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Posts Tagged ‘Concentration Camp’

Ethiopia de facto Blockade for a Year Starves Tigray of Food & Medicine – WHO Chief Dr Tedros

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 13, 2021

Week after week, the Ethiopian government blockade of Tigray prevents aid agencies from moving life-saving relief of food, medicine, shelter items, fuel, and cash necessary to stop famine that continues to grow virtually uninterrupted. Today, almost a million people in northern Ethiopia are experiencing famine conditions.

Here’s what you need to know this week:

Ethiopia’s blockade of Tigray continues…

Despite protestations, the blockade put in place on June 27 continues to prevent relief assistance from entering Tigray. From September 5-7, 147 trucks of humanitarian supplies arrived in the northern Tigray region via neighboring Afar, bringing the number of humanitarian trucks that entered Tigray since July 12 to 482—a far cry from the estimated 100 trucks needed every day, or 8,700 trucks since the blockade came into effect. In addition, the blockade denies many critical supplies, including communications equipment, cash, and fuel, without which humanitarian operations cannot continue. Even personal phones, hard drives, can-openers, and multivitamins are restricted from being brought in by aid workers who manage to travel.

and is driving and human suffering and famine.

On September 16, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a weekly humanitarian update, providing the latest information on the impact of Ethiopia’s blockade on Tigray. Virtually every sector was forced to suspend activities, as new reports of starvation deaths have emerged.

  • Food relief aid remains suspended for a lack of supplies, cash, and trucks. Since March 27, the UN and NGOs nearly completed a three-month distribution for 5.2 million people, and with reduced supplies reached 1.4 million people in a second round. This roughly translates to four months of food for a population denied the ability to access communications, banking, or markets to support themselves.
  • Access to potable water via trucking was reduced to 25 percent coverage due to shortages in cash and fuel. Insufficient or unpotable water drive disease outbreaks, particularly for those weakened by malnutrition.
  • Health services are only partially functioning, with supplies for only 20 percent of the population at a time when disease outbreaks continue to rise. The European Union initiated Humanitarian Air Bridge arrived in Tigray with nutrition supplies, and the World Health Organization (WHO) airlifted supplies from Dubai for 150,000 people. While these massively expensive innovations are welcome, that they are necessary in the first place speaks volumes about the brutality of the blockade and the lengths to which the world is going to find solutions.
  • Nutrition assistance for children under five was suspended for children in outpatient and in-patient care due to shortages in cash, fuel, and supplies. The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) was quoted as saying 30 percent of children under five and 80 percent of pregnant and lactating mothers now suffer from malnutrition. This is double international emergency standards for malnutrition in children and more than 5 times emergency thresholds for nursing mothers.

Some 45 days ago, UNICEF noted, “This malnutrition crisis is taking place amid extensive, systematic damage to the food, health, nutrition, water and sanitation systems and services that children and their families depend on for their survival.” It is usually children, pregnant women, and other vulnerable groups that bear the brunt of famine. Yet, since this warning from UNICEF, it bears repeating – less than 10 percent of the needed supplies to keep people alive have been allowed entry to Tigray, months after empirical evidence proved famine conditions.

Hunger and alleged atrocities are spreading beyond Tigray.

The conflict now risks expanding into a wider civil war that threatens Ethiopia and regional stability. As the war spreads, so does hunger with the UN estimating that 1.5 million more people are food insecure in the areas where the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) has advanced in neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar in recent weeks. Their advance includes fresh accusations of atrocities that warrant independent investigation alongside alleged crimes committed in Tigray. Active conflict has prevented UN and NGOs teams from accessing conflict-impacted areas. Historically, these areas were some of the poorest subsistence communities in the region and will require assistance in addition to the 5.5 million people FEWSNET defined as ‘in crisis’ and ‘without assistance will descend into famine’ in Tigray.

Western donors have given generously to Ethiopia for decades, pouring tens of billions of dollars into Ethiopia’s economy, heavily subsidizing Ethiopia’s budget. All told, western donors contribute at least 37 percent of Ethiopia’s budget through humanitarian, development, security, and other support. Yet their efforts to raise alarm at the avalanche of credible atrocities including war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide have been met with outright rejection by Ethiopia and at the UN Security Council—with China blocking efforts to put the crisis on the Council’s agenda. Even the role of perhaps the most destructive force in this conflict—Eritrean forces (EDF)—has not been addressed by the Council. Clearly, the status quo much change.

The Biden administration is stepping up the pressure.

In the face of continued violence that continues to spiral out of control, U.S. President Biden issued an Executive Order that paves the way for a sanctions regime that can target any party responsible for prolonging the conflict in northern Ethiopia, those that commit human rights abuses, and those obstructing humanitarian access including Ethiopia’s blockade of Tigray. Given the challenges facing the population, this is a step in the right direction but must be implemented and not an idle threat to be effective.

Famine will continue to grow as the blockade impedes food aid, medical and nutrition supplies, fuel, and cash. There needs to be an immediate ceasefire and end to the blockade to ensure assistance is possible to those affected in Tigray, and now in Amhara and Afar.

Source

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From Hypocrisy to Fascism | This is What Evil Abiy Ahmed Wrote to the People of Yemen in 2018

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 28, 2021

💭 Your Words Not Mine: A Message to PM Abiy in His Own Words

This is a slightly modified version of the message sent by PM Abiy Ahmed in December 2018 to the people of Yemen, re-worded to address him and the people of Ethiopia amidst the ongoing war on Tigray.

To the people of the Land of Origins,

To the people of the Land of the thirteen months of sunshine

To the people who pioneered civilization and are the descendants of the architects of Axum and Lalibela

To the people of wisdom since the rule of the Queen of Sheba

To the people of a country like no other. A country that was mentioned over 40 times in the Bible and which is called the land of origins, the cradle of humanity, and the source of Blue Nile.

To you, the people of Happy Ethiopia, to whom the Prophet Muhammad once sent his earliest followers seeking refuge safe haven because he believed the Negashi of Ethiopia would not “wrong anyone”

To the owners of gentle and soft hearts, and the people endowed with wisdom.

To the people of faith. . The bloodshed between your people is haram and immoral.

Why do you drain your resources, and destroy your country, and the lives of each other?

Why do you destroy your civilization, your progress, and your glory?

Why abandon your families?

Why do you turn your own children into orphans, and deprive them of enjoying a calm and serene life in a country that has always been lauded as a happy one?

Everyone, I refer to all the parties fighting in political and on devastating battlefields, is a loser in war as war brings nothing but destruction, loss, devastation, hatred. and riots. War causes scourge and separation to spread. So how can this happen between the people of one land and one nation? War destroys your foundations, your relationships, and your kinship, causing nothing but destruction and ignorance.

What Ethiopia are you fighting for when you’ve destroyed every corner of your country? Why don’t you use reason, when you are the ones who were described as wise? Why do you teach the language of war and fighting rather than the language of dialogue, when you are the owners of eloquence? Why don’t you sit at a table and talk, negotiate, and discuss what is best?

You should agree and disagree without bloodshed, and without wars, as the people of one home.

Brought together with affection, familiarity, love, and the interest of one united nation. Offer yourselves and your children a future that is built on the foundation of science, knowledge, and development. Plan your growth and progress and keep up with the civilization that you were once at the forefront of.

You are all responsible and accountable for the state that your country is in; the county we care for and love and are concerned about its security and stability. You are the first to shake hands, so shake each other’s hand and meet each other with hearts full of love. Let your wisdom guide you.

Think about what your country has come to from separation, fighting, and killing. Think of the common good rather than personal interests, and renounce sectarianism and fragmentation.

Come to a common conclusion that you agree on, in the interest of your honorable people who have suffered so much from the scourge of this useless war; the war that will only leave behind destruction and ruin.

Pull all your differences on the proverbial table of dialogue, reason, wisdom, and equity.

Agree among each other as a family and as loved ones and then surrender to peace and enter it with all the forces you can muster as it is in the benefit of your country and the future of your civilization that flourishes like a garden as you enjoy the goodness of the land and the forgiveness of God.

With all love and pride, we look forward to the certainty that wisdom is rightful. And we are ready to do all that is needed to achieve reconciliation and stop the bloodshed and return to the peace and prosperity of your beloved country.

Source

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Posted in Ethiopia, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mai Kadra | Eyewitness Accounts, Video Confirm Reports of Tigrayan Children Held in Brutal Concentration Camp

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 27, 2021

💭 ማይ ካድራ | የአይን እማኝ ዘገባዎችና ቪዲዮዎች የትግራይ ሕፃናት በማጎሪያ ካምፕ ውስጥ በጭካኔ መታጎራቸውን አረጋግጠዋል

👉 የሳተላይት ምስሎች የተረፉትን የዓይን ምስክሮች ዘገባዎች ይደግፋሉ። 😈 የኢትዮጵያ ወታደሮች ሕፃናትን ጨምሮ በሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ ተጋሩን በጭካኔ ካምፖች ውስጥ አጉረዋቸው ነበር።

Satellite Images Support Survivors’ Accounts: Ethiopian Forces Held Thousands, Including Children, in Brutal Camps

In the Tigray region of Ethiopia, beginning in November 2020, children who should have been laughing with friends and studying in school were instead locked up, crying, starving and abused in concentration camps, according to multiple eyewitness reports that have been corroborated by satellite imagery and analysis, as well as cell phone video footage smuggled out by an escapee.

Ethiopian federal forces, abetted by special forces, paramilitary groups, militia and police acting under the authority of the Amharan regional government, locked up in multiple locations hundreds of children of all ages — and even pregnant women, infants and toddlers — along with thousands of Tigrayan adults and senior citizens. These people appear to have been held in harsh conditions, systematically starved and beaten because of their ethnicity and with no judicial process or valid legal pretext. That is the definition of a concentration camp. This is a previously unreported part of an ongoing genocidal campaign led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — ironically enough, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate — against various ethnic groups, including Tigrayans, Kimant, Gumuz, Ogaden (Somalis), Agew, Irob, Afar and Sidama.

This report is based on eyewitness accounts by dozens of people from five ethnic groups, including 11 former prisoners who were interviewed in four different refugee camps in eastern Sudan. Doctors have recounted their treatment of another seven former prisoners, including young children. Satellite imagery from Maxar (a space technology company based in Westminster, Colorado) and Planet Labs (an Earth imaging company based in San Francisco) corroborates these eyewitness reports. So does video footage which one former prisoner shot on his cell phone before he escaped a previously unreported concentration camp in western Tigray, located in the notorious Abbadi warehouse compound in Mai Kadra.

The cell phone footage admittedly does not conform to classic notions of what a concentration camp looks like, as in World War II films.There are no bars, guard towers, German Shepherds, barracks, searchlights or coils of razor wire. In the videos, prisoners can be seen eating popcorn, drinking coffee, teasing each other and making jokes in Tigrigna, the language of the Tigray people.

“Young children who were imprisoned and abused”

“We are seeing a generation of Tigrayan refugee children, many of whom are growing up with a sense of hopelessness,” said Dr. Mebrahtom Yehdago, 37, from Humera. He is a Tigrayan doctor and refugee in Tenedba refugee camp in eastern Sudan. “As a doctor, I feel so disturbed, sad, and angry to see these kinds of situations. These children are innocent. These are young children who were imprisoned and abused. How can we get the world to pay attention and do more to help the children?”

Dr. Mebrahtom outlines the cases of former child prisoners in concentration camps whom he has treated: four boys, ages 2, 9, 13 and 15. The two-year-old was imprisoned with his mother in the Mai Kadra concentration camp – which satellite imagery shows is in the Abbadi warehouse compound, a bit north and across the street from the police station, just as eyewitnesses reported. They were imprisoned from Nov. 14 to Nov. 27, 2020, until the mother paid their captors — the Fanu, the Amhara militia and the Amharan Regional Police — a ransom of 50,000 Ethiopian birr (about USD $1,086) for their release.

The toddler presented with physical complications, Dr. Mebrahtom said, including recurrent diarrhea, dehydration, malnutrition and pneumonia, as well as psychological issues. For example, when the boy sees a large group of people, he starts shouting and crying. His mother says he is remembering their hardship in captivity.

Their captors provided no food or water. About twice a week, according to former prisoners who escaped, Doctors Without Borders (or MSF, its French acronym) workers from Abdelrafe would distribute packets of digestive biscuits and fill two large water tanks. MSF repaired one water tank and installed another, without which the prisoners would have had only a few sinks in the bathrooms, where toilets and floors were overflowing with feces. MSF also built a new bathroom. The prisoners in Mai Kadra, like those in other concentration camps in western Tigray, survived by pilfering and roasting sesame seeds stored in the warehouses where they were held captive. This meager sustenance came from bags of seeds that the Amharan forces had looted from Tigrayan farmers and hauled to the warehouses on trailers pulled by tractors. The tractors in Mai Kadra were stolen from the Abbadis, a wealthy Tigrayan family who had owned the warehouse compound.

Satellite imagery shows tractors hooked to trailers near the compound garage. Some prisoners who had Amharan relatives or friends, and who could get money brought to them, paid bribes to Amharan militia guards. In exchange, the guards would allow two or three small boys, around eight years old, to run to the market and return with a kind of flat bread called injera, which the prisoners would distribute.

“We are here to kill you”

Dr. Mebrahtom described the case of a 15-year-old boy, imprisoned in the same place in Mai Kadra. He is an insulin-dependent diabetic. When he asked for permission to buy insulin from a local pharmacy, his captors said, “We are not here to treat you; we are here to kill you. We are gathering the Tigrayan refugees here to kill them.” …..

Dr. Mebrahtom explains that the abuse of Tigrayan children in Mai Kadra was not unique. It was part of a pattern which the doctor has seen, and which other eyewitnesses confirmed in interviews, which also involved children locked up in various sites in the regional capital of western Tigray, Humera. For example, the doctor has treated a 9-year-old boy who had been imprisoned for four days in the old police station in Humera.

Eyewitnesses who had been incarcerated in the old police station, and who were subsequently transferred to the Yitbarak warehouse in Humera, from which they escaped, reported that the only food and water available in the station (administered by the Amhara Regional Police) was whatever the prisoners could buy and have brought in from outside. And in the Yitbarak warehouse (sometimes called the Tabarak warehouse), prisoners subsisted by pilfering sesame seeds from bags looted by the Amhara and stored in the warehouse. So this young child, like hundreds of other children and adults imprisoned in multiple locations, had to survive on handfuls of seeds and a little water, with an occasional supplement of a piece of injera or a few digestive biscuits. I asked the doctor who had arrested the 9-year-old boy, and why.

💭 Five paths to freedom

There were five paths to freedom from the Mai Kadra concentration camp:

  1. the Amharan regional government released some who paid a ransom — an illegal act of extortion which confirms that there was no valid legal purpose for holding the prisoners;
  2. they released some who claimed Amharan ancestry, which confirms that the Ethiopian government was arresting Tigrayans because of their ethnicity;
  3. after several weeks, they released some old people, sick people, pregnant women and women with young children, although one witness among the released prisoners — a woman who returned to Mai Kadra — reported that the Amharans released these Tigrayans into a deadly ambush by Eritrean soldiers allied with Ethiopia’s federal government;
  4. more than 150 Tigrayans escaped Mai Kadra over a four-day period; and
  5. some died of starvation and disease due to lack of adequate nutrition or sufficient medical care in captivity.

Continue reading…

Tigrayans Being Sent to Concentration Camps in Addis Ababa | ትግራዋዮች በአዲስ አበባ ወደ ማጎሪያ ካምፖች ሲወሰዱ

💭 My Note: They say, there is war in Oromia too – so, why don’t they do the same to the Oromos in Addis? The Answer is because it’s the Oromos who are the perpetrators. It’s all lies, there is no war in Oromia – there ain’t no such thing as “Eritrean soldiers in Oromia” – Evil Abiy Ahmed’s fascist regime is an Oromo one – and it’s the Oromos + the Amharas who are responsible for the #TigrayGenocide. Will the Addis Ababa residents now have a desire to show solidarity with Tigrayans against this sort of barbarity? No, they won’t! Unless the T.D.F advance towards Addis Ababa, I smell Auschwitz!

Thousands of Ethnic-Tigrayan Residents of Addis Ababa Being Marched to Mass Detention Centers.

Turning Point in Tigray | Bring This Uniquely Monstrous War Criminal to Justice

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Posted in Ethiopia, Life, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Turning Point in Tigray | Bring This Uniquely Monstrous War Criminal to Justice

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 5, 2021

💭 ጎበዝ፤ ፌቨን ግርማይ!

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tigrayans Being Sent to Concentration Camps in Addis Ababa | ትግራዋዮች በአዲስ አበባ ወደ ማጎሪያ ካምፖች ሲወሰዱ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 5, 2021

💭 My Note: They say, there is war in Oromia too – so, why don’t they do the same to the Oromos in Addis? The Answer is because it’s the Oromos who are the perpetrators. It’s all lies, there is no war in Oromia – there ain’t no such thing as “Eritrean soldiers in Oromia” – Evil Abiy Ahmed’s fascist regime is an Oromo one – and it’s the Oromos + the Amharas who are responsible for the #TigrayGenocide. Will the Addis Ababa residents now have a desire to show solidarity with Tigrayans against this sort of barbarity? No, they won’t! Unless the TDF advance towards Addis Ababa, I smell Auschwitz!

Thousands of Ethnic-Tigrayan Residents of Addis Ababa Being Marched to Mass Detention Centers

FRESH WAVE OF ARBITRARY ARREST OF TIGRAYANS IN ADDIS ABEBA

Video showing thousands of ethnic Tigrayan residents of Addis Ababa – the city they built and modernized — being marched on the street to mass detention centers before they are transferred to concentration camps in Awash Arba and other locations.

Reports are surfacing to the arbitrary arrest and rounding up of ethnic Tigrayans residing in Addis Abeba by police along with non-uniformed security forces. Addis Standard received reports indicating that these arrests are taking place in different locations around the capital.

An eyewitness who wants to remain anonymous in fear of reprisal told Addis Standard that Addis Abeba police accompanied by men wearing civilian clothes appeared in Summit, a neighborhood with a huge presence of Tigrinya speaking community, and started to check for IDs and conduct body searches checking on what is on them. The eyewitness said that the police took people who didn’t have their IDs on them and sarcastically made inappropriate remarks and asked those being checked, “Are you a junta?”

Another eyewitness who also asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal detailed for Addis Standard similar incidents and said, “It was a mix of Addis Abeba police and Federal police personnels.” Addis Standard learned from the same source who was previously arrested that there was physical abuse of detainees at the police station he was held at.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) also said that it is monitoring reports of arrests of media personnel in Addis Abeba as well as residents of Tigray origin suspected of connection with the ongoing situation in the region and warned, “Such measures could aggravate the public‘s concerns on the risk of ethnic profiling.” Addis Standard contacted the senior media advisor at the rights commission, Aaron Maasho who on his part said that no further information is available but added, “Our team is monitoring the situation closely.”

The wife of the Awlo Media cameraman Muse Hadera who was arrested on Friday, July 02, 2021 said that she doesn’t know his whereabouts and was told when she went to the federal police with his lawyer that he was freed. Mesi told Addis Standard, “I know that he wasn’t released and is held somewhere. We just want to know what his charges are as we are still not clear on them. Also we want to make sure that he was not arrested for his identity and we can only understand by having answers as to his whereabouts and his charges.”

This fresh wave of arbitrary arrests coincides with the arrest of at least 12 journalists at two online media platforms. The lawyer, Tadele Gebre, told Addis Standard that the 10 journalists, a cameraman alongside Five members of the Awlo media staff, were arrested by federal police. Tadele also disclosed that Two journalists, Abebe Bayu and Yayesew Shimeles from Ethio-Forum, a Youtube based news outlet were also arrested. At the time the Federal police commission said their arrests were due to their affiliation with a terrorist group which is banned by the parliament. It also comes in the backdrop of an earlier wave of arrests that swapped returnees from the Middle East earlier in May, 2021.

Addis Standard also contacted both the spokesperson of the Addis Abeba Police commission and the spokesperson of the Federal police commission to verify claims made by eyewitnesses and concerned family members. While Fasika Fanta, Addis Abeba police commission spokesperson denied having any knowledge of the arrests, the spokesperson for the federal police commission said, “The federal police commission did not and does not arrest citizens based on their identity unless otherwise they are involved in criminal acts,” he added, “ Police can arrest every one without any discrimination, when suspected with criminal act.” AS

Source

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, Life, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Major European Politician: “We Need Concentration Camp in Egypt for Black African Migrants”

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 9, 2016

Because they are not Egyptians. “These migrants are not Egyptians, our problem is with “Black” migrants”; “Schwarzafrika (Black Africa)”, he kept repeating:

These remarks were made by the high-ranking European bureaucrat, Elmar Brok, who is the current Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs during a discussion in a popular mainstream German Talkshow (Hart aber Fair) last Monday.

Last week, Mr. Brok met with Presidents Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt and Isias Afewerki of Eritrea.

In the same show, the green party technocrat, Jürgen Trittin (a Bildeberger) shows immense sympathy for the Syrian refugees, adamantly defends their presence in Germany and passionately supports the importation of Muslims in his country. All this, days after the tragic news about the raped and murdered German girl in Freiburg became official. His propaganda about the ‘humanitarian’ disaster in Syria and Afghanistan – his dramatic and passionate presentation earned him a warm round of applause from the selectively invited studio guests.

On the other hand, the racialist Eurocrat, Elmar Brok, while his country already has been invaded by 2 to 5 million Muslims, he concentrated on Africa by painting the situation in Africa in the usual primitive, racialist and eugenicist manner to brainwash, convince and scare the German public about a potential invasion of 100 million BLACK Africans in the near future – unless „We“ (Europeans and Arabs) do something about now. “Either accept Arab Muslims try to coexist with them, or else, millions of wild men from the African jungle will be here soon.” This is how they condition their folks to hate and dehumanize Africans. It will be easier then to wipe out millions of Africans (Rwanda, Congo, South Sudan) without harvesting potential protest or sense of guilt. 

Mr. Elmar Brok’s ‘argument’ is an indirect call for concentration camps in Egypt and Tunisia – a call for POPULATION control and GENOCIDE. They turn a blind eye to Arab Muslim evil, but quick to blame Africa for everything. It’s all there for everyone to see, they don’t even hide it anymore. Even if one doesn’t understand German it’s possible to see the video image and get the message. These people never learn, because their faith in their agenda is a satanic cultist’s zeal. It really contradicts Jesus Christ’s agenda. But their ultimate downfall will come soon, and it’ll be horrible.

The Hidden Racism Of The Refugee Crisis — Why Does Nobody Care When Black Africans Drown?

October 3, 2016

The African migrant trail via Libya is far more dangerous than the Syrian route via Greece.

AfricanRefugees3

An African migrant is comforted by a friend after being rescued around 20 nautical miles off the coast of Libya(REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

Ever since the Syrian refugee crisis hit international headlines the plight of African migrants in Europe has taken a back seat. Media attention has focused on arrivals via the eastern Mediterranean route – from Turkey to Greece – because of the huge number of arrivals, when in reality the central Mediterranean route via Libya to Italy is by far the deadliest into Europe. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) between 1 January to 28 September 3,054 migrants have died taking it.

African migrants have been crossing the central Mediterranean for decades. In Lampedusa, the island that has become a symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis, some 400,000 migrants have landed en route to Europe. Like river tributaries African migrants converge from the east, central and west of the continent to Libya’s coastline, which is 1,100 miles long.

For the past few years I have been reporting on the perilous journeys African migrants make to reach Europe’s shores on dingy boats from Libya. Most of them are young men who risk life and limb to escape poverty, war, violence and Islamist militants in their native countries.

I have interviewed numerous African migrants who have survived terrible journeys to reach Europe. But their plight does not draw the same attention as that of Syrians crossing Turkey into Europe. In Libya African migrants are met by a grim situation, they face indefinite detention, racism, slave-like labour conditions and violence at the hands of militias and smugglers.

According to the IOM, of the 3,600 Nigerians who arrived in Italy by boat in the first half of 2016, more than 80% will be trafficked into prostitution. When I was in Palermo this summer I heard about the plight of these Nigerian prostitutes, I heard that most are tricked into coming to Italy, and once they get here, they are told they have to work to pay back the cost of their journey. Most nights in Palermo, Nigerian women walk along the city’s port by the beach selling sex, with pimps overlooking them.

Libya has become a funnel for African migrants into Europe. Taka, a young Gambian migrant, knew nothing of Libya’s war before he left his tiny West African country. He left his village in February 2016 and embarked on a dangerous journey, which took him via a slavers market in Niger to the Sahara. He eventually reached Libya, where he was captured, imprisoned and tortured before he was released. He made it to Tripoli but had to stick together with other young Gambians to avoid kidnap. This arduous journey did not diminish Taka’s resolve: “I will die or see Europe,” he said.

Taka’s journey is not unique. He shares much in come with the many young African migrants I have interviewed. Like Ugaas, a young Somali migrant who was tortured and held prisoner by people smugglers in Libya. They threw rocks at his head when his family could not pay up. Ugaas showed me the scars on his body. Or Tareke, an Eritrean who escaped enforced military conscription in Eritrea – one of the harshest regimes in the world – and was imprisoned and tortured for months in a notorious prison in Kufra, in the south of Libya.

Despite these horror stories the focus is usually on the experiences of Syrians. In Europe, it seems that African lives don’t matter as much as those of Arabs. In the summer I was asked to take part in two post-screening panel discussions of Fire at Sea, a 2016 documentary film by Eritrea-born Italian director Gianfranco Rossi, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

People from a capsized boat are rescued during a rescue operation by Italian navy ships Bettica and Bergamini off the coast of Libya(Reuters)

This film is set in Lampedusa, and though it features some Syrian and Arab stories, the primary focus of the film is on African migrants. During these panel discussions I was struck at how few audience questions related to Africans, and how overwhelmingly most questions concerned the plight of Syrian refugees. I recall only a few people asking about the plight of African migrants.

Even when boats sink in the central Mediterranean route, focus usually shifts to Syrians, rather than on perished Africans. It seems the plight of Syrian refugees feeds our liberal bias towards refugee stories – the political battle is over who gets the right to be called a refugee, by extension those outside that definition are seen to have made their journeys to Europe by choice, and therefore they do not deserve the same attention.

There is a tendency in public discourse to protect refugees at the expense of migrants, to endlessly debate whether we should describe them as a refugee or a migrant, but the reality is that this misses the nuances.

There is now a migrant league table, with Syrians at the top, and Africans at the bottom.”

Perhaps most Africans could be considered migrants. Take Taka, he came because of poverty not war, yet he was kept a slave in Niger and fled mayhem in Libya: he may not have started out a refugee in the legal sense, but he was forced out of Libya by violence. The danger is that these discussions distract us from what is going on the ground – and are a shortcut to determining a migrant’s worth based on their country of origin.

An Italian cultural mediator I interviewed in Palermo, and who has been working with migrants since 2008, told me that the situation had not changed for Gambians: they were still fleeing in droves, yet to be a Gambian migrant in Sicily now means it is impossible to get asylum in Italy. He said there is preferential treatment for Syrians, but not Gambians, Afghans or Nigerians.

This preferential treatment is creating a two-tier system for migrants in Europe. There is now a league table, with Syrians at the top and Africans at the bottom. Until this changes, the plight of African migrants will continue to be on the periphery.

Source

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Auschwitz Genocide Against Which All Genocides Are Judged

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on January 27, 2015

BlueWhiteMy Note: It’s 27th of January, 2015 – 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation. President Putin avoids this special anniversary event amid tension with Poland. But, what is the reason that neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden attended the anniversary? An accident, that, on this very day, President Obama and his most senior officials prefer to be in the notorious nation of Saudi Arabia to the notorious death camp of Auschwitz?

Lee Zeldin of New York, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, told the Guardian earlier that the president’s attendance at the Auschwitz ceremony would send a strong message about the US commitment to rooting out antisemitism, especially in light of the recent attacks in Paris.

One interesting thing I notices is that the very same colors of prisoner clothing worn as a uniform at the Auschwitz concentration camp – trousers and a jacket made of blue-and-white striped cotton ticking – are to be found in the national flags of three countries which these days make news that are related to one another. Greece, the cradle of democracy, where the most avowed atheist grabbed power yesterday, (a fatal mistake by Greeks) captured the ignominious title of most anti-Semitic country in Europe. In Argentina, the prosecutor who died mysteriously last week had evidence tying Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

There are these opportunities the president has unfortunately not been seizing upon to show the rest of the world just how strongly America stands committed to the cause of freedom and liberty, and a never-ending commitment towards or everything that is right and just,” said Zeldin.

Auschwitz: a short history of the largest mass murder site in human history

AuschwitzOn 27 January 1945 Soviet soldiers entered the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex in south-west Poland. The site had been evacuated by the Nazis just days earlier. Thus ended the largest mass murder in a single location in human history.

Precise numbers are still debated, but according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the German SS systematically killed at least 960,000 of the 1.1-1.3 million Jews deported to the camp. Other victims included approximately 74,000 Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war and at least 10,000 from other nationalities. More people died at Auschwitz than at any other Nazi concentration camp and probably than at any death camp in history.

The Soviet troops found grisly evidence of the horror. About 7,000 starving prisoners were found alive in the camp. Millions of items of clothing that once belonged to men, women and children were discovered along with 6,350kg of human hair. The Auschwitz museum holds more than 100,000 pairs of shoes, 12,000 kitchen utensils, 3,800 suitcases and 350 striped camp garments.

The first Nazi base in Auschwitz, named after the nearby Silesian town of Oświęcim, was set up in May 1940, 37 miles west of Krakow. Now known as Auschwitz I, the site covered 40 square kilometres.

In January 1942, the Nazi party decided to roll out the “Final Solution”. Camps dedicated solely to the extermination of Jews had been created before, but this was formalised by SS Lieutenant General Reinhard Heydrich in a speech at the Wannsee conference. The extermination camp Auschwitz II (or Auschwitz-Birkenau) was opened in the same year.

With its sections separated by barbed-wire fences, Auschwitz II had the largest prisoner population of any of the three main camps. In January 1942, the first chamber using lethal Zyklon B gas was built on the camp. This building was judged inadequate for killing on the scale the Nazis wanted, and four further chambers were built. These were used for systematic genocide right up until November 1944, two months before the camp was liberated.

This is not the limit of the horrors of Auschwitz I. It was also the site of disturbing medical experimentation on Jewish and Roma prisoners, including castration, sterilisation and testing how they were affected by contagious diseases. The infamous “Angel of Death”, SS captain Dr Josef Mengele, was one of the physicians practising here. His particular interest was experimenting on twins.

According to the numbers provided by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Auschwitz was the site of the most deaths (1.1 million) of any of the six dedicated extermination camps. By these estimates, Auschwitz was the site of at least one out of every six deaths during the Holocaust. The only camp with comparable figures was Treblinka in north-east Poland, where about 850,000 are thought to have died.

The third camp, Auschwitz III, also called Monowitz, was opened in October 1942. It was predominantly used as a base for imprisoned labourers working for the German chemical company IG Farben. According to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum, an estimated 10,000 labourers are thought to have died there. Once they were judged incapable of work, most were killed with a phenol injection to the heart.

The SS began to evacuate the camp in mid-January 1945. About 60,000 prisoners were forced to march 30 miles westwards where they could board trains to other concentration camps. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates 15,000 died during the journey, with the Nazis killing anyone who fell behind.

More than 7,000 Nazi personnel are thought to have served at Auschwitz but just a few hundred have been prosecuted for the crimes committed there. The pursuit of justice has not ceased, with German justice officials saying on 2013 that there were 30 surviving Auschwitz officials who should face prosecution.

Source

The 10 most anti-Semitic countries

  1. West Bank and Gaza
  2. Iraq
  3. Yemen
  4. Algeria
  5. Libya
  6. Tunisia
  7. Kuwait
  8. Bahrain
  9. Jordan
  10. Morocco/Qatar/UAE

Source

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