain in most cases. “The lack of recognition for refugees has far less to do with attitudes to the Syrian crisis than with the potential claims that could arise from larger migrant populations—many of whom come from unstable or repressive countries—and the general reluctance of Gulf governments to give permanent residency to anyone beyond a small pool of citizens, with few exceptions,” said Kinninmont. RELATED: Saudi Arabia – Facing A Serf Revolt In the GCC, those who are not citizens are treated as expatriates even after working in those countries for decades. They are also forced to leave the country whenever they lose their jobs or reach a retirement age. Minors, who are dependents on their parents, are required to leave the country by the age of 18 even if they were born in the country, as they also have temporary residence visas since the day they are born. Migrants make up the majority of the workforce in all the Arab Gulf countries, and in the UAE and Qatar, more than 80 percent of the population are migrants who lack civil rights despite having lived in the country for years. In addition to not taking refugees, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and regional Arab nations have been bombing Yemen for the past six months, producing millions of refugees and internally displaced people. This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
“http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Saudi-Arabia-Says-Acepted-Millions-of-Syrians-Facts-Disagree-20150911-0049.html”. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. http://www.teleSURtv.net/english

Saudi Scum Bans Adoption of Syrian Or Iraqi Orphans Who Manage To Survive Wahhabi Terror Onslaught

syrian orphansBan on adopting Syrian, Iraqi orphans

SaudiGazette

 

DAMMAM — The Ministry of Social Affairs has prohibited Saudi families from adopting children of foreign or Arab nationalities and said the ministry is only concerned with taking care of Saudi orphans. According to Al-Hayat newspaper on Thursday, the ministry said the children who lose their parents in areas of conflicts such as Iraq and Syria are the concern of the international humanitarian organizations. Latifa Al-Tamimi, director of the women social supervision office in the Eastern Province, said the ministry is also looking after children of Saudi fathers with foreign wives abandoned abroad.

The USA and NATO have destroyed Iraq and Libya with their military intervention, bombs and missiles

Leader of Austria’s Far-right Blames Migrant Crisis on U.S., NATO

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Heinz-Christian Strache says intervention in Iraq and Syria created infrastructure for ISIS.

Michael Shields and Shadia Nasralla

Austrian Freedom party leader Heinz-Christian Strache
Austrian Freedom party leader Heinz-Christian Strache delivers a speech during a protest against an Islamic mosque in Vienna May 14, 2009.Reuters

REUTERS – The leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO) has blamed the United States and the NATO Western military alliance for triggering the refugee crisis that has overwhelmed Europe.

“The USA and NATO have destroyed Iraq and Libya with their military intervention, bombs and missiles; provided financial, logistical and military support to the opposition against President Assad in Syria, and thus made possible the destruction, chaos, suffering and radical Islamism (IS) in the region,” Heinz-Christian Strache said on his Facebook page.

Strache’s opposition FPO party, which leads opinion polls ahead of the centrist Social Democrats and People’s Party coalition partners, typically espouses anti-Muslim and isolationist approaches to dealing with foreign policy.
Refugees at Westbahnhof station in Vienna, Austria. September 5, 2015.
Strache, who is running for mayor in Vienna elections next month, scoffed at what he called U.S. President Barack Obama’s suggestions that Europe is primarily responsible for handling the wave of migrants flooding the continent from crisis spots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

“The USA for decades has started fires in the Middle East and then has then the chutzpah to claim that responsibility for the flood of refugees unleashed lies with Europe. That’s geostrategic destabilization at its finest,” he wrote.

In a separate interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF, he called for erecting an army-patrolled fence along neutral Austria’s eastern border with Hungary and for letting in Christian and Jewish refugees rather than Muslims.

“We don’t want an Islamisation of Europe. We don’t want our Christian-Western culture to perish,” he said.

Destroy Countries, Create Refugees—NOW DEAL WITH THEM

The Western Powers have created a global war refugee crisis through their Imperial adventures and now have to deal with the consequences of their actions.  Even though the United States is the primary creator of refugees in most of those wars, we are largely unaffected by this human tidal wave.  America’s European partners in crime in starting these criminal wars have no choice but to confront the immorality of the situation set in motion by Western governments. 

Since the EU is incapable of finding a consensus opinion on the proper course for getting these Syrian, Libyan, Yemeni, Somali refugees to safety, the matter must be resolved by the individual countries of Europe.  Where the EU and NATO have failed to establish a common border, the states are erecting individual barriers to the human flow.  Claiming that the walls steer the refugees to established safe zones (Schengen areas), everybody “passes the buck” on individual responsibility to help our fellow man, whenever collective responsibility would solve Europe’s refugee problem.

Fix settlement quotas in Europe, establish common control at the Mediterranean, systematically create safe corridors, safe sheltering and safe conduct to their designated settlement areas.  Anything less than that is immoral and inhumane.  

BETTER YET—END THE WAR….STOP CREATING NEW REFUGEES.

A Spanish tourist watches Pakistani migrants arriving at a beach in the Greek island of Kos after paddling an engineless dinghy from the Turkish coast August 15, 2015. United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) called on Greece to take control of the "total chaos" on Mediterranean islands, where thousands of migrants have landed. About 124,000 have arrived this year by sea, many via Turkey, according to Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR director for Europe. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Africa: Calais Migrants – a Microcosm of a Misunderstood Crisis

all africa

analysis

If tabloid headlines are anything to go by, the United Kingdom is fighting off the greatest invasion force threatening the island since the Blitz. The invaders this time are migrants and asylum seekers sneaking a ride on lorries, trains and ferries to get across – or underneath – the English Channel.

News footage of groups of young men climbing fences and breaking into trucks at Calais look dramatic, but the ‘swarm’ of migrants at Calais, as depicted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, is in fact 3,000 to 5000 people, many of whom are not actually trying to get into the UK at all. A sizeable minority have applied for asylum in France and are staying in the informal settlement near Calais known as the Jungle while waiting for the outcome of their application.

All over Europe, fences are going up, physically and metaphorically. Hungary expects to complete its new border fence by the end of August. Macedonia announced a state of emergency and deployed riot police at the border last week. Until then it had dealt with the influx by giving migrants 72-hour transit papers, enough time for them to buy a ticket, cram onto a train and cross further into Europe to become somebody else’s problem. First among those ‘somebody else’ is Germany, which expects to receive more than 750,000 new asylum applications in 2015.

A Europe unable to cope?

The challenge is certainly great for Germany, where new arrivals are sleeping on floors in makeshift accommodation. But it is in southern Europe that a real humanitarian crisis is unfolding. The EU border agency, Frontex, have recorded 340,000 ‘migrants detected’ from January to July this year, almost three times as many as the same period last year. Of those, around 160,000 have taken the relatively new route from the Middle East and Turkey to the easternmost islands of Greece. More than 50,000 have arrived in Greece in the month of July alone. Wracked by economic and political crisis, Greece is rife with xenophobic attitudes towards migrants.

But the people arriving on Greek holiday islands in leaky dinghies are not migrants. While those taking the route from Libya to Italy have tended to be a mix of refugees, especially from Syria and Eritrea, and economic migrants, particularly from West Africa, the composition of the boat people arriving in Greece this August has been, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, over 80% Syrians, 15% Afghans and the rest mostly Iraqis. The vast majority will qualify for refugee status.

The crisis Europe is not facing

The United Kingdom is not facing an invasion of illegal immigrants launched from Calais. Nor is the rest of Europe facing a migration crisis. Certainly, there are well-established economic migration routes from the poorer parts of the world to the richer. Since there are no longer any legal ways for low-skilled migrants to enter Europe, many choose to travel irregularly.

The journey they make has been made both easier and more dangerous for the migrants by the political collapse of Libya and turmoil in Egypt. Human smuggling networks can work with near impunity in both countries, mistreating migrants en route, before packing them onto unseaworthy vessels and steering them towards European waters in hope of rescue. An estimated 2,500 people have perished in the attempt so far this year.

A humanitarian crisis

Southern and South-Eastern European countries, particularly Greece, are facing a humanitarian crisis, where saving lives and providing food and shelter must take precedence over immigration control, regardless of whether those arriving are ‘illegal’ economic migrants or refugees. Despite the rush to build fences, secure borders and pass the buck, there is a growing appreciation across European capitals that ‘illegal migration’ is not a crime punishable by a watery death sentence. Prompted by one of the largest Mediterranean disasters in history, where 800 people drowned, the EU relaunched a large-scale search-and-rescue operation in April.

A global displacement crisis needs global solutions

The reason for the enormous rise in the number of people making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean is not economic migration, but war, persecution and violence. In short, Europe is experiencing its share of a global displacement crisis driven by an upsurge in conflict across the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. The world has not seen so many people uprooted by conflict and persecution since the end of World War Two.

More than 80% of all refugees remain in their near region, many in refugee camps, others self-settled in nearby urban centres. But life in camps is getting increasingly destitute and devoid of hope for many refugees, particularly those fleeing never-ending conflicts, like those in Somalia, Syria and Iraq. Syria’s neighbours are coping with around four million refugees – in Lebanon refugees make up one in four of the country’s population. Humanitarian aid, while at record levels, does not cover the basic needs of refugees.

If European governments want to see a sustainable and ethically viable end to the chaotic and deadly passage across the Mediterranean, a first step would be to provide more financial support to refugee hosting countries, not only to support refugees, but to bolster domestic stability in host-countries. Beyond that, a global burden-sharing mechanism for resettling refugees would both alleviate the pressure on countries of first asylum and make refugee arrivals in Europe more orderly and manageable.

For this to happen, European governments must first acknowledge that the situation at Calais, Lampedusa and Kos are not a European migration crisis, but a global refugee crisis.

Dr Anne Hammerstad is a research associate of the South African Institute of International Affairs, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Politics and IR, University of Kent, Canterbury. She is the author of The Rise and Decline of a Global Security Actor: UNHCR, Refugee Protection and Security.