- 28 ambassadors from E.U. nations created plan in secret.
- Pledged to give £35m (40m Euros) to eight African countries to keep migrants in Africa.
- Includes leader of Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashire, who’s wanted on war crimes.
Ambassadors from 28 European nations created a plan to pay African regimes, including Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashire, who’s accused of genocide, to keep migrants from reaching Europe’s shores.
The £35m (40m Euros, $45m) German-led plan would see the money given to the countries in return for authorities to ‘intercept’ migrants heading to the Mediterranean smuggling route. During the meeting, held during March of this year, Federica Mogherini, an aide to the E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs, made it clear that “under no circumstances” should the public learn about the plan, fearing the the reputation of the European Union would be tarnished.
The minutes of the meeting and other classified documents were obtained by German publication Der Spiegel and television channel ARD. According to the report, Germany would take the lead in working with leaders around the Horn of Africa in order to stop the flow of migrants to Europe by using money from the Emergency Trust Fund to pay regimes and despots.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges relating to his alleged role in the Darfur conflict. Amnesty International also claims the secret service of Sudan has tortured members of the opposition, with the United States claiming the country has directly funded terrorism.
The German government agency GIZ, which has experience working with authoritarian countries, will lead the project. It has already worked with Saudi authorities to train border police with high-tech detection hardware. The German government often uses GIZ for less-than-tasteful projects due to its lack of transparency.
For the least decade, The European Union has assigned responsibility to those seeking protection in third world countries, such as Morocco, Turkey, and Ukraine. Now, it appears, the job of controlling migration from African nations is being given to a suspected war criminal.
Marina Peter, an expert from the German relief organisation Bread for the World, criticized the move. “A regime that destabilized the region and drove hundreds of thousands of people to flee is now supposed to stem the refugee problem for the E.U.”