by Jerry Alatalo
rofessor of International Studies Vijay Prashad and former Deputy Speaker of the Belgian Parliament Lode Vanoost share their insights on the refugee/migrant crisis centered in Libya. Thousands of men, women and children are leaving their home nations in Africa and the Middle East and risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The European Union is trying to pass a Chapter 7 resolution through the United Nations Security Council, which introduces military measures for dealing with smugglers facilitating desperate people’s dangerous journeys from Libya across the sea to Europe.
Both Mr. Prashad and Mr. Vanoost think the true causes for the situation which has led to thousands fleeing their homelands are not being addressed, with Mr. Vanoost stating: “if you refuse to analyze and face the problem (you’re) never going to solve the humanitarian crisis”. Vijay Prashad places the blame on raging wars in Syria, Libya, Iraq and other areas of Middle East-Africa regions, plus decades of operating under trade deals signed by European/western nations and nations in Africa which favor the interests of large corporations over people.
Mr. Vanoost sees no short-term solution for the crisis, caused by what he describes as “the mess left behind by Europe”, and that a massive investment in Africa offers perhaps the only solution. It’s safe to say both men agree smugglers arranging for refugees’ crossing the Mediterranean is only a minor, “side-issue” part of the crisis, and more like a symptom of a much greater set of socioeconomic, geopolitical, military problems which must become addressed.
“migrants” refugees travel from countries across the Africa continent as well as the war-torn Middle East. One could almost compare the European Union’s initiative to militarize the crisis to a gated community – a gated Europe. As the Oakland Institute and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have reported, the World Bank, global corporations, investors and corrupt African politicians have facilitated land grabs in African countries which have displaced tens of thousands from their land. Continuing wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq and nations in Africa add to the crisis, leading to people fleeing for their lives from the violence.
Instead of pointing at human traffickers smuggling desperate people across the Mediterranean as the problem, the European Union and United Nations Security Council/member states need to take a long hard look and identify the parties responsible for African land grabs, wars of aggression through either arming, financing and training so-called “terrorists” or direct military attack, along with other negative, destructive actions resulting in so many innocent people finding no alternative but to get away.
End all wars, repeal or rewrite corrupt trade deals, call out and prosecute corrupt politicians, and create good societal conditions so people can live their lives peacefully in the nations of their birth. Reject band-aid, guaranteed-to-fail approaches for solving the world’s refugee-humanitarian crisis which don’t powerfully address the real causes.
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(Thank you to RT at YouTube)