PBS: Escaping Eritrea … [Read More...] about ካብ ውሽጢ ቤት ማእሰርታት ኤርትራ
Defence ministers from five EU countries were meeting overnight to discuss a military campaign to stop human trafficking and reinforce Europe’s defences against migrants from North Africa. Officials from France, Germany, Poland, Italy and Spain will use events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Lorient, western France, to discuss battling a new threat that has cost thousands of lives.
The ministers are also expected to discuss Europe’s common defence strategy. The ministers “will examine possible options for European (military) action,” according to the French defence ministry. More than 5000 refugees have died in the past 18 months as boats operated by smugglers have capsized off Libya’s coast European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is to present a plan to the UN Security Council tonight that would see the UN lead military operations against smugglers.
The most controversial option under discussion would set out to destroy the boats before they are loaded with migrants. But critics say military action in Libyan waters or to stop a vessel flying the country’s flag without an international mandate would break international law. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also criticised the plan, saying that destroying boats could affect the livelihoods of Libyan fishermen, who may be forced into dealings with the smugglers to make ends meet.
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker last week gave a withering assessment of the bloc’s defence policy, which he said was less effective than “a bunch of chickens”.