EU-Funded Security Forces Abandon Asylum Seekers in the Desert

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.21 - 2024 8:58 AM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
EU-funded security forces are abducting asylum seekers and abandoning them in the desert.

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An international investigation has revealed that EU-funded security forces in North Africa are systematically abducting asylum seekers and abandoning them in the desert.

The Tagesschau reports that this is part of a deterrence strategy to stop migrants from fleeing to Europe. The research was carried out by a team from Bayerischer Rundfunk, Lighthouse Reports, Spiegel, and other media partners.

Abandoned in No Man's Land

François, a refugee from Cameroon, experienced this horror firsthand. On his third attempt to escape to Europe, his boat was stopped by the Tunisian National Guard.

François and the other refugees were captured, forcibly loaded onto buses, and left without water in the barren desert near the Algerian border.

According to the research, this practice is not an isolated case but rather a systematic approach by the security forces in Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania.

The EU and its member states are aware of these human rights violations but continue to cooperate with North African countries.

Last summer alone, the EU agreed to a deal with Tunisia that provided 105 million euros for border protection. Germany also cooperates closely with Tunisia, training security forces and supplying equipment.

The research shows that not only Tunisia, but also Morocco and Mauritania use similar practices.

In Morocco, migrants are transported hundreds of kilometers and abandoned in dangerous areas.

Despite sharp criticism, the EU Commission sticks to its position and emphasizes that human rights must be respected. Critics are calling for a more humane asylum policy and accusing the EU of lacking a plan.

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